In this vintage article from Practical Horseman magazine, Olympic eventer Boyd Martin shares his strategy for preparing your horse to ride a sunken road. Course designers introduce this combination of cross-country elements at lower levels with a question as simple as a log with a little drop two strides beyond. At the upper level, a sunken road may include as many as four jumping components: For instance, it could be a vertical, then a stride to a considerable drop into a pit, a one-stride distance to a bank going out of the pit, and beyond the bank, another vertical or even a bounce.

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A sunken road tests your horse’s power, balance and agility to jump down, then rock back and rebalance within a short distance to jump up again.

In this article, Boyd demonstrates riding a lower-level sunken road and then a more complex combination.

BONUS IN THIS ISSUE: Learn how to teach your young horse to stand calmly and safely in cross-ties.

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