Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck
I guess I do it differently than a lot of folks, then again I am kinda figuring most of this stuff out as I go. As I approach a fence, I just think, "does that next stride fit?" "does that next one fit?" I just keep re-assessing it. Usually about 4 strides out, I know if I have to shorten a tad or ask for a few longer strides. One tip that did help me lot was to think about getting the horse's back legs to the fence instead of the whole horse. Don't know why it works, but it does. The counting thing just makes me anticipate and jump ahead.
I agree, I sometimes jump WAY off when I count. Its better for me if I just think "stride, stride, stride, stride" or "1, 2, 1, 2". Actually, once, the horse I was riding was very confused by a pole a stride in front of the jump. She kept jumping the jump in two parts. Front legs, pause, back legs. So going to the jump, I literally said, out loud and in front of a crowd "YOU CAN DO IT! YOU CAN DO IT! YOU CAN DO IT!" for the last three strides. It actually made me get to the fence at a perfect spot.
Counting seems to help me stride when I'm nervous, but normally it just makes me jump ahead. Sometimes when I count I stop thinking and will jump the jump for the horse...A stride or two early.
Personally I think "seeing strides" and striding in general really depends on your level. A beginner rider might rely on counting and think they're micromanaging their horse (when really the horse has taken complete control) while a more advanced rider may be able to ride a course without much adjusting at all because they know their horse understands strides better than them.