Teach Me Tuesday: What do you see when you see a spot?

Teach Me Tuesday is a segment I have blatantly ripped off of the¬†SprinklerBandit. ¬†However, I am really, really, dyingly curious on this one and I needz to know! ¬†But hear me out — I’m not some heathen jumping around without being able to see a spot at all. ¬†What I’m interested in here are the differences in our perceptions when we see a spot.

tell me

Tell me: what is it, exactly, that you see when you “see” a spot?

I know how to feel/see that I’m going to get a good spot. ¬†When I’m cantering down to a jump I can quite accurately count from 4 strides out to exactly when I will be jumping. ¬†And I know whether that spot is going to be a little long, deep, or pretty perfect. ¬†It’s much easier to “see” a perfect spot when we have a steady, quality canter, and it’s much easier to get that spot then too, obviously. ¬†I’m also pretty adequately competent at adjusting (usually holding, at this stage of Murray’s training) Murray’s stride to get a better spot. ¬†But I don’t¬†see the spot so much as feel a certainty when I’m four (sometimes more, sometimes fewer) strides out that I don’t need to worry about where I’m jumping from.

jump spot 1

So coming up on the Christmas tree, I’d be thinking that I’m about to jump pretty nicely in three strides and, unless he’s tired or I fuck something up, that’s what’s going to happen. ¬†The thing is, Murray will go whether I see the spot or not (just gotta keep those legs steady and pretend I see it), and since I ride in a really light seat and let Murray’s jump close my body angle over the fence, I don’t¬†tend to worry about it too much.

But I know seeing your spot is much more important in other disciplines, so do any of you want to enlighten me as to what you see (or feel!) when you see a spot? Please?