December 21, 2015

Skijoring Harness & Tow Rope

Steps have been made toward skijoring! This past week we were blessed with 2' of snow, and woke up Sunday morning to 6 more inches of fresh powder. If skijoring is ever going to happen, this is probably the winter for it. Our roads are PERFECT for skiing on.

The fresh snow left me chomping at the bit to get my harness figured out, so after mulling it over for a few days, I came up with a harness design that I think will work well. Hubs took JR skiing Sunday morning, which left me with some glorious alone mommy time (this was actually a tough one as I really wanted to go skiing too), so I headed down to our local ranch store and purchased some rope and a few findings that I thought I'd need to make attaching the ropes easier. When I got back, I spent a few minutes assembling everything and was really pleased with the outcome.

Without further adieu, I give you my Dressage Saddle Skijoring Harness & Tow Rope Set-up:

Side View
Top View
The rope around the saddle is 3/8" Nylon. I attached one end to a metal ring with a square knot, and the other end tied a square knot to a carabiner. The rope runs between the saddle flap and the panel. I did not use the D rings, as this didn't seem necessary or possible. In addition, the breast collar attaches to the D rings, so they are in use anyway.

*Bonus, the rope now works as an "oh s..t" handle! That might come in useful.

Back View, showing Tow Rope Attachment
The Tow Rope is 3/4" Nylon, 30' long. If we ever get into this competitively, then we will need a 50' rope for running courses with curves. I attached a metal ring to the end of the rope and a carabiner. I was conflicted about this, thinking maybe I should use a panic snap instead, but in the end decided to go with the carabiner for human safety reasons. I don't want the thing randomly snapping free mid run.

Once it was all set up, I decided to hand walk Gentry around the paddock with the rope dragging to see how he'd react. Like everything else he completely took it in stride.

"Okay, so it's a rope. What now human?"

Viewpoint of the Skijorer
You will note that I broke from my usual white/black color theme. Shocking right? I figured that we will only ever skijor in the winter and we may as well have fun an be festive. I am now envisioning adding sleigh-bells to the breast collar and using red splint and bell boots up front! Perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself; we have to test this setup first! Next up, time to book a babysitter and get Hubs on his ski's. Stay tuned...




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