Everything you need to know about showmanship before your show. Includes general showmanship tips and tricks, how to dress to impress, and species specific showmanship tips for pigs, lambs, goats and cattle.
Welcome to the extension connection podcast. The Grant County Cooperative Extension service is here to help connect you with research based information about Economic Development, Energy and Water Farming, Ranch, Yard and Garden, Natural Resources, Health, and wellbeing, and our very popular Youth Development Program. 4H I'm your host, Jessica Swapp, the 4 H and Agriculture Agent here in Grant County, New Mexico. We are part of New Mexico State University's College of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Science, and w e a re here to serve you. So let's get started.Jessica Swapp Massengill:
Hi everybody. This is Jessica Swapp. Massengill once again, the 4H and Ag Agent in Grant County, New Mexico. And we're back again to talk about showmanship today. We're going to be talking about a lot of the different species. We're going to talk about; what is showmanship, some general showmanship tips, u h, the Showman dress code, and then the species specific showmanship for pigs, lambs, goats, and cattle. So what i s showmanship? U m, I found this definition, u m, from Michigan State University and t heir: "Showmanship One- on-O ne For All Species" publication. And I thought it was a really great, way to explain what showmanship is. Showmanship is about the person handling the animal, presenting and showing the animal to the best of the person's ability. It is about making sure that the showman is looking at the judge at all times. And showmanship is really about how hard a person has worked, prepared and presents their animal to the judge. I also add in, added in here that this is strictly an evaluation of you as the showman, not necessarily the quality of your animal. So for instance , um, you know, maybe you didn't have the grand champion this year, but you can still be a Grand Champion Showman. So some general showmanship tips. The first thing is, is that showmanship is won at home. Whenever you're at home, you're doing all the work that's hopefully going to show up within that showing. You want to practice like you compete. Um, so when we're practicing at home, you want to make sure that you're using the equipment that you're going to be using the day of the show. So the show halters, or the chains or the halters for your goats, all those things need to be used at home first. So that way you can figure out if that's what works best. Also, I love this saying, " You never get a second chance at a first impression". Showmanship is a lot about that. First impression, impression , um, great Showman are usually identified by the first few steps into the ring. And I have to say that's true when judging showmanship, I'm usually able to start to identify who the good ones are from who the ones that still need more work right out of the gate. Some general tips are to be cool, calm, collected , um , but you also want to be intense and focused. Do not do the beauty queen fake smile. I will say that this is a personal pet peeve of mine. I do not like to see exhibitors giving me a fake smile. It's very creepy and distracting. So just try to look relaxed , um, yet look focused like you care, you don't have to have your, you know , a mean face on or anything, but just don't do the fake smile. Another thing is don't be late, but also don't be too early. If you're standing around at the gate way too early, we're gonna start to fatigue those animals. They're going to get tired of standing, especially if they've been in the ring several times that day . Um, so try to time things just right, walk the animal at a natural pace. We see this all the time where we're really trying to rush animals, trying to hide something, or they're really trying to slow them down to try to hide something. In terms of that animal's confirmation. Really animals will walk the best and look their best at their natural pace. So allowing them to do that is going to be the best thing for them and for you. Another tip is to watch the classes before yours. So if you're not in the first class of showmanship, it's probably a good idea to go watch the class ahead of you, or a few ahead of you just to get an idea of what this judge is kind of doing. What he's looking for. Maybe what he's asking, all those types of things. Another thing to know is the ring and how it's set up. So kind of knowing where you'll be coming in, maybe where you'll be exiting. Those could be two separate gates. So you're going to want to know that before going in on the slideshow here, if you're listening to the podcast , um, I have a picture that says, " If you want to look good in front of thousands, you have to outwork thousands in front of nobody." And that is completely true. Like I've said, showmanship is really won at home. Some more tips to tell you is to be aware of the judge, but don't forget about your animal also coaching. And I'm going to talk about this for each individual species, but just as a general rule, I would say, you know, the parents and the Ag teachers and Extension Agents and whoever you have helping you on the sidelines, it's all right for them to do a little bit of coaching. I would just say, keep it to a minimum, especially don't let your coaching be a distraction to the kid or the judge. A lot of times some , uh , I've seen some coaching going on the sidelines that is so incredibly distracting that I end up watching the coaches rather than the actual kids in the ring. And a lot of times when you're watching the kiddos in the ring, they're not even watching the judge cause