This would be downhill skiing as opposed to some of the ways I’ve seen people being pulled on skis by a horse.

Michael and his coach

Michael, one of our riders has been part of the Special Olympics ski club for several years. This year his parents were very proud of him, winning two medals in the Winter Special Olympics last month.
Besides the cross training that skiing and horseback riding have – building core muscles, strengthening leg muscles, building confidence, and a sense of satisfaction, both also help increase mental awareness, especially focus. Both sports require that you know where you want to end up and focus on getting there.
In our riding classes, we frequently weave cones or poles, taking points off if the horse/rider steps on a cone or knocks over a pole. So the slalom run in skiing isn’t much different. Focus on getting between the poles as quickly as possible.
We also do trail classes, where the riders follow a pattern of turns and obstacles. Michael’s dad said that Michael was the only one to complete the run correctly. The other skiers missed the last 90 degree turn at the end of the run.
Good job Michael!
And when Michael returned to riding after our winter break, I could see that he had more confidence in steering his horses as well. Looks like cross-training horseback riding with skiing is a great way to go.

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