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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 13, 2006
    Posts
    638

    Default Help! What is wrong with me? Can't see a distance all of a sudden!

    Need words of wisdom please! I have always had a natural eye and been able to see a distance 5 or 6 strides out from the jump. Recently, I have had trouble finding a distance and I am either not seeing anything at all or not seeing anything until maybe 2 strides out which by then, it is too late to be able to make any sort of adjustments. I am frustrated and sad and don't know what is wrong with me!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
    Location
    The Part of TN in the Wrong Time Zone
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    1,997

    Default

    Number 1 thing: STOP WORRYING! If you don't stress over your distances, then they'll show up. Just count and keep a steady pace and they'll come to you!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2006
    Posts
    3,442

    Default

    Have you started wearing glasses or changed your glasses?? When my daughter started wearing them her "eye" for a distance went away. I very BNR's mother told me she had the same issue. Might be connected with your new problem. Good luck!!
    Last edited by crosscreeksh; Oct. 31, 2012 at 09:45 PM. Reason: spelling
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 8, 2012
    Location
    NOVA
    Posts
    1,432

    Default

    Something has changed then. Did you stop riding for awhile? Change horses? What size jumps do you jump? I don't ever make a big move 5 or 6 strides out. I like subtle changes but I'm a hunter rider. Do you do hunters or jumpers? Sometimes its as easy as looking away when you don't see something and then focusing back again.
    You don't scare me. I ride a MARE!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 30, 2006
    Location
    The Isle of Wight
    Posts
    730

    Default

    Just like Kevin Costner is Field of Dreams... "If you build it, they will come"

    In other words, if you "build" a good canter and have good, speed, impulsion, etc., then the distances will start popping back up for you. I find that when I can't find the jumps, I do not have a good canter. If I have a good canter, then I may miss because I've cut a corner, not finished a turn, I'm not straight, etc.

    Once you get a good canter, just start counting or singing along with the cadence. I find that the counting keeps me focused on the rhythm

    Good Luck!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2006
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    971

    Default

    Has anything at all changed recently? Even the slightest thing you can think of might be a clue...

    As for general advice for seeing distances previous poster's comments are spot on:
    1. Stop tring to "find" one, just sit down and ride, trust it will be there. The more you look the less you'll see it.
    2. Forget about finding a distance and instead focus on establishing a nice, active medium canter. Once you have a good canter make sure you have enough energy coming out of the corner and KEEP YOUR BODY BACK all the way to the base of the jump. Even if you do not see something sit back and wait rather than throwing your upper body and you will be able to work something out.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008
    Posts
    7,361

    Default

    In addition to the above suggestions, get your eyesight checked. I was so frustrated last year because I couldn't see my distances any more -- turned out I needed glasses in a serious way. Once I got them my eye came right back.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2011
    Location
    Southern Pines, NC
    Posts
    2,336

    Default

    Focus on keeping a good quality canter and making nice turns that line you up well with the fence and it will work itself out. If you're getting worried about the height of the fence because you can't see a spot, it's 110% fine to bump them down for a while until you see your distances again or feel more comfortable riding a rhythm and not focusing on the distance.
    I've heard there's more to life than an FEI tent and hotel rooms, so I'm trying it.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 13, 2006
    Posts
    638

    Default

    Don't currently wear glasses or contacts. Thinking I may need them at this point though! lol! Nothing has changed at all, I have been riding consistently, I am still riding the same horse, and jumping the same height fences.

    Considering going to get my eyesight checked as fordtraktor suggested.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2012
    Posts
    4,303

    Default

    It may not be "you." When I went through a tough time with this, I was told "You're seeing it all right; it's just that your horse isn't allowing you to RIDE him to the distance that you SEE!"

    We worked it out in time . . . and I've got my "eye" to this day.

    Gymnastics with a good trainer were our cure.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 11, 2012
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    27

    Default

    I agree with the other posters who said focus on a good canter and try not to over think it. But if you're really wanting to get some ideas/ exercises to improve your eye check out www.equestriancoach.com they have several video topics by some of the top riders and trainers in the country on "eye exercises"/ the "distance selection process".
    Here are the links and blurbs of a few of them.

    "Exercises to Develop a Better Eye: Part 1-A (of a 4 part series)
    Bernie Traurig demonstrates exercises you can incorporate into your flatwork everyday that will work your eye without overworking your horse!"
    http://www.equestriancoach.com/conte...ter-eye-part-1

    "Distance Selection Process
    Will Simpson unveils the system he uses every time he jumps a fence to create the distance he wants."
    http://www.equestriancoach.com/conte...ection-process

    "Winning Eye Exercises
    John French finally shares the secrets of his legendary eye. In this video he reveals his favorite exercises that will not only develop your eye, but the confidence to find the distance to every jump."
    http://www.equestriancoach.com/conte...-eye-exercises



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2000
    Location
    Nokesville, VA
    Posts
    35,163

    Default

    My personal experience (which probably doesn't apply to you, but just in case...) is that if I keep my eyes up AND "stick my chin out", so my whole head is up, not just my eyes, the distances magically appear.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 27, 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,252

    Default

    This definitely happened to me earlier this year. I went into my first 3'6 jumper division and while it wasn't bad for the first time, my confidence was shot in my eye and couldn't see anything for months.

    The number one thing I learned was to stop focusing on the distance and start focusing on the rhythm. Your rhythm may fluctuate as you head to the fence or you are so over thinking the distance you are inadvertently shortening or lengthening your horses stride and not realizing it. Once I started counting and not even being bothers by the distance I started hitting them with no problems. Its also the feel of the rhythm. Once your mind and body recognizes it you'll have the spot.

    Good luck, I will say for me it took a couple months to get back to where I was, but now I have no issues with it (okay well very little issues)
    Forrest Gump, 15, OTTB
    Little Bit Indian, 27, TB

    Owner of Spur of the Moment, Custom made spur straps! Find us on Facebook



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar. 22, 2011
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    858

    Default

    I know this is likely going to get me attacked but I never count distances... I focus on a nice canter that feels like the horse is really carrying me and when I can feel that if I asked for more, it would instantly be there.
    Otherwise I let my horse learn to find her distances .... I will occassionally use a placing pole 10' out to help her if she isn't on the ball but I take it away after we use it a few times.

    It could also be your horse. If my mare isn't comfortable or is distracted everything falls apart.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2008
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    3,790

    Default

    The advice that I always give and seems to work is not to look at your fences. Focus on getting the quality canter, get the bend in your corners, then only give a glance at the fence with your 'soft eyes' to check you're lined up.

    Focusing on the fence will actually inhibit your depth perception - focus more on the 'track' that you're planning.
    Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
    Witherun Farm
    http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2008
    Location
    Chicago-ish
    Posts
    271

    Default

    If nothing has changed with you has something changed with your horse? Maybe he's sore somewhere and giving you a different canter than you're used to getting from him (shorter stride, more downhill, etc)?



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