they're watching whoever who's outside of the ring, trying to tell them what to do. Uh , another thing is don't fidget feet placement. Good is usually good enough. The more you fidget with these animals feet, the more they're going to get nervous , um, feel very agitated. And they're just probably not going to work the best for you. You need to know the judge's preferences before the show. So if you're able to find out who's judging , um , the showmanship at your, at your show or your Fair, know what that judge likes before the show. Um, that's going to kind of give you some heads up in terms of what they like, what they're looking for. Um, as well as their pet peeves. Uh, another thing, this is again, probably a personal thing that I don't like to see is I have here, don't be too showy. So what do I mean by that? I really don't like it when all of a sudden it's, I see you coming into the ring and it's like a really big act. Really in the showmanship realm, It should look natural. I'm trying to keep our animals looking as natural and as good as possible without drawing attention to ourselves personally. Really, the judge should not really notice you at all. Um, they should just be able to see that your animal is always looking good, that you're , you're doing a good job of showing them, but yet not necessarily being distracted by the way that you look or what you're doing. Um, showmanship counts in the market classes too . A lot of people think, well, you only turn up your showmanship during the showmanship , uh , classes. That is, that's not the point really of showmanship. And if you have a judge that's judging your market classes and your showmanship, if I were the judge, I'm going to remember who, who came in and was the same showman during the market classes that they are in the showmanship. Um , a lot of times a lot of judges will tell you that sometimes if they have a couple of animals in a market class that are very, very close, and they're just not quite sure what to do between them, showmanship can be the deciding factor. It may be that one, one kiddo is doing a better job of showing then the other. And that's literally why they're moving that animal up. A good showman can really bring out the positives in an animal and be able to hide the negatives. So a lot of times that'll help in those placings as well. Another thing is, do not block the view of another animal from the judge. You want everybody to have a fair shot , um, some other good Sportsman's like things to do, or to shake the judge's hand at the end of the class, regardless of the placing and where you ended up in all of that. If you are not the winner , uh, go ahead and congratulate the winner and be classy about it. I have some pictures here showing some kiddos shaking the hand of the judge. That's , that's a very respectful thing to do. You definitely don't want to be ugly and, and have an attitude out there. Just shake their hand, regardless of what happens and, and go on. Next we're going to talk a little bit about the dress code. So I feel like what you're wearing inside of the show ring really has practical real life, has a, has a relationship with real life. In real life, when you're going in for a job interview, you definitely want to look your best. You want to look appropriate. This is no different. Some things to keep in mind, u h, usually across the board, a long sleeve, collared, button up shirt is, is generally accepted across the board. I have here possibly wearing a tie if you're, if you're a boy, u m, I think wearing a tie really just makes you stand out a little bit in a good way. U m, as a professional. It 's n ot a requirement unless it's required by your fair, but I think a tie really, u m , k i nd o f s e ts t h em o ver the, over the top. Um , h aving clean pressed jeans, no holes. And trust me, I'm a, if, you know, if you know me personally, I love jeans with holes, but in the show ring, we d efinitely don't want to be wearing any kind of pants that have holes, or ar e w orn out or anything like that. Hair needs to be out of your face for girls. It needs to be pulled or pinned back. And for boys, it needs to be cut and combed. And this goes for , uh , girls and boys, both. Um , if you're going to wear wear jewelry, keep it light. It should not be distracting to you or to the judge. I'm also wearing a belt. The only thing I will tell you about a belt is to be careful with the buckle with sheep and goats. Um , sometimes those buckles can rub up against their neck and can be very agitating for them. I have here, no hats. There's some judges that are okay with , um , exhibitors wearing a cowboy hat. Um, some that aren't.Speaker 3:
These are just the,Jessica Swapp Massengill:
the rules to keep you safe. If you're not really sure what the judge prefers, just keep it safe, keep it practical, you know, and follow these types of rules .Speaker 3:
Um, uh , I will say this that most , uh , judgesJessica Swapp Massengill:
