Thank you soooo much! :) Those are great things to think about.
A little more about the distances: You said the thing about count how far striding you think you are back (like 5,4,3,2,1,JUMP). But I tried that today and was like 3 strides off hahaha. I just can't see them, like at all
It might be helpful to walk it first yourself, so you know how many strides you want coming off the corner (or whatever) before approaching the jump. You can step it out yourself this way and so know what your horse should be doing.
You have very nice form in your updated photos, I can see this in your original photo and in your updated: Your stirrups are a hole or two too long for jumping, they might work wonderfully for you on the flat but I ride Hunter/Jumper and mostly Equitation. We flat with our stirrups two holes longer and I can see that you are really reaching for your stirrup over the jumps, this causes you to be reaching and leaning a bit forward over the jumps. Try shortening and then jumping, you will probably be very suprised with how much more secure your leg feels and it will make alot of difference, I know it did for me the first time! Try reading some of George Morris' critiques(if you can) in practical horseman.
Also for seeing your distance, as you may know jumping a horse causes strain on their body so to work on seeing your spot better try doing alot of poles, it will save your horse :) I have a 16 year old still doing 3'-3'6" with ease. You will really see a difference when you do alot of poles. I even set up courses of poles and do turns, lines, etc. Also, to help improve your eye, work on a line of poles set at 4 strides, work on getting the 4 then collecting for the 5 and then extending for the 3, it will help a great deal with adjustability and then you can really feel how much of a move you need to make to change your horses stride length which will make courses much easier
Alex S: No I don't mean in lines, I mean like approaching singles. I can't see how many strides away I am from it so that I can adjust the striding so I don't get longs and chips. :/
UnrealJumper: So you're supposed to start at 1 and count up? What good does that do, does that help keep the beat or something? (That question sounds rude but I promise that's not the way I meant it, I'm really asking lol!) :P
Ohsareee: Thanks so much! I do find myself sometimes reaching for them, but I've never shortened them any farther because it makes my legs tired. I usually ride in my dressage saddle, so I'll start riding 50/50 so that I can have the right muscles for both disciplines! I do read George Morris' critiques, that's my favorite magazine and his critiques are always so helpful and seem spot-on! And ah funny you said the thing about the poles on the ground because I have tried that and I think it really DOES help-- I'll start doing it more! :)