Skijoring Rules and Guidelines



  1. Competitors must be 7+ years old. 
  2. Competitors under 18 years must have a parental signature on waiver. All competitors must check in at the competition office & sign waivers on event day. Competitors may sign up as teams or as an individual. Individual competitors may sign up the day of the competition. The competition organizers will work to match individual competitors with a teammate (individual skiers* with riders or individual riders with skiers). The organizers however do not guarantee that there will be enough individual riders to team up with last minute skiers. If the organizers cannot find a last minute team mate the competitor will be refunded all entry fees. To guarantee a team please register and contact Valley Equestrian Centre (VEC) PRIOR to the event day.

*From here on the word SKIERS will encompass all skiers, snowboarders, and tobogganers.*

  1. Track marshals are to be obeyed at all times. Marshals may excuse any competitor (human or equine) from competition for behaving in an unsafe or unsound manner.
  2. Teams may compete in more than one event.
  3. Horses may only run on the large track THREE times throughout the day. Horses competing in walk/trot divisions may compete in these divisions any number of times and the walk/trot divisions will not count towards the total THREE RUNS/horse.
  4. A horse may be entered in the same class twice if it will be towing a different skier. If a horse is entered in a class twice this will still count towards it three total runs/day. If entering a horse twice in same class please contact Valley Equestrain Centre for how to proceed. 306-371-3319.
  5. All skiers must wear approved snow sport helmets and eye protection. Adult riders are strongly encouraged to wear helmets. Any rider under the age of 18 is REQUIRED to wear a helmet.
  6. No skier may tie rope to themselves, and no handles or loops are allowed at the end of the rope. See below for acceptable ways to hold rope. Recommend soft cotton type rope (easier to hold than a lasso).
  7. Staging between runs: Each team is allowed 3 minutes to complete staging & begin the race. After this allotted time has expired, the competitors will be asked to leave the staging area & disqualified from that class. The allotted 3-minute time period will begin at the declaration of a clear track.
  8. Finishing the Race: The skier must finish in an upright position on at least one ski, with rope in hand when crossing the finish line. Both skier’s boots must cross the finish line.
  9. Course: No horses or skiers permitted on the course except during their designated run. A designated warm up/ practice area will be provided.
  10. Slalom: Run individually. Skier must go around (towards the outside of the track) each slalom peg/pylon. Both ski tips & both boots must go around a peg/pylon, or the peg/pylon is considered missed. 5 seconds will be added to the time for each peg/pylon missed.
  11. Sprint: Run individually. Whistle start.
  12. Jump Course: Run individually. Skier must jump all jumps on course. The horse will run straight down the middle of the track. The horse CANNOT touch any of the jumps. The jumps will be inviting and no more than 2ft high. There may be a "bonus" jump at end of course which will be larger and skiers have option to take it.
  13. Relay: Run individually (in this case one rider and two skiers). Whistle start. Rider must take skier one to skier two, skier one will let go and skier 2 will grab rope, rider will turn around a square bale and return the start line.
  14. Drag Race: (For all mini, walk/trot, and small pony divisions). Maximum 5 teams to compete at once. Whistle to start. The horse’s nose needs to cross the finish line and skier must be in accordance with above stated rules. For toboggans, the tobogganer must be IN the toboggan when crossing the finish line. If more than 5 entries in a drag race division there will be heats ran. The first and second place teams will qualify to face off in the final.


  1. SPRINT, JUMP, and RELAY: The horse’s nose must be behind the start line until the starter whistles. Starts will be recorded. Jumping the start will result in disqualification or restart. The Field judge shall have the final decision on if a horse jumps the start.
  2. DRAG RACE: Teams will draw post positions defined by numbered objects & cross the finish line in the same position. i.e. Lane one will be defined by bale 1 on the left, bale 2 on the right. Finishing outside of the assigned lane will result in disqualification.
  3. JUMP and SLALOM: A five second penalty is assessed for each missed jump or peg/pylon.
  4. JUMP, SLALOM, and RELAY: A five second penalty is assessed for any horse breaking the plane of any jump, hitting a peg/pylon, or hitting a timing device.
  5. ALL COURSES: Any horse or slider going outside the course boundary line is disqualified.


