Along for the ride: Cults, tribes & mean people!

by Robyn Schiller

Robyn is the wife of horse (and people) trainer Warwick Schiller. She invites you to join her as she journeys through her life as trainer’s wife, mother, businesswoman and nationally competitive rider. 

I think we can all agree that some horse people can be pretty mean. In fact, just today I was reminded of that when we were told there was some “Warwick Bashing” on a Facebook group (it actually turns out that one of the bashers was referring to Clinton and not Warwick – which is funny in retrospect).

I always feel good when I hear that the WSPH (Warwick Schiller Performance Horsemanship) Facebook group is someone’s favorite horsey group to be a part of because we don’t do MEAN or DRAMA. We are dedicated to being a supportive group with a common goal – a “tribe” as we often refer ourselves to.

There was a time that Warwick and I thought we had our once in a lifetime “tribe” of people. It was back in the early 2000’s when Warwick trained horses for the public. We had built up the coolest group of clients EVER. We did as much together as possible; celebrated birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and any other reason we could think of to get together and hang out. There were Saturday lessons, Tuesday wine & ride nights (back before I drank wine) and lots of horse shows! We gelled, we were friends, we were family. So, when Warwick decided to give it all up and go to work for one client exclusively it was a very difficult decision. We knew we were giving that up and we thought we would never have it again.

Don’t get me wrong, we did it for our immediate family. Tyler was still small and we wanted to spend as much time with him as possible, having more of a “normal” life where one of us could be home after school and have most weekends free. It all worked out great in that respect. It also made it better when we would see our tribe at the few horse shows we went to and notice that they were all still friends, even though some of them had gone different directions. It made us happy to know that we were a part of bringing these awesome human beings together and they were staying together.

But, to think that we could ever have it again – no way.

And then, it happened! We started building this video thing. Warwick started sharing what he knew on a broader stage. We decided early on to keep the Bull$#*% out of it and be very intentional about keeping drama, bad-mouthing and negativity far from anything we shared on social media and anything else that we put out there. (Not saying that we haven’t slipped every now and then and engage in conversations we shouldn’t. It’s hard to stay on the high road sometimes, but we keep reminding ourselves to.) We wanted to attract people with the same values and vibe. From the people I’ve met thus far, I’d say we are doing something right.

I haven’t travelled as far and wide as Warwick has, but for the most part, everyone I’ve met has felt like an old friend. Sure there are a few outliers, but with the numbers happening, that is to be expected. It dawned on me one day (I think it was in New Zealand recently) that we’ve got our “tribe” back together! It’s filled with different faces and a lot of different accents, but OMG it is totally happening again!

So, while we have had some people say our group is “cultish” as if it is a negative thing, I take it as a compliment. I just define Cultish to mean “A group of like-minded, positive, passionate horse people”. Further, we are a cult of nice, open-minded, forward thinking, empathetic, smart horse people who don’t need to tear someone else down to make ourselves feel better. We feel better by building others up, supporting their dreams, celebrating their accomplishments and encouraging them when they have a setback. That’s the cult I’m talking about. But I like the word ‘Tribe’ better and I love our tribe! Thanks for being a part of it!

Thanks for reading.