I mentioned awhile back that I was going to train Kaia to skijor. Yeah. Well. That wasn't in the budget this winter. And snowshoeing and winter hiking fit the bill so we stuck with that.
Then the other week neighbors with a husky told us about a husky meet-up.
The meet-up group does urban mushing. This Saturday we headed out to an urban trail nearby to see how Kaia would do with it. Matt didn't think she would pull. She can be a slow poke and very distractable because there is so much important sniffing, and bird and squirrel hunting, to attend to on walks. I had hope though.
The organizer had extra pulling harnesses for her to try. We suited her up and paired her with another newbie, Ginger, for her first run.
Ginger and Kaia had trouble getting on track. They were not the ideal mushing team.
Eventually we tried Kaia by herself and she started to get the hang of it. For the first mile she did a lot of trotting and looking back at us, like what the heck is this about. We praised her when she stayed in a straight line.
Occasionally she got distracted by the birds. Not a surprise. It wasn't as much of a problem as I thought it would be.
And then she was paired with another dog and hit her stride. They left me in the dust. I sat on a bench for a half an hour. Next time we're bringing our bikes so we can keep up with her.
When we met up again, she'd pulled for over an hour and had a happy stride.
She mushed for over an hour, and I'm pretty sure she could have kept going. Her eyes looked drowsy and happy.
We bought the harness. This week we're going to fix up our bikes for the season. We're hoping we can get her trained enough that one of us could bikejor with her, and the other could lead in front to keep her chasing. I can see us out biking a lot together this summer - early or late in the day though to keep her from overheating.
On the way home she took a little rest, with her head resting on the sunroof.