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.