Sunday, 24 November 2013

Kicking a little snow!

After a real cold snap of -33 the day before, we were treated to a day time high temperature of +3C the day the Grey Cup was played in Regina.  Since the game didn’t start until around supper time. I thought it a perfect opportunity to get out with the kicksled. I headed out to  Lianne’s  place where her  yard  had just been freshly cleared.  The yard and the approaching lane provided a pretty good surface for our maiden run. 

One of my 1st concerns was  how to hitch the sled bridal to the sled.  I had seen a few pictures of kicksleds that had rings welded to the top part of the runners.  My thought was to try using a couple of  rings that are attached to Velcro that were made to hold water buckets in soft sided crates with metal tubing.  So we fastened them securely, then attached the bridal and ganglines.  Reese was going to be the 1st to give it a try, I doubted that Nugget being smaller would be able to pull the sled and I on her own. 

Reese did great at being harnessed as she is used of standing still for drafting.  Once hitched , Lianne stood a short distance away with a target and some treats and she fairly effortlessly pulled.  We did this several times and lengthened the distances we had her pull.  Lianne and I took turns riding the sled .   
Reese seemed to be doing well, so I brought Nugget out and hitched her up.  Again not to many problems with hitching and getting them to stand with the “line out”.  On the cue of “hike” they took off, but very quickly Reese started to hang back letting Nugget do most of the pulling.  We had the idea of unhooking Nugget from the sled, but leaving her attached to Reese by the neckline.  Reese was still attached to the sled.  This was even worse, at one point Nugget was actually dragging Reese who in turn was dragging the sled. 

What I learned is that Nugget can definitely  pull on her own.  Also after  talking to Erin, she told me that probably Reese just needs to gain confidence on her own before adding the Nugg.  So next  outing, I will do some one dog pulling with Reese.  Erin also said that using a quad that will stay just ahead of them can also be useful in getting the dog to move out.

We also hitched Torque, Em and Sonny up.  Using the target to get  them going, and  a person calling, worked fairly well for our 1st time out.  Torque took me for a ride while Lianne called, and HOLY CRAP…all I can say is weeeeeeeeeeee!

 More Winter fun to come for sure.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Sparks away!

Today was the maiden run with the kicksled.  I loaded Reese , Nugget and the sled and then headed to White Butte trails.  I was happy that I could fit both dogs and the sled into the Orlando, with a bit of tweaking the loading and unloading will go smoother.

This outing was to find my snow legs and so I didn’t harness the dogs.  My plan is to harness Reese first and once she has the hang of it , add Nugget for some extra dog power.

There is a winter walking trail at White Butte  that is fairly wide.  The middle of the trail was packed by the foot traffic.  I started out in the fresh snow, but quickly found that the more packed the snow was the faster I could go.  The dogs were thrilled to be out for a run and over all did pretty good. We went about 4 times further then I would have been able go if I were walking in a quarter of the time.  Neither of the dogs were too thrilled about stopping for a picture, but it gave me a chance for a breather.  The kicking is a wonderful work out and a huge amount of fun.