So what is skijoring?

For a sport that can be found almost anywhere there are horses, skis, and snow, it remains obscure. Here are the basics.

Though courses and rules differ from host to host, competitions are timed races on set courses that typically include gates, jumps, and hanging rings. A rider on horseback pulls the skier, who must turn at the gate, go over the jumps, and spear the rings with a handheld baton. Time penalties are assessed for missing jumps or gates or for missing or dropping any of the rings. A team is also charged a penalty if a skier drops the baton or if a skier, rider, or horse knocks a ring off the support. A team is given credit for any ring that’s displaced during the run, knocked off its rigging by wind, snow clumps from the horse hooves, and so on. 

A “clean run,” without any penalties, is needed to win. The skier must be on at least one ski and holding the towrope, and the rider must be on horseback when crossing the finish line. Protests—you are mixing cowboys and skiers, after all—must be presented to the course director before the next team enters the course.

Long Read: Skijoring might be the most dangerous ride on snow

Ebbie Hansen and Zeek the Greek pull hard as Aaron Griffen takes a tight line around a gate.

Ebbie Hansen and Zeek the Greek pull hard as Aaron Griffen takes a tight line around a gate.


A hike just outside the resort’s boundary rewards Wittstock with a powder field all to himself.

Vertical Reality

Extreme terrain—the likes of which most resort skiers have never seen outside of ski flicks—is in abundance at B.C.’s Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.

Last Chair: Out on Top tout

Last Chair: Out on Top

After nearly 20 years leading the U.S. Ski Team, Bill Marolt will retire following the Sochi Olympics. "Best in the World" remains his mantra—and, he hopes, his legacy.

double chair

What do you love?

Yeah, we all love skiing. Obviously. That’s why we’re here. For the face shots and the glory and the self-congratulatory après stories. But it’s really the little things that make it.

Alastair Machell

Booted Up

Running a marathon is no small accomplishment. Now try running one in ski boots. Alastair Machell did.