Most Americans have heard of horse jumping and dog agility, both increasingly popular sports that we enjoy with our pets. Two similar activities that are new to the United States are rabbit hopping and rabbit agility, both fun ways for pet rabbits and their humans to enjoy some active play together.
Rabbit hopping consists of a series of lightweight bar jumps, usually set up in a straight line. The jumps resemble miniature versions of those used for dog jumps, and are placed over soft matting to protect the bunny. The distance between is carefully set up by the rules set forth by the American Hopping Association for Rabbits and Cavies.
Rabbit hopping is an easy sport for most people to try. The only requirements are an H style harness, a lead, and of course, a bunny that likes to jump. Some breeds are natural jumpers, like the English Spot, Holland Lop, and most Dutch, too. Some are less agile and might not make good hoppers, such as the English Lop which have long ears that might get caught, and the Flemish Giant which is a very heavy breed. Rabbits don’t have to be purebred; mixed breeds have just as much fun as purebreds.
Some rabbit shows ( see ARBA.net for information on shows) are scheduling fun rabbit hopping competitions with their shows. Rabbit hopping specific clubs are also being formed in many areas where people can go with their rabbits to train together and enjoy the fun with others.
It’s also possible to put together your own equipment and invite a few friends to join you in your backyard. PVC is a good choice, but other lightweight materials can also be used. For more details, see Jumps
Rabbit hopping is a good first step toward rabbit agility, a sport that includes more obstacles. Join our email list to be notified of our rabbit agility article, coming soon!
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