Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck
It's worth mentioning, this seeing the distance thing always seems to result in the rider overthinking distances and trying to micromanage getting the horse to a perfect spot. Just remember, you only have to see the distance. You don't have to like it. Once you're a few strides away, you have what you have. No sense in asking the horse to change it's stride and throw it off balance when it's close to the fence.
I agree about over-thinking distances. I NEVER thought about distances as a kid, and while I certainly remember a few instances where I needed to work on them, for the most part I didn't have too much trouble. As an adult, for some reason this is something I seriously struggle with. I'm constantly worrying about them, saying how awful I am at them, searching the internet for tips and tricks (...and obviously I opened this thread...), and then I overanalyze and tend to micromanage instead of relaxing. And I notice a trend... nine times out of ten, when I start stressing about my distances we have crummy rides. When I'm not focusing on it, we generally to do much better.
I get that sometimes I need to be actively working for a distance--for example, a five stride line that I want us to do in four (or a four-stride in five). But I also know that it is so much easier when you just relax... though admittedly I have trouble practicing what I preach!