Ski Joring: A Brief Overview of the Sport

Ski joring is an exciting winter sport worth watching. It involves a person on a pair of skis being pulled by either a horse or dog through a specially designed race course. In most instances, the race course contains jumps and other obstacles similar to the ones found in freestyle terrain parks. In addition, there are some events where the rider must also pick up a series of rings with a pole while negotiating the course.

Here's a bit more information should you want to check it out for yourself:

Brief Ski Joring History

Ski joring has been around for several centuries. It started in Scandinavia as a mode of transportation and by the 1920s had transitioned into a sport. It made an appearance at the 1928 Winter Olympic Games in Switzerland and then spread to America in places like Colorado, Wyoming and New Hampshire. By the 1990s, several ski joring associations had formed, including one in North America. In the early 2000s, those organizations started holding sanctioned international and national competitions, which continue to this day.

Ski Joring Lessons and Equipment

If you are interested in learning ski joring techniques there are multiple outfitters located in the colder regions of the United States that offer lessons. Ski joring lessons tend to cost $100 per person. Certain places require you to bring your own dog or horse, others provide one for you. Of course, if you do decide to take up ski joring, you will need to purchase special equipment based on what form of ski joring you choose. In general, you will need a series of belts and bungee cords. The belts and bungee cords will typically set you back $150, depending on the retailer.

Annual Ski Joring Competitions

A few of the places where you can go to watch or participate in an annual ski joring competition are Colorado, Montana, New Hampshire, Idaho and Alaska. There is an event scheduled to take place in Leadville, Colo., on March 3 and 4, 2012, as well as one scheduled in New London, N.H., on Jan. 21 and 22.

If you can't get to either of those areas, there are two more ski joring events that you may want to consider. The first is a competition slated to take place in Whitefish, Mont., on Jan. 28 and 29. The second is a competition schedule to take place in Sandpoint, Idaho, Feb. 18 and 19, 2012. Some of the competitions feature substantial prize purses.

My family enjoys winter sports and has traveled extensively.

More from this contributor:

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Updated Monday, Jan 9, 2012