  1. JUMP, SLALOM, SPRINT and RELAY: Individual timed runs. Horseshoe track approx. 600m. Jumps not exceeding 2’ height, pegs/pylons, and banked corner. There is a 100m run out provided to give riders adequate time to stop horses.
  2. RELAY: Straight track out & back, approx. 600m (300 each way). Rider takes Slider 1 out across line, drops Slider 1, goes around bale, picks up Slider 2 & runs back in same track.
  3. DRAG RACE: Short wide track. approx 250m. The competitors will be assigned individual lanes and will be required to stay in lanes (lanes will be marked). Run out also provided.
  4. PONY AGILITY: Track will include tight turns and twists, and part of it will go through the corn maze. May have to maneuver around barrels or poles. Timed. 


  1. Horses to be ridden English or Western saddle. See below for acceptable ways to attach the rope to saddle. For Western the safest method is to simply dally rope around horn.
  2. Recommended that all horses wear breast collars.
  3. Ropes must be minimum 30 feet in length & maximum 50 feet in length. Recommend longer rope for individual events and short rope for the drag races. There will be ropes available to use at the competition, but be encouraged to bring what you are familiar with!
  4. Ropes must be 3/8 or larger in diameter. Soft ropes are easier to hold!
  5. Handles & loops are NOT permitted.
  6. Any rope not supplied by the event organizing committee must be inspected & approved by the Start Gate Official or Competition Office prior to the start of racing.
  7. All skiers must wear approved snow sport helmets.
  8. Helmets & protective vests are recommended for riders.
  9. Protective boots are recommended for horses.
  10. Ponies can be driven in full driving equipment or a more simple skijoring rig as pictured on the pony on the Rules and Guidelines page. Homemade set ups are acceptable as long as they are safe! Skiers/Boarders may use a skijoring harness. A variety of toboggans may be used. 


Good sportsmanship is important to the success of our event & the image of the sport in the community. Your registration signature pledges your word to the humane treatment of your horse & respectful relationships to all fellow competitors, staff & volunteers hosting this exciting competition. Safety is also of top most importance. Please ensure you bring a horse that is suited to this event and will be alright with the activity and seeing other competitors on skies and in toboggans. Failure to obey the marshals or comply with the spirit of friendly competition at any of the scheduled events may result in the disqualification of your team or your banishment from future competitions.

* Note, this is a large crowd event with an excited atmosphere, bright obstacles, and loud music/speakers. Please select horses accordingly.


All photography is welcome and encouraged! We will also be taking photos and posting them on the Valley Equestrian Centre Facebook Page. If you take photos for fun or professionally and would like to showcase your photos (if professionally we will make an album so that people can contact you to purchase your photos!) on the VEC Facebook page, please contact.

Riding in an English Saddle:

A breast collar is a good idea to stabilize your saddle during the initial start.  Once the skier is moving, there is actually not much pull on the saddle.

Video on an acceptable way to rig up an English Saddle:

A recommended piece of equipment to purchase for Skijoring is a FUSION QUICK RELEASE SNAP SHACKLE.

Attaching the rope to a Western Saddle:

The rope is attached to the saddle horn or behind the saddle. If the attachment is behind the saddle it must be secured to the primary rigging rings of the saddle via a narrow diameter, non elastic rope, so that pulling rope is within an approximate four (4) inches of the cantle, carabiner included.

A recommended piece of equipment to purchase for Skijoring is a FUSION QUICK RELEASE SNAP SHACKLE.

Register Now!

To contact Valley Equestrian Centre call 306-371-3319 or email