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What is Equestrian Skijoring?

Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 8:19 PM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Isabella Keegan and Megan Robinson recently competed in the Northeastern equestrian skijoring regionals and now they talk with Jonathon Eigenmann about what goes into doing it right.

Robinson-“It just gives me something to do in the winter, we started during covid time when a lot of our horse activities got cancelled and a lot of things in the wintertime weren’t available. So it gave us something to do that incorporated both of our sports…Mine with the horses and my partner with the skiing”.

Horse Skijoring is not a sport where you will compete more often like basketball or baseball, but the importance of having the right equipment for the rider, skier, and horse is high.

Robinson- “Um I always have to have my saddle and I have to have a rope rigging set up on my saddle. You have to have a special pair of shoes put on the horse that have studs on them so the horse can get traction. You have to have front boots, like splint boots, which go around the front legs to protect the legs. And….that’s all you really need on the horse and of course I have to have a helmet cause I’m under the age of 18.

And once you have the equipment, then comes the training for the race.

Robinson-“I start before the snow hits with pulling a tire behind my horse and then once the snow hits and we have decent weather when its not too cold or not too Icey, We will put my skier behind the horse and we either go across the road and practice over there or we go up and down the road depending on the traffic and how icy the road gets”.

As skijoring is not just associated with horses, is there any difference between horse and dog skijoring?

Keegan- “It’s just more….like a single person sport, like your leading…through the race…you’re controlling your dogs and you have say but with horse skijoring you have to rely on your partner and have to communicate through the two of you…having mutual understanding of the course”.

And with having that mutual understanding comes the mutual chemistry not only between the two of them but also the horse, whose name is bubba.

Keegan- “I’d say it’s definitely good to have a good relationship with the horse, like me and bubba…. Are pals I guess… yeah, me and Megan have been friends for awhile and I think that’s pretty important with this sport, if you don’t get along…I mean just causes for a difficult time along with any other sport so…”.

Though the dynamic duo’s season with horse skijoring is over with a second-place finish in Skowhegan, their sights might be looking toward a first place finish when the race comes around again next February and hopefully next season the ice and weather will allow them to practice a bit more.

Jonathon Eigenmann, Newssource sports.

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