Wait, I can skijor with my own dog?
We now turn to the question everyone is itching to ask -- the answer is yes. Those of you wishing to BYOD will need a pup weighing at least 30lbs (preferably 35), at least one year old, and generally healthy. You yourself should be at least somewhat comfortable on cross-country skis. You can check out a breakdown of the standard equipment here.
“If heading out on your own, look for dog-friendly parks with multi-use trails or trails that have not already been groomed specifically for cross-country skiers,” Knutson advises.
And for everyone else who wants to take the guesswork and/or animal ownership out of the equation, you can try one of these.
Triple Creek Ranch, Montana
Equestrian skijoring is a bit more prevalent in Montana than it is most other places in the country. No matter their skill level, guests at Triple Creek -- near Montana’s Western border -- can try skijoring behind a horse as one of the ranch’s all-inclusive activities (so, no extra charge if you’re already there).
The Resort at Paws Up, Montana
This resort recently introduced skijoring to its guests, boasting a trail specifically designed for competitive training, resembling an obstacle course of sorts. Guests ages 12 and up can try an hour and a half of equestrian skijoring for $200.
Devil’s Thumb Ranch, Colorado
For those of you wanting to try skijoring with a dog (yours) rather than a horse (any), this ranch will rent you doggy-skijoring equipment for $20, plus regular clinics you can take to improve your skills. Enjoy the many miles of trails nestled around the base of Colorado’s Continental Divide.
Loppet Foundation, Minnesota
If you can provide your own skis and dog, expert skijorer Torrey Swanson will lead you in an introductory session (free; don’t need the dog yet) followed by a session out on the snow ($40; you may fetch your dog now).