There is nothing more enjoyable for a horse woman then to spend two glorious days watching horses and riders compete. I was reminded of an important lesson about competing in equitation medals after judging the final SAHJA medal phase last Sunday. A good course designer always leaves room for interpretation in a medal course. There are areas where you can show off your skills and take advantage of your horses athletic abilities in order to increase your chances of winning. The trick to placing well is choosing to increase the degree of difficulty in the areas that you know for sure that you and your horse can execute well. Do NOT choose for example a tight roll back or an angle fence if you are not sure you can nail it. I will always give a rider extra points if they increase the difficulty successfully on an equitation course but I will pin a rider who has a smooth round over one that attempts to increase the difficulty and fails. The lesson? Know your horse and use this time to apply what you have been working on at home. There is a time to practice and a time to perform!