Horse Sport of Skijoring
Combine Winter Skiing and Fast Horses, and you get Skijoring.
This is one of the more unusual, lesser known, yet intense and challenging horse activity.
It's cold and it's snowing. A cowboy saddles up his antsy, rearing to go horse. A Skier straps on his boots and skiis. The horse charges lickity split down a track dragging behind a 33 foot knotted rope. Clutching at the end of the rope the brave skier hangs on to dear life. Reaching speeds of 40 mph, the skier navigates an obstacle course consisting of jumps, gates and jousting-rings, all the while dodging ice and snowballs being thrown from the horse's hooves. This is a timed event that has penalties for missed gates and rings so it's essential to fly over all the jumps, catch all the rings and negotiate all the gates in record time.
The activity is gaining popularity in the U.S. as an competitive winter sport, with a growing list of clubs such as North American Ski Joring Association and North East Ski Joring Association, with organized competitions in Montana, Idaho, Colorado, New Hampshire, Canada and more Skijoring, or ski driving, a traces its roots to Scandinavian heritage. It originated as a means of travel by holding the reins attached to reindeer and sliding along on Nordic skiis.
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. The sport of skijoring is growing rapidly, and is just as much fun for spectators as it is for competitors.