Thursday, December 31, 2009

Learning to Drive a Sled

Top photo: l to r, Kelsey, Ashley and Katie (and Julie with pails)

Video , courtesy of David J., this is Kelsey, an experienced horsewoman, taking her first ride on a dog sled.

When we hook up a beginner, we take the best combo of four dogs (usually)... they must be dogs who are our best leaders, who get along with the other dogs in the team with no messing around, dogs ready to take the driver down the trail safely and with fun. We tell the driver to keep the sled under their control and do some brief teaching about the brake, drag, snow hook, riding the runners, slowing the team, stopping the team, taking curves, fixing tangles immediately (with help from the accompanying musher on snowmachine). Kelsey was a competent and willing beginner who did extremely well. The great dogs she ran in her two days here were: Ruthie, Zeus, Eos, Medio, Buffy, Kiddo, and Herman. If she didn't live in Kentucky, we'd love to have her work on a racing team as well.

Most of the following dogs have had multiple great runs in the past few days: Zeus, Eos, Ruthie, Buffy, Sherpa, retired Lillen (lead in a four dog), Copper, Medio, Tsunami, Matilda, Zoom, Quattro and Herman. Ashley is putting together a six dog racing team, so is running 8 dogs looking for the best team. Many of our dogs are retiring and aging, but they're giving their all for these adventures. It's great to have all this young , happy participation!

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