Flossy is well known to many on the British Dressage Forum as a teller of interesting stories and perhaps the odd joke or two. We have selected a few tales for your pleasure.


The hottest topic of conversation among professional dressage trainers around at the working in arenas is the new “ BD APPRENTICE SCHEME” .
The older generation are some what concerned that the new scheme will give the young future trainers the wrong message, of what it takes to be a dressage trainer , what expectations they will have when entering the industry as young professionals , and most important , will the scheme develop a generation of young people with the mental strength and moral fibres which are required in order to succeed in what is physically and emotionally demanding occupation.
The old apprentices were given all these skills by the virtue that there were no schemes , only hours of work in return for a word of wisdom from the master, rights there were non ,benefits endless, only when one proved they warranted them .
A normal apprenticeship started with the customary 12 month of being totally ignored by the master, another 18 month of being allowed to watch and learn fetch and carry , if one proved that they had the mental stickbility and they self taught them selves to be useful riders for the masters , he will cramp into one month all they have to know and send them on the pass to be DRESSAGE RIDERS/TRAINERS,
This type of apprenticeship had its merit,
There were no fitness issues, by the time one mucked out the number of boxes expected, swept manually acres of yard and lived on bread and water in a room above the stable with the horses wash bay as washing facility , the body assumed the resilience characteristics of an African warier,There was no need to consult a sport psychologist at moment of doubt, as there opinion was easily predicted “YOU ARE MAD”
As regard to ones riding skills , one pushed one self more then it is humanly possible to improve and learn , as another 12 month of being totally ignored made the march to Coventry like funfair.
Lesson learnt in those days were ; no one owes you a thing, or will teach you for nothing , and you cant be considered a trainer, certainly not a top trainer , until the previous generation died or at least retired.
How different it is for the lucky BD potential apprentices of today , After long non consultation or consideration a MODERN APPRENTICESHIP scheme been developed , tailor made for modern times,
Apprentices also benefit from many other BD programs , like BYRDS , YOUNG PROFESSIONAL AWARD ,JUNIOR AND YOUNG RIDERS COMPETITIONS etc. etc.
A young apprentice (who in most cases is already fully trained and experienced) will consent to join a trainer , where he will drag the trainer kicking and screaming into the 21st centaury. With the help of sport psychologists , physiotherapists , personal trainers , Pilatus instructors and modern technology of the internet and mobile phones, the length of the average apprenticeship has been shortened to 3 month 2 weeks and three days. In recognition of the natural talent of young potential trainers , that has gone through the pre apprenticeship period , BD recommends that their working hours will be limited to 30 hours of work a week , including meals and breaks and they will be reimbursed for all lessons they received during these hours. The rest of the time will be spent developing the skills exhibited by very very senior trainers, like dosing off by the side of the arena during lessons.
The out come is that MODERN APPRENTICESHIP SCHEMES developed confident assured young people willing to take responsibilities that previously were not under taken by trainers before their late 60s.
During a public training session A senior Trainer commented to a young BD apprentice that in the older days, his way of riding and his technique would not have been accepted and he suggests to the apprentice to modify his riding and develop some old fashion skills of riding the horse with the nose in front of the vertical (the horses nose) while the cavasson slightly looser to enable the horse to breath between movements etc. The young apprentice reaction was as expected from a person that the system groomed and developed to be special , in a confident assured manner he replied , in a voice heard by all, “your generation obviously grew up in a totally different world in which we live in today , We have different horses , with superb fronts ,super expressive movement, with legs hardly touching the ground ,that technique is what makes modern dressage what it is all about , it is us that broke the 80% scores and we have got the internet to see and learn from”, At this point Senior trainer interrupts and very quietly said “You are absolutely right sonny boy when I was younger it was a different world, we certainly did not have horses with such lovely fronts and super movement that could take this way of riding , and very few could ride to 70% scores, guess what we did then, we learnt to ride the useless ones developed and bred better ones and trained people how to ride them to 80% , and we invented the internet to , So please tell me what are you doing for the next generation?“