Skijoring With Horses

skijoring.jpg

 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!

Video:  Nate Bowers Skijoing at Bowers Farm
Link: Bowers Farm

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

 

Advertisements

Wild Horses Roped Into Border Patrol Duty

Descendants of the same horses that carried soldiers, prospectors, Plains Indians and Spanish conquistadors will be deployed next month by the federal government to help patrol the most rugged reaches of the northern border.

 wpict1745mustangs-vi.jpg

Billed as operation “Noble Mustang,” the U.S. Border Patrol believes this new team of wild horses will not only tighten security but also save taxpayer dollars.

Wild horses are uniquely suited for the backcountry mission, said Danielle Suarez, public information officer for the agency’s Spokane sector. After generations of living in the mountains of the West, the horses have developed unrivaled sure-footedness, musculature and the ability to endure harsh conditions.

“These legends will help us to defend our borders,” Suarez said. “We need horses physically capable of getting into remote and isolated areas.

The mustangs are protected by an act of Congress as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West.” But with their population unchecked, the herds have faced starvation after overgrazing rangeland and wildlife habitat, especially during droughts.

The same mustangs that will be used to hunt drug runners, human traffickers and potential terrorists were trained by convicted criminals. Since 1986, inmates at the Skyline Correctional Center in Canon City, Colo., have broken and trained the captured horses.

Working with the horses is a special privilege at the state prison, Suarez said. The training requires extreme patience and trust, he said. “The horses actually help tame the prisoners.”

Most are between 3 and 4 years old and were rounded up in Wyoming late last year. Two are from Nevada, and another is from California. “They’re extremely, extremely tamed,” said Suarez, the agency spokeswoman.

Along with the training, the mustangs were given names by students. In early June, Sisko, Hidalgo, Spurs,
Okanogan, Kootenai, Ike, Chase and Slash will again find themselves roaming a rugged Western landscape.

Only this time, the mustangs will wear saddles, feed on oats and work for the Department of Homeland Security.

The Spokesman-Review, By James Hagengruber, May 17th, 2007

Snowballs sold on Ebay …

 If the Associated Press says so … then it must be true.

Three snowballs from Loveland have sold on the eBay Internet auction site for $200.

Chris Hansen, a firefighter from Milford, Conn., said he bought the snow for his daughters, ages 12, 14, and 16. With the East experiencing unseasonably warm weather, Hansen said his daughters got everything they wanted for Christmas except snow.Hansen went online and found the listing by Mary Walker of Loveland, who auctioned off snow from two monster storms that dumped more than 4 feet along the Front Range.

Hansen said he plans to freeze the snowballs until his family decides what to do with them. Walker, who said her listing was meant as a joke, initially refused to accept Hansen’s money, but he insisted. Hansen was a winner among 100 people following three days of bidding.Now Walker is trying to figure out how to ship the snowballs 2,000 miles to Connecticut, without melting. Walker said the money will help buy a snowblower.

Further news bulletin. 

The Loveland, Colorado couple who sold three snowballs on eBay for $200 are getting a free trip to the East Coast so they can hand-deliver the snow.

Still Further  news bulletin:   

Ebay now has more people offering Colorado snow. Not to be outdone … there are fine folk now offering Nebraska ice.

 Just wondering:

Are there any takers for California sand or some authentic, genuine Southern California dirt from my backyard?                     Not on Ebay, yet.