Tips for any English rider!
There are many things a judge looks for in an English rider. All judges are different. So experiment a little, and find out what he/she likes the best!
Here are my tips. They always, always, work for me. As you know, you can enter in an Equitation and Pleasure class.
Equitation is based on the rider. It's 30% horse, 70% rider. Be sure to keep your heels down, you knees relaxed, back straight, and looking straight. Also, this may feel a bit weird, but it's important. You want your hands very high, so your elbows form a perfect L shape. It's hard to maintain, especially at the canter. But it's very VERY important in equitation classes!
Pleasure classes are based on the horse. It's 30% rider, 70% horse. This class is the total opposite of Equitation. You want your horses' head as low as you can get it (unless you a riding a naturally high headed horse, such as a Freisian. The judge will know.)You want his head either level with the withers, or lower. You need to keep yours hands low. Place them just above you knees. The point of this class is to make it look like your horse is a pleasure to ride.
In Jumping, it really doesn't matter what you or your horse looks like. Just make sure you do two-point, and look up. Never look down at the ground or jump, or that's where you'll end up. If you are a beginner, always ride a horse that knows his strides and his leads. If you are more advanced, you can ride a horse that you have to force to do lead changes or get the right striding. On the course paper, it usually says how many feet are in between each jump. Let's say it's 12 feet. Divide it by four, and you get three. That's how many strides your horse should take. If you are riding a pony, you can usually fit in 3-5. Five is pushing it, however.
I hope this helped! I almost always win first or second when using what I just said. Good luck!