Clueless Horsemanship - 2nd Interview

Today is my second interview with renowned horseman and teacher, Ted Clueless from Clueless Horsemanship. If you are not familiar with Ted’s work, I recommend you read the first interview I posted on February 10, 2017.

 

Ted learned about horses from the knee of his father and his grandfather and his uncles. In fact, Ted gives full credit for most of his accomplishments to his dad and other family members and happily admits he comes from a long line of Clueless horsemen.

 

So without further adieu, here’s Ted.

 

Ross           

Welcome back Ted. It’s great to be talking to you again.

Ted           

Thanks Ross. You’re looking well. Eating well I see!

Ross           

I’m always prepared for a famine – you just never know when one will come along. What’s with the arm in a sling? What happened?

Ted

Aw, I was working with a young horse doing some clicker trainin and you know how young uns are – a little flighty and stupid.

Ross

Yeah, but what happened?

Ted

Well, I was usin the clicker to mark the YES moments and things were goin pretty well. The horse would give a good answer, I’d click and then I pull out a piece of licorice from my shirt pocket as a reward. It was all comin along real good until a bloody cicada started soundin off in the tree we were standin under. Click, click, click, click, click. The bloody thing wouldn’t stop. The horse thought every click meant he should get a piece of licorice and when he didn’t he started muggin me for it and attacking my shirt pocket. He went nuts. And that bloody cicada wouldn’t shut up. He nearly got me killed. I almost lost me left nipple And I’m rather fond of me left nipple – it’s me second favourite. It hurts just thinkin about it. Anyway, he tore the muscle in me left boob and the doc said I should keep my arm in a sling ‘til it heals.

 

I tell you mate, that bloody clicker training is dangerous. I’d thought I’d give it a try ‘cause people always rave about it, but you’d have to have a ‘roo loose in ya top paddock to give it a go – well, at least in cicada season.

Ross

Well, maybe next time you could try using a different sound. Instead of a click you could use a simple word like ah “cuckoo” as a marker.

Ted

Well then it wouldn’t be clicker trainin, would it? It’d be cuckoo trainin! That’s a bloody stupid idea. Who ever heard of clicker trainin without a clicker? People would think I was cuckoo.

Ross

Maybe we should move on to something else. What else have you been up to lately?

Ted

Been real busy. I recently taught me first colt starting clinic and last month I did a colt startin demo at the Horse Expo.

Ross

Fantastic. How did the demo go?

Ted

Well, to be honest not as well as I expected. Me cousin Morris (we call him More Clueless) was supposed to help out, but he had just harvested his crop of medicinal cannabis and had to try it out to make sure of his quality control system. Anyway, he slept through me demo and was no help.

 

Then to add to the problem, I’d forgotten me glasses and ya know I can’t see a bloody thing without me glasses. Well, I was going to start this nice lookin Quarter Horse in front of 500 people. I planned to work him first from me own horse, Red Fire. When I walked into the pen both horses were there waitin for me. Bloody hell, they were the same colour and same size and without me goggles I couldn’t tell them apart.

 

Well, to cut a long story short I saddled and got on the wrong horse. As soon as I sat down in the saddle I said to myself, “this aint ol’ Red”. And then she blew. Me brains got shook up like marbles in a tin can bein thrown down ten flights of stairs. It was ugly. But I managed to stay on until the horse had run out of steam and the broncking stopped long enough to get off. I jumped off like a gazelle on one of them nature shows before the horse got his second wind.

 

I didn’t know what to do, so I pretended everythin was perfect and goin accordin to plan. I made out that the buckin was just an act and me screamin like a little girl was part of the act too.

 

I then went and saddled ol’ Red pretending he was the unbroke one. I rode him around and he was like an old gentle kids pony. Everybody was amazed how I got an unridden horse to be so perfect on his first ride. So I think it finished pretty well.

 

Er, ya won’t put that bit in the interview will ya?

Ross

Absolutely not. Don’t worry. You can trust me.

 

So what do you think about these colt starting demos or even the colt starting clinics?

Ted

I reckon they’re great. Ya know, I can get 10 people to come along to a clinic who don’t have a clue -  ya might even say they are clueless (haha, excuse the pun). I get ‘em on their horses in a couple of days. They take ‘em home not really broken in and don’t know what to do with ‘em. Next thing ya know I get a phone call from them wanting to book ‘em in for 6 weeks training. It’s money in the bank. It’s brilliant!  I wish I had thought of this scam years ago.

Ross

But are you helping people and horses? Are they getting anything out of it?

Ted

Absolutely mate. My aim is to help people learn how to get along with their horse. It’s more important to know your weaknesses than to know your strengths. People are working on their horse, while I’m working on me. Horses are very special and it’s amazing how quickly they can change. Ya know a horse does not care how much ya know until he knows how much ya care. Believe in your horse so your horse can believe in you. Nothing is better for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse. Do less to get more. The slower you go the faster you get there.  The horse knows if you know and he knows if you don’t know. A little persistence is better than a lot of insistence. There is never a silence quite so loud as a horse thinking. No matter how good or bad your day is it is always better with a horse in it.

 

Ross

Er Ted, Ted STOP! Please no more glitchy catch phrases. You are giving me a migraine. Do any of those sayings actually mean anything?

Ted

I dunno mate, but I reckon they must do ‘cause lots of trainers use them all the time and people flood to their clinics and pay a bucket load of money to hear them cute glitchy catch phrases.

 

I reckon I’ll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the average horse person.

Ross

Well, thanks Ted for your time. I think I’ve got all I can take for now. Once again it’s been interesting and made me question a few things, like why the hell do I bother and I don’t drink nearly enough for this job.

Ted

No worries mate. Anytime.

 

Photo: Some people think Edvard Munch’s painting, The Scream (Norway, 1893) depicts a person screaming. But it actually shows a person trying to block out the sounds of the screaming in their head. That’s how I felt after my interview with Ted.

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