Back in the Saddle

Alaskan Sunset

Hello Rabid Readers, friends and fans, it has been a while since I submitted a post under my ‘Future Home’ category.

Over the past month or so a lot has gone on in the mushing experience up here in Alaska. About three weeks or so ago I took a 12 dog team out for my first night run of the season, on a trail that I had not been on before, and I was chasing a team in front of me on a sled that was not mine. You know what they say, when you are driving someone else’s car you don’t drive it like your own–well as soon as I came around a corner I lost my footing and slammed my right shoulder into a tree.

Not wanting to crash my friends sled I sacrificed my body for whatever reason. I am sure the sled would have been fine! Anyhow after the bump and run I finally caught up to my friend by literally running up his team’s behind and causing a huge tangle. I couldn’t set the snow hook because of the ice and it was dark enough that I didn’t see him stopped and I hadn’t turned on my headlamp yet.

Needless to say it took a LONG time to get the dogs untangled and lined out again and I wasn’t much help because of my broken wing.

I made it back to the dog yard pretty much with my foot on the drag the whole way because I could not steer to the right. It was the longest seven mile run of my life!

[ Rewind: Where You Going City Boy? ]

I took a few days off and then gradually added dogs to my team. I started with six, then ran eight for a while, then ten. My shoulder–well, I think I actually cracked my collar bone–is healed for the most part but still hurts when I jerk to the right.

The biggest bummer is I missed the opportunity to run in my first Iditarod qualifier, the Knik 200 this weekend. That’s okay we plan to do a camping trip on the river this weekend instead. I need the camping routine practice anyway!

I know what most of you are thinking– You are not a young pup anymore. Balderdash! I am only 39 years old and I don’t feel a day over 29! I have always thought to myself; when will I start acting and feeling like my dad? I just don’t feel old. Yes, I know my body is “telling” me it is getting old but not my mind.

Anyway, most of the people that get involved in the sport of mushing for the first time are much older than I am. Simple economics is the reason for that. This sport is hugely expensive and takes up vast amounts of time and a young pup trying to feed a couple youngin’s take care of a budding family is just not possible– at least in my opinion…

So I am back in the saddle again…

Gotta love that Aerosmith tune

Robert Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Dog Works Radio | Denver Dog Works


Dr. Robert Forto is a musher training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You Huskies and Dog Works Radio Shows

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About robertforto

Robert Forto is the owner of Dog Works Training Company in Alaska, a canine behaviorist, mushin' down a dream, sports nut and radio show host. Robert writes a lot about his observations in Alaska, pop culture, music, and of course dogs!

View all posts by robertforto

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3 Comments on “Back in the Saddle”

  1. Michele Forto Says:

    Nameless, faceless, idiots on twitter, worrying about this blog post changing the structure of New Years Eve, when honestly it comes down to a 4 day weekend full of binge drinking over eating and no sleep. New Year’s Eve is about reflecting on the year passing and hopefully not repeating the mistakes just made. – 2010 – plenty of mistakes were made – but most of us just see it as another reason to PARTY!



  1. 2010-11 Training Summary « Team Ineka Blog - May 4, 2011

    […] Read more about the collar-bone ride here […]

  2. 2010-11 Training Summary | Robert Forto - May 4, 2011

    […] Read more about the collar-bone ride here […]

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