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The life of a husky guide in Lapland. Part Two

Posted By Transun on 17/10/2014


This week we have the second instalment of our guest blog, Martin Saravin, our husky guide based in the heart of True Lapland. This week Martin describes how they train the huskies ready for the season.

“The first night that the temperature hit 0C, we knew that the season was very nearly upon us! The following day we began training at 5am. We have to feed the dogs at least two hours before they begin running so that they are able to digest the food properly and have enough energy to run. There were some puzzled (albeit) excited dogs when they were given food so early in the morning! Whilst the dogs were enjoying their food, we decided on team lists, which involves discussing the personalities of the dogs, how they will run together and what to expect from them. When the quad bike appeared after 2 hours outside the kennel to begin training, the dogs exploded into long howls and barks, excited for the day ahead. It is superstition that the first training of the season must go perfectly, so not too much pressure!


Picture Picture

The huskies howling with excitement
for their day of training!


Husky sledding through
the Arctic wilderness


We arranged for the dogs to have three stops along the course, which meant that they could have a break and drink some water, although the dogs were more than eager to continue on their run. The team included the most experienced runners and a combination of dogs that ran well together last season. We were all pleased with how smoothly it went and think that the dogs will be well prepared for the forthcoming season; it’s obvious just by watching them that they love to run. When the run was over and we reached the farm, the dogs were greeted with a feast and drank plenty of water, prepared by the rest of the staff, and they deserved every bite for how well they ran this morning!

As it was still early and the temperature remained close to freezing, we decided the second team of dogs would undergo their exciting training session. The dogs ran extremely well, however as time went on, the temperature began to increase, causing the dogs to slow. The second team completed the course, but there was a clear difference in the pace between the two teams, but they did a great job considering the rise in temperature.

As the dogs laid down to rest, the trainers all sat together to talk about how we could improve training for the season. It is really important for us to ensure that all the dogs are treated the same, so after lunch we arranged for the dogs who didn’t run in the morning to go to the running fence, so that they could get a bit of exercise in preparation for their run tomorrow.

We feed the dogs between 4-5pm every day, at this point I start to feel tired myself, but know that I will soon get used to it and I am excited for the season to begin. As the dogs finish their evening meal, they begin howling and that’s when I know it is time for my dinner and to rest for the evening. The chef in the hotel brings us food in the evening, something warm and filling – perfect after a day in the cold.


Picture Picture

Mushing your own team of huskies
is an exhilarating experience!


The huskies enjoying the
attention from our Transun clients!


Two weeks after our first training session and the dogs have come so far, each of them having completed the 18-24km route, with a clear focus and enjoyment in their running. We have mixed the teams and introduced new leaders to the groups. In order to increase the dogs’ pace, we have introduced another quad bike to help the huskies run up the hills, whilst this is a great method to help train the dogs ahead of the forthcoming season, it is not my favourite way to train. I cannot wait for the snow to fall so that we can begin training on the sleds, there is nothing better than being in Lapland, dog sledding and watching your team in front of you, running in unison. I hope that on one of our journeys out into the wilderness we will be met with a performance from the spectacular Northern Lights – that will be a truly unforgettable experience!”

Do you fancy husky rides in Lapland? Here at Transun we offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences deep in the Arctic Circle where you can mush your own team, and you never know, you, like Martin may witness the stunning Aurora Borealis on one of our excursions in the heart of True Lapland.

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