Note: We won't go over rules, regulations, or specifications on poles in this post- however if you are interested in that topic post a suggestion in the comments below!
Ah the age old question all hoppers have- what kind of poles should I use for my jumps?
I frequently have people come up to me at shows asking me which choice is best. Whether they are building their own equipment, or buying it this question always seems to pop up. In my nine years of hopping experience I have used just about every material possible for hopping equipment (not everything was really safe but you gotta do what you gotta do). What I personally like to use, and what I make and sell here at TRH Hopping may not be your personal choice. And that is perfectly fine! The whole idea behind the sport of rabbit hopping is to have fun, and as long as your equipment is safe for you and your rabbit, go for it. So in this post I'll be giving you a little run down on the types of poles that can be used for hopping. Note: We won't go over rules, regulations, or specifications on poles in this post- however if you are interested in that topic post a suggestion in the comments below!
When it comes to picking the perfect pole, there are a few basic things to consider.
Do I want to be able to paint my poles?
Do I want to be able to wash them down when they get dirty? (Trust me they will)
Do I want my poles to be waterproof?
Are they durable?
Are the poles light or heavy?
Do the poles fall easily?
What shape are the poles I am using? Round? Square?
Will my poles be used outdoors or just indoors?
Which poles are safest?
All of these are important, and your answers may vary depending on your needs. But to make this a bit easier, I'll give you a little outline and description of the most common types of poles I see and their pros and cons. This will give you a nice easy overview and hopefully help you pick the best material/kind of pole for your needs.
Wood Round Poles
Pros: Fun to decorate, inexpensive, can be purchased in non-toxic pine wood, roll easily to prevent injury to the rabbit, hard to get leash caught when poles are down
Cons: Easily chewed, can splinter and break easily, not super durable, hard to keep clean
Wood Square Poles
Pros: Easy to decorate, inexpensive, gives an interesting look, easy to build jumps with flat rail holders
Cons: Hard to clean, breaks and splinters easily, easy to chew, very easy for the rabbit to get pinched by sharp corners, easy to get leash caught when poles are down
PVC Round Poles
Pros: Easy to clean, durable, hard for rabbit to chew, can be decorated, can be purchased in different colors, poles roll easily to prevent injury to the rabbit, hard to get leash caught when poles are down
Cons: Can be more expensive depending on type/weight/size, can't be decorated with paint
Plastic Round Poles
Pros: Can be purchased in different colors, easy to clean, can be decorated, poles roll easily to prevent injury to the rabbit, hard to get leash caught when poles are down
Cons: Hard to find, can be more expensive, easily chewed, not as durable as PVC
Now maybe you've seen some of these options, but for many hoppers a few of these are brand new. If you can, try out some different types of poles and see what you and your rabbit like best. It's always fun to mix things up while training your rabbit too, and having a variety of equipment is never a bad thing. Out of the four, PVC has been the most popular- and you can see why. However, there are many hoppers who prefer wood round poles over PVC, as they can be painted and decorated in all sorts of ways. I prefer the PVC for my own equipment because it can take a beating and is easy to clean and decorate with various kinds of colored tape. That is why I currently only sell PVC poles, and that's what I use for everyday training as well as demos and competitions. But whatever your choice of poles, remember that your rabbit's safety is the top priority.
Disclaimer: To be fair all photos were sourced from Google Images, and do not reflect TRH Hopping's Equipment. To find out more about TRH Hopping's products email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in learning more about how to train your rabbit for rabbit hopping, stay tuned for our upcoming Online Classes, Demonstrations, and Events. Our first Online Class, Harness Training 101 is scheduled to be released this Spring 2019 season!
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