Thursday, January 5, 2012

Partnership with ZERO DC and Their Revolutionary Harnesses

If feels like Christmas - a huge box arrived from Czech Republic! It contained 12 brand new ZERO DC harnesses of the model, called FASTER

These revolutionary, very unique harnesses are actually nothing new to us and our huskies - we´ve been using them regularly for the third season in a row.

As every musher in the learning and growing process, I have learned, that there is no one single harness design that would fit perfectly to every single sled dog in the whole wide world, and I have learned about the necessity of circulating different designs of harnesses with different materials and different pressure points, when training with the intensity and volume that long distance racing requires.

In the twenty plus years of mushing, I have tried many different harness makes and learned about a few that fit perfectly my dogs, are of a top quality material and make, do the least harm when used frequently and long term, are light, water resistant and highly reflective even after a lot of wear and heavy use in mud, water, ice and snow. There are four such harness labels (designs), that answer these demands and take to all that kind of abuse, that we have tested and that we use regularly the entire year and throughout the whole training season. 

Zero DC FASTER harness is one of them. In fact, the idea to try it came from the constant problems with developing harness rubs on the dogs´ armpits in the middle of intense fall training. 

So three years ago I called Dagmar Nesnerova, successful Czech sprint musher and the lady who invented the FASTER harnesses. She readily agreed to send some samples and we´ve been using FASTERS ever since. As a matter of fact, this is our third season in a row and we are still using the very first ones Dagmar sent us! They are all beat up, but they still do the job!

Last year we also became authorized distributors of FASTER harnesses and other ZERO DC sortiment for Sweden. If you want to try these harnesses, please send us a message, we will be glad to help you with information and to find the right size for your dog, and we can redirect you to your respective distributor in your country, if you are not from Sweden. You can find them in our internet sled dog shop.

So, what makes these harnesses so special? 

First of all, it is the unique anatomy of the harness itself. The design doesn´t allow the side straps to go right up the armpits, instead, the arched "bow" is attached to the side strap, which pulls rather downwords and straight instead of up. 

Secondly, the entire harness is made to allow the dog to completely lean into it in the most natural and comfortable position, while pulling. It gives the dog a huge support on the breast and generally helps the dog to ease his pulling job. 

The back on this harness is open. Similarly to the H-back Taiga harness, the FASTER harness has no straps across the back, leaving the dog´s back and spine untied, allowing it´s free movement and better development of back muscles. This prevents the dog from various back muscle injuries and soreness.
The weight of this harness is extremely light, it is water resistant and highly reflective on majority of areas - around the neck, side and back straps.

Last but not least, the materials used and the cleanness of sewing is highly comfortable, soft and supportive for the dog, not causing any unnecessary pressure points and spots that would rub against the dog´s body parts.

We learned that among our dogs, the most used sizes are SL (a half size between XS and S), S, M, L and XL. But Dagmar is kind and very willing to even custom make them to fit any dog.

After three years of hard and heavy use, it became obvious that our huskies deserve new ones and Dagmar with her husband Jiri, were so kind that they decided to help us with our race season and sponsored us with a whole new batch of FASTER harnesses for the racing team! Not only are they in our team blue color, but as you have noticed, they have Czech and Swedish flags embroidered so we can represent in style!

Among the harnesses, we also found two great sports hats and a bunch of stylish ZERO DC patches, which are gradually being sown on to our jackets, hats, sled bags and other gear.

Huge THANK YOU Dagmar and Jirka of ZERO DC for your wonderful support!

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