My partner and I went on a 1-hour dog sledding session yesterday, and it was a lot of fun. The drive to the ranch had some small hills, which our poor pathetic rental car had a tough time on, so if it's snowy, make sure you have your snow tires! It was beautiful sledding through the woods, and the dogs were adorable. Definitely dress warmly - feet and hands especially. Those little warming packets are definitely worth bringing.
The one negative part about this entire experience was that I constantly felt like I was about to get in trouble, or that I was doing something wrong. Early on in the ride, maybe 10 minutes in, two of our dogs started fighting, to the point where I was worried my sled would run into them. So I stopped (as we had been told to do if anything went wrong). One of the dogs was actually bleeding. Our host (who I assume was Brad? He never introduced himself) trudged up the hill, and immediately yelled at me, saying "Why did you stop?" I was taken aback. "Never stop - if you keep going, they'll sort themselves out. Never stop!" He then roughly pushed the dogs back into formation - I was a little shocked at how mad he seemed.
This type of thing happened a few times. At one point, I was apparently not braking hard enough, and I got yelled at again: "When I ask you to brake, you put both feet on the brake. You do NOT just step one foot on the brake." Another time, we were turning the sleds around, and I apparently didn't step far back enough because he actually physically pushed me out of the way, yelling "get BACK. Hurry up." The sled hadn't actually started moving yet, so it wasn't like he was pushing me out of danger. I was simply not moving fast enough for him. I found myself getting anxious every time he approached, afraid we would be in for another yelling session for not doing something perfectly.
Being a first time dog sledder, and after reading all the amazing positive reviews about how friendly the host was, I was very disappointed. We did have an unfortunate hiccough at the beginning of the ride which may have set him off in a bad mood. I can also understand that in this business, you might get a lot of stupid people doing unsafe things. But our mistakes were all honest first-timer mistakes that didn't compromise anyone's safety - his behaviour towards us was unwarranted.
I hope other people have a positive experience with this group. For us, we will not be returning.
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