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Ski What-ing? Ski Joring!

Published: 12/15/2009
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By Maddy B. Gray

The sport of ski joring caught my attention in the middle of summer, believe it or not. That's when I met Christina Thorp, president of the North East Ski Joring Association.
We were competing in a Cowboy Competition. She and he horse were some fast! (Of course, most horses are faster than Shea...but that's another story.)

No wonder that they would enjoy this sport, popular out west and emerging in this neck of the woods. A horse and rider pair pulls a skier by a long, cotton rope. The skier navigates through gates and over jumps (there are other obstacles at certain events). Fastest and cleanest trio wins!

It's a hoot to watch [check out the video from our homepage video hotbox.]
And apparently a hoot to ride, too.
Brooke Smith, treasurer of the NESJA tells me why she likes the sport:
1. I have met all kinds of people being involved in this sport from all disciplines of riding as well as skiers and volunteers who don't ride horses.

2. It's a family-oriented sport. Although I don't compete, my husband and daughter do while I help organize and officiate the competitions.

3. It's great exercise for your horse in the winter months and it gets people outside.

4. It is a unique sport that brings riders and skiers together. You have a three-part team - rider, skier, and horse.

You will need a breast plate and winter shoes if you want to give it a try. Click here to view for calendar of ski joring events.

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12/16/2009 Donna Mori
My friend and I are going to a ski joring clinic in January. I think it's in Rochester NH. Looks like a lot of fun!!

"My horses are my friends, not my slaves" - Dr. Reiner Klimke