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.

Impending liable

Most dressage riders are aware that over the years I have been some what critical of the governing bodies of the dressage world.
It is only fair that those that criticise should also praise when appropriate.
For that reason I would like to relay the following story to all those that care to read ,(Jack davenport you don't have to) to judge for themselves how lucky we are to have a governing body that takes the members interest as their highest priority and guide us and protect us from our own foolishness.
Last week I received an email from the organization that control the equestrian activity in which horses do funny things in large sand pits, in order not to prejudice my position I will not mention this organization in its full title but simply use two randomly chosen letters that happened to be this time B and D, for the same reason I will use a fictitious harmless children character such as Winnie the Pooh , as the contact person of this organization .
(lets see who can untangle that for a liable suit)
I got an email from Winnie the Pooh from BD (names and relation to another organization known as BD is totally coincidental) informing me that due to my past comments and posts on BD forums ( the real one) I have left my self open to liable suits from many aggrieved persons and even a larger organization then the one I referred to earlier.
(dont ask I am not mentioning any names),Due to the large number of potential law suits , Winnie the Pooh felt that I should dedicate my time totally and completely to prepare my defence for all these potential liable suits, and not waste it, idly lurking on BD forum. After consideration and noticing my addiction to this said forum Winnie the Pooh took the action to insure I take this preparation seriously and suspended me from the forum for the duration that it will take to prepare my defence to all theses imminent liable suits.
Winnie the Pooh showed genuine concern to my predicament , and added that in matter of fact most old fashioned over 60 riding instructors which grew at a time that a shovel was called a shovel, would not pass present day safe training protocol ,
She advised me to apply and join one of BD dressage judges training days, where one learns to speak in an ambiguous non specific manner that can be interpreted any which way apart from the intended one.
I was also advised to study carefully BD/CC manual of how to say what, follow these guide lines and you are safe from any liable suit ,ignore them at your perils - see you in court.(free legal aid do not apply to in subordinating trainers).
By this time I was pretty scared , I was actually petrified that my past will catch up with me, and some ambitious parent will claim thousands of pounds off me for lost revenue due to the fact that after one lesson with me their little Johnny or large Mildred decided to give up dressage because of an ill thought comment like “you aint carl or Charlotte” forgetting to include the important “ YET”. Politically correctness is not only encouraging to the student it is also safe for the trainer.
I am sure I am not alone and many riding instructors find themselves in a situation similar to this , an ambitious rider books a lesson in order to be endorsed as the next Olympic medallist , after a long session in which he ignores any form of instruction, but full of his explanation as to why he is doing every thing contrary to advice ,all I can think of is , this person rids like s,,t ,
I heard it many time from my instructors,”Mr P,,,,,, YOU ARE RIDING WORSE AND WORSE EVERY DAY , TODAY YOU ARE ALREADY RIDING LIKE TOMORROW, I still hear it today , if the wife is present when I perform a test not up to her expected standard. That is when BD training comes into use, in the book of recommended phrases there in bold letters next to “Riding poorly ” is the now days recommended phrase “not yet accomplished the required proficiency to compete at preliminary but showing potential ” we are not only riding teachers we are given the divine power to predict the future.
As politically correctness is something that' is going to effect every human being dressage riders included, this booklet will become compulsory reading to all youngsters under the age of 42 .
From there onwards the little book which caters for all eventualities became my regular companion, regularly consulted and referred to . With this little book BD insured that all trainers create the “FEEL GOOD FACTOR” no more saying you require 100s of lessons, before you will be ready to compete, it is sufficient to say “Your horse looks a little green (although he is bay)”
At times one feel compelled to inform a student that the 4 legged pony he has just purchased from a Top Trainer is only suitable for a summer job by the sea side , but this is a risky moment when you realize your mate the other trainer just bought a house in southern France with proceeds of this sale , instead you utter the words “this could be a useful horse for YOU ” which is a definite “ you are stuck with this one, I cant see any body taking him off your hands for love nor money” . With out BD guide lines these two trainers could have been crossing swords in court.
Imagine you are a student working towards your first ever PSG test, your trainers only reaction, when he is informed a bout the future goal , is “it is a challenge” he really wanted to say “I hope you are the only competitor on the day”, you feel you mastered most of the movements required for this level ,but little concerned about the canter pirouettes, trainer reassures you repeatedly “don't worry about them” meaning you will be lucky if you get as far as this in the test , judges are allowed to disqualify any body , on the pretext of horse welfare.
Some how you did finish the test (the judge must have felt lucky today) and the trainer greets you enthusiastically as you leave the arena “that was not bad for a first PSG”, what he really wanted to say “lets not wait for the score to come up, any body that has not fallen off will get a better score then you.
He adds to the first comment “ with experience it will sure go better next time” well it could not go any worse , could it? not any time. “Just remember what we worked on at home” your trainer tells you before the next test, well he could not say in front of all your fan club of parents, grand parents , wife groom etc “try not to ride like you usually do”
If your trainer or judge pass comments as regard to your horses good temperament dont forget the scientific equation of equitation “the better the horse the more useless the rider is” if this is accompanied with “just relax and have fun “ this is the only achievable goal in your case.
According to BD ,A good trainer will never show his frustration and tell you to give up he will handle these trying moments by suggesting that you try it again later, or another time, hopefully when he is not around.
But there are times that trainers find it nearly impossible to stick to the “feel good” and safe guide lines, and his words are clear and unambiguous “ I need a drink” which means HE NEEDS A DRINK, for some things we will risk any thing even if it exposes us for liable suit.