Livestock Showing Tips for Beginners

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So you have decided to take the big step and start showing livestock? Congratulations on starting a new journey that will change your life forever. The skills you will receive after showing will help you learn how to accomplish your goals, as well as give you the tools necessary on becoming successful in whatever you chose to do. Not to mention the many life long memories that you will find yourself making every morning and night in the barn, and during show days. Showing is scary when you just start out, and some aren't prepared for some of the things you could face. Here is a list of tips and tricks that will help advance your showing ability.

  • Practice makes perfect. DO NOT wait until the day before the show to begin working with your livestock. If you want that purple or blue, you have to put the work effort in to win.
  • Play a radio in the barn 24/7. This seems strange, but the music isn't so your animal can realize they need to pursue their singing or dancing career. The music will help your animal get use to the noise they will be faced with in the arena.
  • Some animals refuse to drink the water at the show barn. A few days before the show, mix in Koolaide to the animals water. This will help the animal drink the water at the show barn without hesitation. "I use to show cattle, and some of my steers would refuse to drink the city water. The Koolaide trick was super handy."
  • Find a treat that your animal will enjoy. After working hair on your animal, or working on showmanship skills, be sure to treat your animal.
  • Put your animal on a feeding schedule. If you feed at 6 a.m. every in the morning, feed at 6 a.m. every morning. Don't feed one morning at 6 a.m. and then the next morning feed at 10 a.m.
  • Have a friend, parent, or family member come out to the barn a month or so before the show. Have them walk around your animal, and touch them. Get them use to people walking up behind them, and touching them.
  • Practice for showmanship. When someone touches your cattle, brush the hair back. When the judge walks by on your side, switch sides. Keep you and your animal between you and the judge.
  • Eyes on the judge. The judge will tell you where to go and which pen  you need to get in. Don't miss your chance and set yourself back further from not paying attention.
  • Always have a wash rag handy. Sometimes your livestock will have an accident before the show, the rag will become your best friend.
  • Look presentable. Don't go out in the show ring in a gown, but wear some nice starched jeans and your jacket or a nice shirt.
  • Leave your county at least once. Don't just do county shows, to get the most experience be sure to do some jackpot shows, and go to a state fair. There is life beyond your county, and it'll make you a better showman with more experience.
  • Have fun. You can learn so much from showing livestock, but only as much as you want to learn. Put the effort out and you will do great.

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