do not want you wearing dude shoes. I am, I'm one of those actually that I do not prefer the dude shoe look. So just leave those for after you're done. Some shows actually have a dress code that has, has to be followed. So you're going to want to make sure that you're looking up your shows or your fair's dress code. Um, a lot of times, depending on what show you're going to, if you're going to a jackpot, you know, you can kind of relax some of these , uh , dress code types things, you know, you could probably get away with, you know, a polo shirt with a collar rather than the long sleeve, um , it just, just kind of depends. Again, knowing your judge is going to determine a lot of things. A lright, we're going to talk about Pig Showmanship. So when we're entering the ring, u m, the first thing is you're going to want to make sure you have all of your equipment. You're going to need a brush, a whip, and a rag. And I will say this, some judges prefer that if you have a rag, that it is actually folded and tucked away in your pocket, not just tucked in your pocket and left kind of out there to, to flap around. I would say to be on the safe side of things, if you have a rag, can just put it in your back pocket or your side pocket or front pocket of your shirt, just fold it nicely to where it's there. You can use it if you need to. Um, another thing is you're gonna want to use the correct type of whip. Um, if you're not really sure what type of whip that is , um , you're going to want to get with your Extension Agent, Ag Teacher, someone to kind of help you with that. And you're going to want to hold your whip correctly. There is a right and wrong way to hold your whip. Um, before you come in, you're going to want to be looking at the judge before you get into the ring. Again, don't smile, but you're going to want to look intense and focused. You want to have that pig's head up in a natural position before you enter the ring, as well as while you're in there. Um , when you're first coming in and actually while you're in there the whole time, stay away from the judge. If they want a closeup of your animal, they will step closer to them. Um , they will come up for a closer view. So as you come in to the ring, you're going to want to give a view of all angles, including the chest floor , the side, and the rear view as a new animal behind you enters the ring, you're going to want to move to the side. Still try to stay within sight of the judge, like within their peripheral vision, but allow your fellow showman to have an individual moment with that judge, to exhibit their animal individually. Don't over, or under work, as you kind of hang out there to the side. Um, if the judge is not directly looking at you, I would say, you know, go ahead and relax a little bit. Um , just keep that pig's head up, keep them moving. Um, don't get in the way of your fellow exhibitors. Um, but don't, don't overwork. Again, through the whole time you don't want to be too aggressive with that whip. U m, these pigs should be trained at home. U m, training is not for the s how r ing. U m, while you're out there, no talking, no visiting, u m, no horseplay while you're in the ring or, or in the holding areas, you should be focused on what you're doing. You've worked all year long to be in this position, in this spot, at this show. Um, don't ruin it by visiting with a friend or, you know, looking outside the ring and laughing, you know, talking to people outside the ring , those types of things just stay focused. You're not in there for very long, just stay focused and do what you need to do and get things done. During the class, you're always going to want to keep the pig between you and the judge, watch the judge, but you need to pay attention to your pig. It's kind of a gentle balance between paying attention to the judge, but also paying attention to the pig. Avoid allowing your hog to root around in the dirt. The reason for that is once they do that, and if you're watching the, the slide show here, when they stick their head down their back instantly arches up and they just don't keep that levelness. So don't let them start to root around in the dirt. Again, this is something that needs to be worked on at home. Don't go behind the judge. Um , if they turn their back to you, that's, that's their preference. They want to look at something else, but don't deliberately go behind them because they can't see you. They can't see your pig. Another thing to be careful of is, you know, sometimes you've pigs want to get in the corner and you can't quite get them out. So you start to see kiddos using their , their legs and their knees to kind of push those pigs out. I would say, try to keep that down to a minimum, if you absolutely can. No running , uh , that goes for the exhibitor and the pig. Pigs should be trained to not come into the ring and want to run around and play. They should know why they're there. They should know that they're there to be exhibited. They should have their head up and the exhibitors should have control of that animal. If per say, a pig does run into the ring, the exhibitor should not chase after them. Um, or if they're in the ring and they're just running around , um, it's better for the exhibitor to just remain calm and try to keep up with the animal the best that they can by not running or chasing them. Again, no talking, visiting, horseplay while you're in the ring. Um, it's just very distracting and very , um , unprofessional. Don't group up, whenever you're in there, find the open areas and move that pig into those open areas. If you have your pig with five or six others, there's a good chance I cannot evaluate that animal because I can't see it properly. So trying to keep your animal away from everyone else where that judge can really see them moving , um, is going be , uh, the best thing to do. So that's why you have to be paying attention. Stay off the fence and stay away from the gate. These animals are very, very intelligent. They learn very quickly where the gate is to go back to their pens, because back at their pens, they can take a nap. They get water, they get fed and they get to relax. So understanding that they already know where the gate is to go out. If they start to head towards that gate, rather than waiting for them to get all the way there and then fighting them off, you're g oing t o want to start to recognize that, Hey, they're headed towards the gate. I'm