Quandary: What the heck is skijoring?
What the heck is skijoring?
Skijoring is the finely-crafted skill of tying yourself to a couple planks and then getting dragged by some type of large animal — hopefully, while upright. In order to do this properly, you’ll need to be slightly above a novice cross-country skier, depending on what animal you are tied to. You see, in some versions of skijoring you are pulled by a horse, which means you need some serious skills because that horse is going to be moving fast, leaving you very little time to make any corrections. This version of the sport is generally best left to experienced skijorers and professionals. It’s a hoot to watch though, and you should definitely check it out if you get the opportunity.
One of the largest skijoring competitions has taken place in Leadville since 1949. In this competition, a horse and rider are paired at random with a skier who they must lead through a course complete with jumps, gates and rings to pick up. The team is then scored for the best time on the course and points are deducted for missed gates and other faults. This sport is extreme enough without too many crazy jumps, so backflips and other trips are usually accidental, and not rewarded.
There are some other important rules for competitive skijoring, like your rope must be 33 feet long (apparently 32 feet just isn’t exciting enough), and the skier must cross the finish line upright and with at least one ski. Again, showboating won’t get you extra points.
If being thrown through the air whilst trailing a horse doesn’t quite sound like your cup of tea, a simpler option might be skijoring with your dog.
This involves the same basic principles, with your pooch playing the role of horse, and you needing to remain upright (at least one ski and all that). If this sounds a little more doable for you, check with High Country Dogs as they offer skijoring lessons for you and your pup. The only caveat is you must already be able to cross-country ski to be an effective partner for your pooch. Visit their website http://www.skijornmore.com<http://skijornmore.com> for more information.
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