Mushing Clinics 2018/19
Polar Quest mushing clinics offer both the beginner or experienced musher a wonderful opportunity to broaden your knowledge base and expand your mushing experience. We run specific training courses focused on racing, kennel management and all things sled dog, as well as multi day trips in the stunning mountains of Northern Sweden. Come and enjoy the wonderful marked trails of over 250km that take you through forests, lakes and mountains. There are also groomed sprint trails that vary from 5km to 10km loops, great for skijoring and also a 20km open class sprint loop on the lake. We have 40 Alaskan Huskies for you to mix and match teams and practice training long distance days to short, fast sprint runs. Each day we run different trails, often stopping at cabins along the way to warm up, eat and take breaks. The landscape here offers a variety of challenges and is suitable for both beginners and experienced mushers.
What will I learn
We usually start out with first time sled drivers double sledding, that is you drive a sled that is attached to another driven by one of us. That will be on a lake, so a nice flat & groomed trails system and usually with 18 dogs. It gives you time to get a "feel" for a sled, the snow and to see a large team working. That would normally be the first day and by afternoon everyone should be confident to safely drive a 4/6 dog team. Once that is mastered, we can progress to some more challenging trails. We have roughly 250 km of our own trails that we mark and pack with several small cabins along the way for lunch stops. Most trails are loops between 30 & 50 km but can be linked. We also have an additional 150km high mountain trail. Needless to say we can certainly log you some sled miles through spectacular scenery.
We can cover as many topics as you have capacity to absorb in your stay with us! We do prioritize the following however that are always presented in a balance of hands on instruction & demonstration.
• Understanding sled dogs & concepts of driving dogs.
• Safe sled handling..safe for the dogs, safe for the musher.
• Basic winter skills, staying warm, hydrated etc in sub zero conditions.
• Ice safety, crossing frozen lakes, rivers and dealing with extreme winter conditions.
• Aspects of dog team training, conditioning, muscle group development, nutrition.
• Dog evaluation, choosing & training leaders, determining dog placement in a team.
• Various ways to run dogs, line configuration, harness types.
• Introduction to distance mushing & racing.
• Introduction to sprint mushing & racing.
• Introduction to ski-joring.
• Sleddog first aid, injury avoidance & injury treatment. Basic kennel management concepts.
In our kennel of 40 dogs we have a variety of dogs, all Alaskan Huskies. Many are bred from several dogs I brought over with me from Alaska and we have "normal" race size/type dogs, parentage from Lance Mackey, then we have some large "expedition" dogs, they have a little Greenland blood in them, and are large, circa 40kg. We don’t sell dogs, give dogs away nor euthanize dogs (without a clinical reason) and while all dogs are running, they are first and foremost "family" We have lots of good leaders and we train and encourage all our dogs to lead. We run an "open" style line, that is we use short harnesses and never run with necklines, all for reasons we can demonstrate if you run dogs with us.