I'll summarize as best I can. I didn't attend the event with the hopes of being true competition, or pinning high. I attended to overcome the fears in my head that place had given me. I wanted to get my flat classes accomplished. Hear the announcer call out "Canter your horses", swing up into a canter, and ride it.
Hunter Under Saddle - All gaits, both directions, were quite beautiful. Transitions were NOT amazing, but Ransom did move out nice & easy, didn't fight the bit, and didn't fight my tension. Jen took some pictures, and there was a photographer there for that class. I paid close attention to a few things - where was everyone else in the arena to stay out of traffic, and where were the photographers. I have plenty of pictures of me with a serious concentrating expression. And darn it! I wanted a couple looking happy!
Hunter Rail Discipline - Um... Counter-canter?! Eek! I didn't even THINK to practice that! Crap! All my Training Level tests not only ask for canter in the corners, but it's on the "correct" lead. We blew it heading left on the right lead (He never did get it), but we got it heading right on the left lead. *LOL* In fact, in one corner of counter-canter heading right, I laughed right out loud. Ransom broke to trot the instant I took my inside leg off, and switched to the "correct" lead. He sure was trying!! Judge also asked for side passing... and while it wasn't perfect, he did it. Best yet - he side passed INTO those horse-munching cow chutes. Good Boy!
Hunter Equitation Pattern - Cones A - D all in a line, about 20ft apart. Enter rising trot Cone A. Trot to B, circle at B on left diagonal. Upon return to B, change diagonal to C. Halt at C, back up four steps, depart canter right lead, Halt at D.
The pattern was tight, with little space to accomplish the movements. Our trot circle was pretty, um, circular (But, thinking about it, probably a 10m circle or smaller). Halt was nice, backup was good (yes, he backed up!). Canter never did feel like a canter, and the halt was a little beyond D. Jen said he did depart at canter, but had the left lead. I seriously never felt a canter-like movement from C to D.
After Equitation, I hopped off, and loosened my girth. I'd accomplished the goal. Jen gathered our three ribbons, and we packed up for home. I was home waaaay before dark, and by dark, had all my things washed, hanging to dry, pony & supplies put away, cooler unpacked, and all the kids fed & watered.