CE 618-907

It is clear that Luther suspects that the references to horses’ hoofs is in reality a reference to (or explanation for) the swiftness with which these people ran over the snow, and that they use poles to accomplish this. He tells us that it was not until about 1000 CE that Europeans realised that “Skridfinns” were skiers and vaguely what “ski-ing” was about, though the Chinese had earlier come to that realisation:

‘… amongst the Mongols and the ancient Turks, whom we now number amongst the earliest ski-ing peoples, the horse was pre-eminently the symbol of strength and speed… the T’ang-sku, the official history of the T’ang dynasty (A.D. 618-907), says of Mongol-Turkish tribes: “When the snow falls, they hunt game on wooden horses… Turks are accustomed to skim over the ice on so-called wooden horses, that is, on sledges (or runners) which they bind to their feet to run over the ice… they take poles as supports, and push themselves rapidly forward.” ‘ 5