The first sledge-ride of our horse+reindeer team this season!
During long and dark autumn evenings, our masters were preparing new sledges for reindeer riding, and finally the first ride of the season has taken place lately.
Why were the reindeer accompanied by a horse? First of all, because the reindeer were still learning how to pull the sledge at the right speed, to obey the musher and turn in the right direction, while Buyan - a well-trained and highly experinced working horse - has a master's degree in it. After several training sessions with Buyan, the reindeer were ready to try to work by themselves, though with not so heavily loaded sledges so far :)
Reindeer are animals with a fine mental organization, they are prone to panic and require very careful attitude. Reindeer keepers need a lot of patience and great skills to train the reindeer to pull the sledge, to understand the signals given with the reins and to obey the musher. Our reindeer have been trained successfully by the very kind and experienced trainers Mikhail and Maria Khrobostov.