Boyd Martin: How to Ride Sunken Roads, PLUS Cross-Tying Tips

An Olympic eventer helps you prepare your horse for this cross-country question. BONUS: Tips to teach your young horse to stand calmly in cross-ties.

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.

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.

Stand Out in the Under-Saddle • Relieve Poll Pressure
Liz Reader
Trainer of the Year • Selecting Hay
Polish Your Jumping Rounds • 50 Health Tips
jim wofford
Cold Weather Horse-Care Tips • Jim Wofford’s Winter Reading List