There is nothing more beautiful than watching a horse gallop with a rider magically floating in the saddle. And we’ve watched a lot of good skiers lately, on the televised Olympics in 2022. The way they seem to fly down a mountain barely touching the snow – it’s exhilarating.
Now combine those things.
Magic + Exhilaration = A Really Good Time
Skijoring (or ski joring) is the act of being pulled behind a dog or horse while on skis. In skijoring with a dog, sometimes it is behind two dogs.
I have seen races involving skiing behind dogs in Winter Park and at Snow Mountain Ranch. As a dog lover, it is fantastic to watch. If I were to skijor with my dog it would be all over at the moment she saw a rabbit… but I digress.
While watching dog skijoring is fun, watching skijoring with horses is on another level. It’s fun but it’s a little unnerving. A human on skis being pulled by a rope that’s hooked to a galloping horse with a rider, well, let’s just say I have held my breath a lot at the Leadville Ski Joring.
RELATED: Tashi’s Cabin in Leadville, Colorado
The Leadville Ski Joring & Crystal Carnival is March 4-5, 2023. This event is one heck of a good time. I’ve been several times and it never ever disappoints. Leadville’s proximity to the Front Range, however, means crowds (especially in good weather). They skijor in the middle of town, so, you’ll need to stake your claim early to a good spot along Harrison Avenue.
Update February 16, 2022: The Meeker event has been canceled due to lack of snow and our trip has been postponed.
Update December 27, 2022: The Meeker event is from December 30 to January 1, and we will not be there.
This year, I’ll be at Meeker Skijor Races in Northwest Colorado. Meeker is a charming little town. I visited when I was honored to be a judge at the Jammin’ Lamb Fest at the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trials.
Addendum: We visited in the summer of 2022. Read all about it here!
RELATED: Meet Me in Meeker, Part One
Skijoring includes a Calcutta. What’s a Calcutta? It’s a form of gambling that I cannot explain but you can read all about. It’s usually open to anyone who wants to play. Some day I’ll figure it out and put my money on a skijoring team.
I have fond memories of Meeker and am eager to go back. We are staying Elk Mountain Inn in downtown. There have been some changes since we last visited. One of the coolest little businesses I’ve come across in my travels, Blanco Cellars and The Little Cheese Shop, has moved and now has a patio. And, Meeker now has a brewery, which was sorely missing from the town when we first visited.
Here is a comprehensive list of skijoring competitions in Colorado from Skijor International. These are skijoring with horses events. If you seek places to watch skijoring with a dog, competitions often run in conjunction with sled dog races. If you’d like to skijor with your dog privately, Frisco is a good place to start exploring the sport.