Nate Bowers of Bowers Farm
Fort Collins, CO
Skijoring, or ski driving, is a winter sport that originates in Scandinavia, where it has been practiced for centuries. Laplander’s skied on Nordic skis holding the reins attached to reindeer.
In the mid 1950’s, skijoring found its way to North America, where ranchers attached a long rope to the saddle horn of a horse that was ridden at high speeds down a long straight-away.
Skijoring with horses usually involves two people and one horse. One person rides the horse while the skier is towed behind. The rider determines the pace and route for the skijoring adventure, while the skier attempts to hold on.
Skijoring involves towing a skier behind horses or dogs. In addition to being a rapid way to get around, it is also a competitive winter sport in some parts of the United States, particularly the Northwest and Midwest.
Especially with horses, skijoring is sometimes classified as an extreme sport because of the high rate of speed and potential danger involved. Skijoring is also a great deal of fun when carried out safely.
Some horse skijoring competitions integrate jumps and extreme skiing maneuvers in addition to conventional skijoring. Horses used for skijoring tend to be extremely agile and quick, and breeds such as the American Quarterhorse are favored for the sport.
Currently, the sport of equestrian skijoring has become a highly specialized competitive sport, where competitors must navigate a course of jumps, gates and sometime spear rings.
Competitive skijoring competitions are currently taking place in over 5 states in the USA, and in several countries worldwide.
In 1999, after several follow-up meetings, the North American Ski Joring Association (NASJA) was developed. For the first time in history, equestrian skijoring became a sanctioned sport!
For some exciting, competitive Skijoring, watch the video of
Skiing in the Streets: Leadville’s Offbeat Winter Sport.
Video: Competitive Skijoring in Leadville.,Colorado
Link: More information on Leadville, Colorado Skijoring
Link: National Association of Skijoring in America