Before the second test, I had a game plan. We were the only AA's competing in the Championship class, and while that meant fancy ribbons and procession, that didn't mean I was quitting. No ma'am. That meant we were working harder. Bigger rated judge, fancy longer arena, more eyes watching. I wanted this to count, even for a great experience for Harley.
Without a longe first, I walked him for about five minutes, varying contact and stretch. We trotted just a tiny bit, then hopped up into canter. I kissed quietly, and used my leg aids. Correct lead left. Great! We cantered about a circle, then back to trot.
There was his energy! I found it! I glanced at my watch, and saw we had just enough time for all of our warm up work. We cantered right, with more success, and an even better trot out after. The transitions were there, the general contact was there. I did lengthen my reins, and decided less contact was better than a battle.
Two judges in the Championship test. I rode by the judge at B, same judge as my morning ride. She was still smiling, happy as can be, as we rode by. The judge at C was sure serious, and didn't even look up except maybe a glance. There were plenty of people watching from the seats above, and another handful watching from outside the arena. Wow... What an audience of attentive folks, us being the only horse & rider competing at that moment. How absolutely overwhelming.
Judge @ C rang the bell, and were were off. It was the top of the game. My championship ride with Ransom was cut short in disaster, and I didn't want anything like that happening again. I saw the videographer camera tuned into us, and I could hear the photographer's shutter snapping rapidly. This was *my* moment with my new show horse, and I was insanely excited!!