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Hang On to That Horse!

by Laura Overdeck

Riding horses is speedy and exciting. So is skiing. What if you put the two together? As our fan Michael L. just shared with us, there’s a whole crazy sport called skijoring that does exactly that. The skier straps 2 long, smooth boards called “skis” to his or her feet, and holds a 30-foot rope tied to a horse. The horse starts running, and the skier hangs on for dear life while being pulled across the snow. As this video shows, the horse gallops down a course while the skier zooms around poles, grabs hanging hoops, and tries not to fall down. Skijoring, which means “ski driving” in Norwegian, began first with dogs. But horses are much faster: sled dogs can run 15 miles an hour tops, while a horse can run 30 mph or more. That’s why you need to hang on!

Wee ones: The skier wears 2 matching skis. Try to spot 2 things in your room that are exactly the same as each other.

Little kids: How many legs do the horse and skijorer have together?  Bonus: If you grab 6 hoops on your left arm, then 8 on your right, then 5 on your left, which arm caught more hoops in total?

Big kids: If you can ski 15 miles an hour on your own but twice as fast when pulled by a horse, how fast do you ski with the horse?  Bonus: Mystery number: We can’t tell you our horse’s top speed, but if you double it, add 2, and double it again, you get 208. How fast is the horse?












Wee ones: Answers could include socks, building blocks, pieces of Lego, or hair ties.

Little kids: 6 legs.  Bonus: More with the left, since it grabbed 11 while the right grabbed 8.

Big kids: 30 miles an hour.  Bonus: 51 miles an hour. That last doubling came from 104; before adding the 2, it had to be 102; and if it doubled to 102, it started at 51.

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