Skijoring is a sport that originated in Scandinavia. Very popular with the English at the beginning of the 20th century, it developed about twenty years ago in the Alps. The aim of this discipline is to combine horse and ski.
Ski-joëring, history of the discipline
Ski-joëring originated in Scandinavia. It allowed the inhabitants to move around more easily. Initially, reindeer were harnessed. In the Alps, it was the English, who loved equestrian disciplines, who developed the discipline during their holidays in Saint-Moritz. The first races took place in the early 1900s. Today, the resort is still a Mecca for skijoring and competitions are held on the frozen lake during the White Turf. The couples can reach speeds of up to 50 km/h.
Skijoring, a substitute lift during the development of skiing
In France, ski-joëring was particularly popular before the advent of ski lifts. Horses were used to pull skiers to the top of the slopes. It was only in the 1990s that the sport was revived. Today, there is a French skijoring championship and the instructors who accompany you on the activity must follow a recognised training course.
How is ski-joëring practiced?
Skijoring is a sport that is practiced in mountainous and snowy regions. In order to ensure a good glide, it is recommended to follow groomed routes. A specific harness is put on the horse. A harness allows the skier to lead the animal where he wants. To prevent the horse from slipping on the snow, it is equipped with special shoes. They are usually studded. The advantage is that the weight of the horse is distributed over several points. This means that the hoof can stay where it is placed without the risk of slipping.
Ski-joëring is also done with dogs
Skijoring is also practiced with dogs. You don’t need to be a musher to ski with a dog, you just need to have a four-legged friend who likes to run in the snow. And contrary to what you might think, it’s not only Nordic and sled dogs that have the skills. Just wait until your pet has finished growing and make sure it is strong enough for skijoring.
Where to skijoring near Annecy?
More and more ski resorts are offering skijoring. It must be said that with the closure of the ski lifts during the winter of 2020-2021, holidaymakers have been obliged to try out new activities. We propose you to discover which are the resorts proposing to initiate you to ski-joëring in Haute-Savoie and nearAnnecy:
Resorts offering skijoring in Savoie and Isère
The resorts of Haute-Savoie are not the only ones to offer ski-joeranging. Here is a small overview of those in Savoie and Isère:
- Val Cenis
- Les Sybelles
- La Féclaz
- Les Arcs
- La Plagne
- Les 2 Alpes
- L’Alpe d’Huez
- Les 7 Laux
Our advice to start ski-joerring
Having tested skijoring ourselves, here are some tips to help you get started. First of all, trust the horse. Even if it doesn’t have power steering, it is trained and knows its job. He won’t take you straight into the ditch. We also recommend that you do the activity in the morning. The snow is harder and you will slide better. Your horse will also produce less effort and will enjoy galloping in the fresh air even more. Don’t forget your ski equipment, including helmet, and dress warmly. As far as the level of skiing is concerned, it is generally required to have the first star to start skijoring.