I might be in the Iditarod.

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by gaited horse, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. gaited horse

    gaited horse Merry Christmas!

    Aug 14, 2008
    Fernley, NV
    I am prolly going to get a dog sled team and run the race in about 10 yrs or so.
    does anyone have any tips of how I can start getting ready?
     
  2. lorieMN

    lorieMN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2008
    montevideo,MN
    well,I dont believe just anyone can show up and race it,,at least a few years ago you had to qualify in I think 3 other races first,for that given year and they give you a list of the ones you can qualify at..I have friends that run sled dogs,be prepared if you want to do it seriously,its an everyday no matter what job to train them dogs and yourself,and be prepared to "cull" dogs that dont have the stuff to get the job done..a good lead dog will save your life so take extra care with that one..its not something to take on lightly,,it would be a good idea if you can find someone that allready runs dogs in your area,see if they will help you in exchange for free labor,
     
  3. mjdtexan

    mjdtexan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2008
    Houston(ish)
  4. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Move to where there is enough snow to run sled dog teams.
     
  5. gaited horse

    gaited horse Merry Christmas!

    Aug 14, 2008
    Fernley, NV
    Quote:Yes that is an mportent step. I am prolly moving to Idaho in five years. I will then start sledding and that will leave me five more years to prepare.
     
  6. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    11,973
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    Oct 13, 2007
    California
    Quote:Yes that is an mportent step. I am prolly moving to Idaho in five years. I will then start sledding and that will leave me five more years to prepare.

    [​IMG] move here! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I love watching the iditarod, but those folks are truly NUTS for real! [​IMG]
     
  7. gaited horse

    gaited horse Merry Christmas!

    Aug 14, 2008
    Fernley, NV
    Quote:Yes that is an mportent step. I am prolly moving to Idaho in five years. I will then start sledding and that will leave me five more years to prepare.

    [​IMG] move here! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I love watching the iditarod, but those folks are truly NUTS for real! [​IMG]

    Maybe I will stay in Idaho in the summer and Nebraska in the winter?
     
  8. snowydiamonds

    snowydiamonds Chillin' With My Peeps

    You'll have to train year 'round, not just in the winter. I live in Nome, the end of the Iditarod Trail Race and mushers have their teams pull all year so in summer the dogs are hooked up to a four wheeler instead of a sled. You'll have to have a lot of gear for the dogs, sled, yourself, along with absolute optimum feed for yourself and the team as you'll be expending a lot of energy. It is all very costly in money, mind, body, soul and is a great sacrifice in lifestyle. It becomes your life- you do not have much left over for anything else to obtain this kind of goal. You'll have to have the patience to develope your dogs into very well trained beings, not only as a team but individually, where they listen to every command so they are reliable in every situation. You'll have times when you run into health problems with yourself and the dogs, individually and as a group- injuries- viruses, etc.

    The large amount of dogs involved in this race ensures flu like symptoms from viruses for both the drivers and the teams of dogs, it is very physically and mentally stressful. Irritable bowel symptom is a given for both humans and dogs. This leads to dehydration, this race is all about stamina and great athletes. Save up some money asap and take a plane ride over Alaska- from Anchorage to Nome...see exactly what you will be dealing with, with your own eyes...I've lived in Alaska fifty four years and I've trained a dog team who ended up to be "wheezers" out of a female from George Attla's team- he said she was a good dog for a team but her pups were "no good." My dad didn't listen and bred her anyway for me to raise the team from those pups. Their throats closed off when they exerted themselves so they wheezed for breath. Awesome dogs but only good for a pleasure team, not allowed by their body to be anything other than a good, pleasurable but slow team.

    My dad and the team I raised ended up as the main team and character (if you saw him from the back, not faceward) in the movie made of Interior's famous Sprint Racer, George Attla. The movie is called: Spirit of the Wind. Our leader was a long haired Malemute cross who was my dad's pet, named Tobuk. Long haired huskies are no good for racing, they overheat. Salmon River was the sprint racer Siberian cross female with long legs George gave to my dad and the dam of the pups.

    George went to races in Colorado and possibly Minnesota when I was raising the pups in Twin Lakes, Colorado (high altitude- versus going down to sea level to have faster, athletic dogs...?idea?) so he got to see them when they were young and then when the pups were adults, too, when the movie was being made here in Alaska. First thing he said was; "You guys never listened!" I had to agree, no, my dad did not listen, even though I said George wouldn't have said it if it wasn't important. I was 18 years old and my dad wanted me to be the first woman to win the Iditarod. I didn't ever have the heart to kill those wonderful dogs and then began settling down and raising my family so never did try, ever again to raise a team or want to put them thru the stress of such a race.

    When my third son was born in April 1983, the following year in March 1984 I was once again down at the dog lot, walking among those awesome athletes, the dogs, who were sleeping on straw, exhausted, bruised and beginning to stiffen up (you have to run them on short runs around Nome after the race because you cannot just stop, their and your bodies scream for the exercise so you begin slow, get to your top level for the race and then have to back on down, it all takes time, lots of time... well, my year old boy was on my back inside my parka and I was walking in admiration of these dogs, protecting them as they slept, giving water to those who needed it (a 24 hour watch is needed from volunteers) and here comes the drunken party-ers who throng to see the end of the race, spend their time in the bars lined up on Front Street, heavy and heeled boots on, running in their crazed state of drunkeness and these awful men who did nothing other than sit at the bars, compared to these dogs who just put their lives and souls in to this long and near death experience to finish this race, and these men are running and stomping on top of these dogs bodies! I stood watch all night and tried to keep the other men out, and it broke my heart and angered me so badly that someone in any state of mind to show such ignorance and show no respect at all...

    Ever since 1984 there has been a gate surrounding the dogs to protect them with volunteers on watch 24 hours a day/night for the recouperation of these great athletes and most are shipped out, back home, asap...where they are once again driven in teams daily, to see if they can keep up the stamina needed to be in the team or be cut out and replaced by another top athlete who must also continue to prove itself, daily, yearly. It takes committment and dedication, no laziness but giving your all, mind, body and soul. Tons of money is spent and that is not counting what expenses you have for gas, oil, a place to live, electricity or water for bathing, your garbage, etc. And don't ever abandon your dogs for "just a short trip" or a few days because you will end up with a problem. You have to have someone watch them and exercise them if you will not be there every single day and night. Someone reliable, too. And, don't take the cave man approach and beat your dogs with a chain or a club, nor a whip...those intelligent dogs will give their lives for you every single day with just a whisper, no need to shout and beat. They are all individuals and worthy of praise and encouragement, kindness, love, respect and teamwork, its what they live for...
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  9. gaited horse

    gaited horse Merry Christmas!

    Aug 14, 2008
    Fernley, NV
    Quote:Thank you for the tips. I will never use the cave man approch. I am wondering if I could use a border collie as a lead dog?
     
  10. snowydiamonds

    snowydiamonds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sure, why not??? If you would like your herding dog to tangle your entire team line and chase your wheel dogs, the ones closest to the sled!!! LOL!!! Yep, you're sounding and looking in the minds eye as a beginner, making your first mistake;) hugs! Time to untangle a BIG mess you've got going on now... lol... you've got me getting ready for work (4pm to midnight shift) with a BIG grin on... sorry I've got to get ready to leave for work right now, just when the getting was good;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009

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