Watching a sports game is a beloved pastime for many of us, but it becomes even more exciting when animals are involved. There’s something extra special about watching humans and animals work together to achieve incredible athletic feats.
Whether you want to get involved yourself or would rather just spectate while our furry or feathered friends get on with it, here are some suggestions for animal sports that are bound to pique your interest.
First on the list is a sport that perfectly shows off the athleticism of man’s best friend, dog agility. Dog agility was originally proposed as a gap-filler for the spaces between obedience and conformation classes at Crufts. 1978 saw the first agility class at the famous UK dog show, and it was an instant hit with the audience.
Agility shows require dogs to listen carefully to their handler as they negotiate a series of obstacles, including tunnels, weaving poles, and jumps. It has now become so popular that the demand for agility classes outstrips obedience classes by a huge margin.
While it’s wonderful to see dogs and handlers at the top of their game, getting involved with your pet dog is also quite easy. There are agility clubs all around the world, and new partnerships are greatly encouraged. Not only this, but most dogs love this method of learning as it enables them to burn off some energy and spend time with their favourite person, you.
Our next sport is horse racing, one of the most lucrative animal-based sports. It’s not as easy to get involved yourself as dog agility might be, but it’s a brilliant spectator sport.
There are various types of horse racing; some see horses negotiating fences, others require horses to compete over short bursts to show their impressive speed, and some even ask horses to pull carts as they run.
If you want to play a more interactive role in horse racing, then instead of careering around on your own pony, getting involved in betting is a simpler option.
Looking into the form of horses to see how they run at different distances and which ground conditions they prefer is the best way to inform yourself before placing a bet. Then, once you’ve worked out the horse you think has the best chance, you can either wager your own money or use one of the many free horse racing bets to bet on that horse’s success.
It’s a wonderful feeling watching a graceful thoroughbred thunder past the winning post, but even better if you’ve placed a bet on them.
Although our next suggestion isn’t a sport, since there’s no competitive element involved, it’s nevertheless a participatory activity between animals and humans. It even features an animal that many of us won’t see so often in our day-to-day lives: the goat. In an unlikely combination, yogis and goats have come together to create a hilarious activity that it’s super easy to get involved in.
Goat yoga works like a normal yoga class, where an instructor guides the group through a series of moves to stretch and relax the body. The only difference is, in a goat yoga class, there are a whole load of goats running around.
The idea behind this was to help alleviate stress, and it’s been so successful that it’s started to take off worldwide, even inspiring new human and movement classes.
Undoubtedly, the incredible agility of goats means they can leap and frolic with incredible balance, making them the perfect partners for yoga. If the idea of a goat leaping onto and off your back as you try to maintain a downward dog is the sort of image that makes you laugh, then you’d be a perfect participant in goat yoga.