On Learning a New Skill


Oh gosh, it is humbling isn’t it?!  My mother-in-law surprised me with a skijoring set-up for Christmas this year, and Waylon and I have had a blast with it.  This is a new skill for me, skijoring, and let me tell you it is not quite as easy as it looks, but it is twice as fun as you would imagine.  While I have skied my whole life, there is something quite different about being pulled up a steep, un-groomed track by a four-legged energy machine (that would be Waylon, our GSP).  There is something extraordinarily thrilling and invigoratingly alive about it.    Something beautifully free and primally wild, and something I have become quite addicted to.  But as I’m sure you all know, with learning a new skill there also comes some pretty humbling moments.  Ones of tangled body parts and askew sunglasses and beanies decorating the trail-side, that you somehow have to figure out how to retrieve; while collecting your skis and poles, and all the while managing your dog… whose only mission on this excursion is to pull you up that dang hill as fast as he possibly can!

This is all part of what makes it such an amazing sport though.  That connection of dog to human and that syncing of energies, is really an amazing feeling.  I think this sport is exactly what I needed to motivate myself to get out this winter and explore some new areas.  We live in a very small town, with our nearest friends about 40 minutes north, so most days I am independently free to explore an entire National Forest with rarely seeing another soul. I love the solitude small towns afford me, and am always grateful for the opportunities to experience these beautifully quiet and relatively untouched areas.  As I follow behind the steady clip of my dogs powerful stride, I always think of one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books, Oh the Places You’ll Go …

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Photo credit to PB!


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Patrick took this short video of a skijor we did the other evening out on one of the closed Forest Service roads near our home…enjoy!

Out Skijoring!


8 thoughts on “On Learning a New Skill

  1. Looks like a great time for both you and Waylon! I love the idea of human and dog working, (playing), so closely together. Have fun!!

  2. so exciting!….learning a new skill, with you pooch at your side, er, FRONT….!

    back when i mushed dogs [in the 80s, here in alaska] there were a few novel-thinkers, running teams of labradors, skijoring hounds, etc. it was always fun to watch them GO!!!!

  3. Really interesting to see a GSP “working” in a very different fashion! Do you use him for more traditional HPR stuff as well or is he a pet who likes to pull people around? We’ve got our first GSP at the moment (after a family history full of spaniels, labs and collies) and he’s shaping up to be a cracking wee tracking dog.



    • Hi Sam,

      We do use him as a bird hunting dog primarily, I’ve just found skijoring to be a fabulous way to wear him out when he’s not hunting! Have fun with your new pup, they are true lovers and incredibly hard workers, those GSP’s.



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