Horsing Around: Montana’s Wildest Winter Sport is Happening Soon
Tis the season for winter fun in the great outdoors. For some, winter is about ice fishing or building snowmen, while others prefer to strap slick boards to their feet and let gravity pull them down a mountain. But, how about the folks that strap slick boards to their feet and let horses do the pulling? It is called Skijoring, and it is one of the oldest competitive sports in the state. Not to mention one of the most extreme winter sports in the west.
Growing up, we couldn't always find the best sledding hills. And if we did find one, it was crowded with kids. So, we would use our own version of "horsepower" to get some speed. With the help of an ATV or our buddy's beat-up Jeep, we would tow a sled or a snowboard behind at a reasonable speed. Almost like towing a tube behind a boat. The only problem is, bailing in snow hurts a lot more.
What is Skijoring?
Towing skiers behind some "horsepower" has been going on for a long time. Skijoring has not always been a winter sport. It was actually created as a way to travel in the winter.
According to Wikipedia
For hundreds of years, Sami people harnessed reindeer and strapped on Nordic skis as a way to travel across vast snowy expanses. Skijoring behind reindeer made its official debut in Stockholm at the Nordic Games of 1901, 1905 and 1909.
Fans of Skijoring or people interested in witnessing the sport in person can plan on seeing the annual Skijoring event in Whitefish this upcoming Saturday, January 28, and Sunday the 29th. Get event details here.