Setting Up The Agility Course
Your training area needs to be as flat and even as you can find. Holes for the rabbit and or you to fall in do not have to be explained....the same goes for rocks in the area for you to trip on.
If you have an area that is barren, all the better...your rabbit will not be distracted by a clover leave tempting it.
Everyone likes a nice large area to set up in, but even a small area can be used. Just make sure that the pieces of equipment are set up far enough a part as to not wear out or strain your rabbit's muscles. In a smaller area you may not be able to set up all your Agility Equipment Pieces at once, but you could still set up and reset the course as you train. If you can fence in the area all the better.
You also need to keep the area nice. Keep the grass low, keep poop picked up (dog and cat especially), keep wear areas covered, ect. This helps keep the area safe for your and your animals.
If you look closely at our Agility Area in the photo, you can see our llamas and goats, we call them, Grounds Keepers, manicuring our Agility Area.
If you are lucky enough to have a large hall to train your rabbit in, count yourself blessed. Setting up halls or rooms with Agility Equipment and Training there is sure a plus on rainy, very windy and cold days!
At first, don't have the TV on or other people around. Later, adding the distractions can give you an "edge" when at Competition or Exhibition.
SETTING UP YOUR COURSE FOR THE RABBITS
When setting up your course keep in mind that the rabbit will need some room between each piece for striding. If you set your jumps too closely it will be hard on the animals joints and muscles. Set up the jumps so that the animal has room to take a few steps between, not so that it is jump, hit, jump, hit, hump hit....
Make your course fun and non tedious for your rabbits. Since this is an Agility Course and not a Rabbit Hopping Course, you do not want to have jump, jump, jump, jump. You might set it up to be a Jump, Teeter Totter, Jump, Weave Polls, Jump, Jump, Tunnel. If you shake it up a bit, not only will it be more fun for the animal it will not wear them out as quick.....jump, jump, jump, jump.
When setting up your training course for your rabbit(s), change it up. Do not always set the course up the same. This way when you do go to Rabbit Agility Competition, your rabbit will not be confused, but will be willing to run the course... otherwise, if you set up your course the same each time, that is just what the rabbit will expect.
If you have an area that you could set up your permanent Agility Area, all the better. If you could fence it, even better. But marking the area, as I am working on in this photo, sets perimeters for the animals you are working. I use this are for many different species of animals to learn agility within. I am able to set up different sizes of equipment there and leave it. It saves a lot of set up and take down time. I also use the tires for cats and dogs as part of their training. My Equine Agility Area is in another place... the equipment is very large and takes a lot of room.
"Make Shift Agility Course"
There are a lot of items that a person can buy inexpensively or get for FREE to set up an Agility Course for any species of animal. Just make sure that the items or equipment you build with them are stable and safe for the animals using them.
You can see in the photos that Deron and I used an old barrel we rescued from trash, with an old tarp, to make this Closed Tunnel. All was clean and safe for the animals that use it.
Again, just make sure the equipment you build is Sturdy and Safe!
-- The Rabbit Agility Team
Marna Kazmaier - firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit this changing/updating information site often as well as www.theagilerat.com and www.marnasmenagerie.com, and our other animal agility sites found at the right side of the screen. Our Equine Agility Information can be found on www.doesmybuttlookbiginthesaddle.com Our websites are frequently and always under construction, as through the years we take more photos and have more time to add information and ideas to them. Deron and I have been enjoying all different types of Animal Agility since 1998. Thanks for your visit!