Think of the hunter round of being composed of five parts:
The first three were dealt with in previous posts so we are moving onto the finish.
Although the course itself is completed remember you are being judged right up until you have exited the ring. The final circle is the last thing the judge will see of your horse.
It will leave a lasting impression. When completing your final circle before exiting… ride the circle. Allowing your horse to fall into a poorly executed transition, or pulling the horse back will leave a lasting impression with the judge.
Most judges will, by this time in the course have a score figured out, or have you situated in the placing line-up. A professionally executed transition could boost your placing. Likewise a yanking back, complete with horse opening its mouth could drop you a placing. Be aware the judge may be marking the card, but they may also be watching to see if they ‘like’ you better than the previous competitor.