Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Dog Sledding

While on my last trip to Canada I was lucky enough to have go at dog sledding, a xmas gift from my lovely then-girlfriend, now wife.

After a brief instruction session on how to control the huskies and steer the sled, we headed over to the husky enclosure. The noise was deafening, with the dogs extremely excited to be going out for a run, practically bouncing along as they strained at their leashes while being hooked up to the sleds. I was to ride my own sled, to be pulled along by four huskies and I was more than a little nervous at the prospect.

Before too long, we were off. I was pulled along at speed through tree-lined pathways, the dogs attempting to keep up with the lead sled. The Canadian winter had been extremely mild for that time of year, but we'd managed to pick the one day it actually snowed hard, so much so that for the first 10 minutes I couldn’t see a thing as it kept blowing right into my eyes. The main control you have over the dogs is to

and making judicious use of the brake, especially when going around corners. Unfortunately on one downhill turn, I failed to apply enough pressure and found myself tumbling sideways into a snow-bank. Earlier on I had been told that when falling off  the key thing to remember was to hold on to the sled handle as the dogs would feel the pull of the extra weight behind them and come to a stop. Luckily, I did remember this bit of advice and managed to keep my grip, though I did look like a snowman when I did stand up, much to the amusement of the instructor.

50 minutes and the ride was at end, my hands aching from holding on so tightly and my feet frozen from being constantly covered in snow. It was still truly a magnificent experience and one I would recommend if you ever have the chance. And aren't these dogs beautiful?

Sleigh Ride





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