On the rail, at a walk. Cool, no problem. Ransom got a little rein-wiggle to let him know we were being watched. I glanced at the judge to make sure she knew I knew I was ready. I looked across the arena, other competitor was on the other long side from me. Great! Far enough off I didn't need to worry about a collision. I saw the other trainer, standing about at B, and she asked me, "Are you going to ride in the Championships?" I shrugged my shoulders with an "I don't know", but I was being polite. I had no intentions on scoring high enough today, so I didn't join the club this year.
Judges Notes at Walk: Elbows out, sitting to rt of ctr of horse. heels in front of seat bones
"Trot your horses. Posting trot."
I wiggled the reins again, and squeezed just a little. Ransom's trot transition was beautiful. Not head-popping, and he stayed on the bit. Sweet! I stayed on the rail as much as I could, trying to keep him straight and moving forward.
"Change direction at the trot."
Sweet, I can do that too! I was heading for a corner on the short side, so an extended trot down the diagonal only seemed logical. I glanced up at the judge, looked at the marker for "H", and headed for it. Just then, the other rider in the arena turned almost straight facing me. Shoot! There went that plan, darn it! I grinned, eyes only looked towards the judge, who was also smiling as we both realized my plan wasn't going to work. I headed in the other direction somewhere around "X".
Judge Notes at Trot: Back hollow. rider leaning fwd, toes sideways
The judge then asked us to canter individually. Oh Thank goodness! I won't have to risk a collision with that other goofy mare. Whew! I was asked to go to the center, and she cantered one way. I watched intently. Whoops. She picked up a trot first, and then asked for canter. (nice, I can do the same thing) Got her lead wrong, and got it changed to the correct lead-left, somewhere around "A". Judge asked her to go to the center, and I'd take my turn.
I picked up trot-right, got him in a steady collected trot, got just the judge's side of "X", and asked for canter. Lean back, wiggle-wiggle, squeeze, got it! Got our lead, got a pretty transition, and he cantered off slow & smooth. Cantered a circle plus some long side, when the judge asked, "Okay, now let's see your canter in the other direction next."
Really? Okay, cool. Get this all over with. Nice!
Turned him the other way at a walk, picked up collected trot, and again, in her clear view so she could really make her comments, I asked for canter-left. Lean back, wiggle, squeeze. A bit less pretty, he stuck his nose up a little, but it was still a steady transition. Canter-left was a bit bigger in stride & power than the right, but it was easy enough to ride. I knew I was leaning forward a little, and trying very hard not to drive with my hips, just ride it.
Judge's Notes at Canter: Back hollow, leaning fwd, toes out sideways.
The other rider rode canter-right. Whoops. Wrong lead initially with a flying change in there somewhere. I grinned inside. I don't take joy in other's mistakes, but I sure felt good about how we rode. Ransom and I did GREAT!
Total score - 63% for me, 60% for her. First place! My first ride, at the canter, on my new horse, we scored ourselves a Blue Ribbon! YAY!