Short Setup


I’ve been getting a ton of questions regarding my harnesses/mainlines/tugs/lack of necklines just lately, so I want to take some time here to explain my  “system” in greater detail for everyone.

First off, you have to realize that there are two distinct ways of looking at training/racing your team and finding your “personal power”. Of course not everyone is going to agree with this oversimplification, but I think most will recognize that is what I’m trying to do here…simplify.

In my opinion the two methods are:

1  Math/Science/Formula

2  Art/Philosophy/Religion

I am very much in the number 2 camp, and only indulge in borrowing conceptual ideas from the number 1 camp rarely if at all. Now, don’t take this to mean that I don’t have a grasp on the ‘Math’, it’s just that I don’t get my inspiration there. I’m a firm believer in trying to learn all that there is to learn on any given subject.

Now let’s look at my lines. Short harnesses/5′ 4″ gangline sections/8″ tugs/0 necklines.

If you are a member of the number 1 camp, then this setup is probably not going to add up, and I would never presume to tell you that my way is somehow better than your way. This is just the way I like to do things in my kennel, the way my dogs and I find our power.

As a proud member of the number 2 camp, I’ll give you an overview of some of the positives that I’ve seen with this setup, both in training and racing.

Less emphasis on ‘Forward Orientation’:  actually, almost no emphasis whatsoever. My dogs are going forward because they want to, not because they have to.

Freedom of expression: in my team, my dogs are free to basically behave however they’re inclined, especially when stopped.

Freedom to avoid obstacles: This includes soft corners as well as holes in the trail.

Easier navigation in severely rugged trails: my mainline is quite short, making it much easier to see my leaders at all times, as well as the fact that it’s just plain easier to get a 45′ team through an s-turn than a 75′ team.

More power: mind you, I’m not just rating power based on the teams ability to pull a truck out of the ditch, but looking also at the teams ability to stay powerful over a period of miles/days on the trail.

Summation: my team is always happy in this setup, free to be dogs and not forced to be union workers punching a time clock. This happiness results in better attitude/appetite/energy levels, and these factors in turn result in a team that is not only faster and stronger, but also much more fun to drive in the long run.

I know that the people who are in firmly in the number 1 school of thought are probably busy projectile vomiting right about now, and I’m not about to suggest that they should change their systems to adopt the one that I favor, not at all. I’m just putting out there what I like to do, and pointing out that I consider it a very ‘artistic’ approach as opposed to a ‘technical’ one.

Thanks for tuning in–more to follow….

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8 Responses to “Short Setup”

  1. thats a good read jason thanks for giving us a inside veiw

  2. Once again very enlightening…sort of a right brain/left brain take on how to view a situation…not being a musher myself but just having one canine friend…it still seems all about the relationship that you build as being the leader of the pack but still understanding the others’ strengths and weaknesses and building upon that…

  3. Harmony Barron Reply April 9, 2011 at 08:05

    Awwww, Clumber and Climate are so cute! And look at that beautiful green grass…

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