An Example of Growth and Change in The Horse Industry

Thank you to photographer Kirsten LaChance via Unsplash for use of this photo.

Something I love to see is a horse professional who is willing to actively grow and change. Someone who is already professionally established yet willing to explore new ways of training and being with horses? To me, it sets a great example for the rest of us “everyday horse people” to follow.

Two well-known professionals that come to my mind in this regard are Madison Shambaugh and Warwick Schiller. You may have read about Madison Shambaugh, otherwise known as “Mustang Maddy” and Warwick Schiller of “Warwick Schiller Performance Horses”. Both are successful horse professionals, riding and training at a high level.

Frankly, if I were as successful with horses as they are, I would probably sit at the end of each day and simply bask in the glow of my own fabulousness. I certainly wouldn’t think that maybe there is another way for me to ride and train and provide horse care. Clearly whatever I had done in the past to reach my level of achievement must be just fine, thank you very much.

Interestingly, that is clearly not how these two operate. If you follow their work, you will have heard them talking about different points in their horsemanship journeys that caused them to question certain aspects of their training philosophies. Even after achieving competitive success. Even after accumulating large social media followings. Even after making money with their previous methods of horse training.

I really admire the example this sets in the horse industry. I think so often horse folks are afraid that if we admit there is a different way of doing things that we will somehow invalidate ourselves or all our prior work. We forget that we can grow and change without throwing everything we ever did in the past under the bus. That we can balance the traditions of our chosen breed or discipline with modern scientific insights into how horses might actually feel about those traditional methods of horse keeping or training or riding.

I look forward to seeing how their evolving insights might help change the horse world. Their examples encourage all of us to continually examine how we care for, interact, ride and think about our horses. How refreshing and inspiring!

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