going to go ahead and start to turn them, u m, in advance of getting towards the g ate. Another thing is, is just not letting them, a ride the fence, trying to pace back and forth on the fence. If you'll just not let them, from the get go, usually they don't, they'll, they'll go by your direction and do what you've asked them to do. Again, I have on here, hold your whip correctly. That's going to help you the best. And don't be over aggressive with that whip. And, and this, this, this needs to be said as well. Sometimes you can practice and train and do everything right at home. And sometimes we just have a bad day. Kids have a bad day. These animals have a bad day. We definitely want to maintain a level of professional, professionalism out there in that ring and do not be over aggressive with that whip. Just remember that the world is watching. They're watching you. And also if you're kind of an older exhibitor, something you never know who's out there watching you wanting to be like you someday. So be a good role model, be a good representative of our industry, and don't be aggressive, over aggressive with those whips. Another thing to keep in mind is to keep your turns very wide. Pigs do not turn on a dime very well. It causes them to bunch up. They just don't look good. Um, so making sure if you're gonna turn your hogs, you do that in a very wide , um, you know, type of a turn. And the other thing to keep in mind is to be aware, poop happens. So be prepared out there to clean it off. I always say if the judge is staring right at, you just keep working. Once he moves to someone else and is looking at someone else, go ahead and get that, that manure off of that pig. You can use your brush, use your, your rag, that type of thing. That's what it's there for. Penning . A lot of times for pigs, a judge will ask you to pen your hog. Um, this is to see how well you can actually control that animal. So what you're gonna want to do, if you get , uh , if the judge points that you wants you to pen your hog by yourself. You're g oing t o want to drive to that, u h, p enning area, u h, go ahead and open the gate, drive that hog in, and then latch the gate behind you. While you're in that pen, you're g oing t o want to keep that hog between you and the judge. So that way he can still see the pig inside there. U m, keep watching the judge, this is not a , u h, r elax and hangout time. Again, no talking, visiting, horseplay. This is a personal pet peeve of mine that I don't like to see a youth get penned, and then their friends kind of come up there and they're talking, visiting, laughing. It's just not very professional or very serious for me. I will say this, that being penned is a little bit of a timeout, just for a little bit of , uh , a rest. But it's also a good time for you to make sure that that animal is looking their best. So if needed, this is a great time t o brush them off. Spray them with water to keep them cool. Um , o f fer t h em a drink of water, possibly. Um , i f you have some pig treats in your pocket, it would be a good time to possibly give those treats to that pig, just to ki nd o f k eep them happy and content. When you're exiting from being penned, you're going to want to open that gate, have that head up. And then if you are able to go ahead and stop the hog, cl ose t he gate and latch it, shut behind you. Again, show that animal's angles all over again to that judge, and then be courteous of the other showman as they come out of their penning and they are trying to exhibit their hog. Um , of course though, always stay within view of the judge. Um, just try to be respectful of the other exhibitors. Next, we're going to talk a little bit about the questions that sometimes are asked. I'm going to be completely honest with you that I'm not a big fan of questions. I don't feel quite like the show ring is a great place to , um, evaluate how well the exhibitor is in Quizbowl. But there are some things that, that the exhibitor really should know. For instance, with pigs , um, knowing how old they are. That's a pretty basic thing to know. Um, knowing what breed of pig you have. Also being able to read notches, not only on your animal, but on others. So knowing the notches of your animal, and then also a judge could possibly ask you to read notches on another pig in the ring, just so that they know that you actually know how to read them. Sometimes they're going to ask you about feed. So knowing what brand, how much. And when I say how much they don't like to hear, well, it's a coffee can of this, and a coffee can of that. Um, I want to know actual pounds. So, you know, two pounds of, you know, high pro, two pounds of Mormons, two pounds of Lindners, whatever you're feeding. Knowing the amount in terms of pounds , um, how much it actually weighs. Knowing the protein percentage, the fat percentage, as well as a general idea of the supplements that you're giving, and why. Another thing is, judge may ask you how much that pig is gaining per day. That's a pretty general question. Um, they may ask you how much they weigh. Um, again, these are not necessarily "Quizbowl" type questions that are really super difficult. Um , these are pretty general questions that I think every showman should know about their, their pig project. So as we get down to, I said, I was gonna talk about coaching , um, just about for every species. So here we are, I'm going to talk about it with pigs. Um, and I'm, I'm a show mom, just like a lot of you are, I'm an Extension Agent and yes, it is difficult to stand on the side and , and maybe watch things go, not quite how you would like. But, we have to let these kids do this. This is their project, it's their turn. So keeping the coaching down to a minimum, I think is really the best thing you can do for your kid, cause they really shouldn't be paying attention to you anyway. They should be paying attention to the judge and to their animal and making sure that they're exhibiting that animal to the best of their abilities. Um , so I would always encourage us parents to just try to keep it to a minimum. We all care. And that's why we, we probably go a little bit overboard sometimes. I know I have found sometimes if I feel like I can't contain myself in terms of the coaching, I will just go back to the barn and , um , have someone else report to me on how things went. So that's a little bit of advice out there for you parents. I hope that helps you. So we're going to talk a little bit about lamb showmanship. Entering the ring, you should not have a halter with sheep. Um, you're gonna want to be looking at the judge before you get into the ring, paying attention, being ready to enter. Don't smile once again, just try to look intense and focused, serious. Let the animal walk at their natural pace. Again. They're going to look their best if they're walking at a natural pace. You're always g oing t o w ant t o walk behind that point of the shoulder, that way that, that l amb will really walk, u m, in a smooth pattern. Don't drag or pull your lamb. It just doesn't, it just doesn't look good. It doesn't work. U h, this is a big pet peeve of mine personally, a s I don't like to see you slap or hit your lamb. U m, so say they're not walking and you pop them on the d ock. I'm not a big fan of that. U m, I don't w anna see you doing anything that could be misconstrued, u m, in a negative way in that show ring. These animals should have been trained to walk, u m , p rior to being in the ring. And I get it again, things happen. We have a bad day, you know, things happen and , and I get that, but let's just try to keep a level of professionalism by not slapping or hitting these, these animals. Use the proper hand placement. Use one hand to lead and the other hand to tap the side of the l amb, if, if you need to. So that's kind of a trick if they're not really wanting to walk is by having complete control of this animal with one hand, you can use your other hand to actually tap them on the side, to encourage them to g o. K now wh ere y ou're going, and what view the judge is going to look at first, u m , j ust ki nd o f h ave a heads up of where you're going. So that way you can ki nd o f c alculate your steps. Again, no talking, visiting, you know, just don't be distracted in the show ring or in the holding areas. If you're listening to this or watching this video, it's actually raining, which we're so excited to have in a Grant County, New Mexico. It doesn't ever rain here. So , um , if it's a little loud, I'm not going to stop recording because I'm just so happy to hear it rain. Moving on in the lambs , uh, during the class while you're in there, you're going to always want to keep the land between you and the judge. Let that land walk at a natural pace like we've talked about before , uh, keeping adequate spacing between exhibitors. Don't get too close to each other. It makes it very difficult for the judge to evaluate each animal individually. Stay in line. Don't be too close to the fence. Don't be too far out of line or turned the wrong direction, stay in line with whatever you're supposed to be doing. With animals, or with lambs and goats for sure, Um, you're gonna walk, you're gonna set. You're gonna brace. And that's something that needs to be worked on at home is walking, setting bracing. When you have these animals set, you're going to want to keep, you know, 90 degree angles. Don't stretch them out too far or bunch them up. We're going to want to try to keep levelness of those lines, keep them at 90 degree angles. That's where they're going to look their best. Again, don't fidget with the legs , especially if the judge is looking right at you close is close enough. You can readjust the feet if you need to while the judge is looking at someone else. So get those feet as good as you can. Um, if, if the judge is looking right at, you just keep, keep holding. Um, and then once he moves on or he or she moves on , um, then you can go ahead and set those feet a little bit better. Um, for those of you that are younger exhibitors, that can't quite reach those feet. It's something to be worked on at home to be able to set those feet without having to use your hands. So, first of all, by stepping that lamb into the bracing position , um, and then if you had to move them by pushing them , um , into place. You're going to want to keep your lamb in a straight line from nose to dock . Um , don't bend their head while you're setting their feet. So once again, some of the little guys I know it's hard, but you cannot crank that head and turn that head and try to set feet, it just, the Lamb's gonna move and it just doesn't ever really work. Again, walk them into place, which is a good reason to know where you're going and what view the judge is going to be looking at first. Uh , you want to brace with all four feet on the ground. You not pick them up and hold them. Um, it just doesn't ever really work that way. Um, it doesn't look good. And if you picked me up by my head and tried to hold me, I'm probably gonna fight you too . Don't pull them to you. If you're watching the YouTube video, I have several pictures here kind of explaining , um , some of the adults in terms of things like bunching them up, pulling them sticking that head forward, pulling them to you. You really, it's a partnership, that Lamb should be pushing into you and you should be pushing into them. So again, if you were to grab me by my head and pull me, I'm going to pull back. I'm not going to want to brace. Okay. So using proper hand placement for control of the head and to keep those ears up , um, if you're watching a YouTube video, I have some pictures. If you're just listening to the podcast , you can, you can just Google this type of stuff or get with your Extension Agent, Ag Teacher, have them show you, a breeder, whoever you can figure out some, some proper hand placement. So that way you can keep control of their head and be able to keep those ears perked up. It just makes them look super classy. Uh, use a proper feet placement also for bracing, which is basically an L shape. Um , I don't like to see , uh , kiddos with their legs, like really, really far apart while they're trying to show these lambs. Um, I really just like the L shape to keep, keep from looking too showy. I feel like whenever they have their legs are really far apart, it's very distracting. Alight brace while the judge is looking at you from the side profile again, don't overwork these animals. You're g onna w ant t o start bracing. U m, when, when the j udge is coming down the line on the rear view to handle these sheep, you're gonna want to start bracing. U m, when the judge is about 2 l ambs away. And then keep bra cing un til he, he or she has gone past you by, u m , s o rry. My phone is ri nging has gone past you, u m , by two lambs. Um, yo u don't want to slap or hit the lam b. O nce again, we need to remain professional. What you can do though, is tap that lamb lightly on the side as a cue that, hey, it's time to go to work. It's time to really brace when the judge has kind of, you kn o w, w alked away from you. You know, you can relax those lambs by rocking and shaking their head lightly while the judge is evaluating other animals, that's just goi ng to he lp keep them from overworking again, make sure your belt buckle, isn't rubbing or scratching, the Lamb's head or neck can be very irritating. And I mean, just think about as somebody who is pressing against you with a metal buckle against your neck, it's just not very comfortable, and It can just lead to problems out there that you don't, that you don't want. Keep that nose level. Don't crank it up. We see this a lot. And sometimes, I mean, if, if something works for you and it works for that animal, go for it. Um, I just like to see animals looking more natural. So I don't like to see their head cranked up where their nose isn't , you know, facing the sky , um, switch sides once the judge is already past you. Um, if you have that lamb in a good brace. Stay there. Don't move so that you can switch sides and then you kinda mess everything up. So just stay put once the judge gets past you, go ahead and roll to the other side. Most judges are going to respect the fact that you had them stuck and you're keeping them stuck because they were looking really good. No talking again, visiting don't be hanging out and having a good old time out there with your friends , uh , the front view. And you want to make sure those feet are wide and square. Hold those Lamb's head up with those ears up. Um , and then again, switch sides as the judge passes. If a judge pulls a lamb in front of you, make sure you pull up and fill that empty spot. We don't like to see a bunch of gaps out there. That's just good showmanship to know to pull up. And then everybody behind you needs to pull up as well. Again, when talking about the questions, part of thing, I'm not a big Quizbowl person. I feel like a few things should be known by the exhibitor , um , about their project. For instance, age of their animal breed, possibly what they're , you know, they're feeding, the brand, the amount. I like to know exact amounts in terms of pounds and ounces , um , not a full cup of this or a can of that. Knowing the protein percentage, fat percentage, any kind of supplements that you might be feeding. Those are all good things to, to know, u m, as well as how much they're gaining per day on average. And their weight is also something I might want to know. And I might be asking. Sometimes I'm just going to ask things like, what, what did you like best about your project? What was the hardest part of your project? If you could do it all over again, would you still choose to , to pick this particular project? You know, things like that. I don't like to make things too difficult. I'm gonna talk little bit again about that coaching. Once again, we've got to keep that coaching down to a minimum. They're on the sidelines from all of us parents and Ag teachers and Extension Agents. Um , and let these kids show their project. It's theirs and we're just really there to guide them. So keeping that down to a minimum is, is honestly the best thing to do. All right , we're going to talk a little bit about Goat showmanship. As we enter the ring, you need to have the proper equipment, a halter, chain know what works best for you and your goat before entering the ring. These are all things that we need to figure out at home. Some goats like the chain, some goats like the halter. It just depends. These are all things you're going to want to know before we're walking into that showroom. We're looking at the judge before you even get into the ring, shows me that you're paying attention. You want to be there and you're focused. Be ready to enter. Don't don't hesitate to come in, be ready to roll.Speaker 4:
Don't smile again.Jessica Swapp Massengill:
Just try to look serious and very professional , uh , no talking visiting once again. Um, I , I think I say this in every species, cause this is also a pet peeve of mine that I don't like to see. Um , kids talking , um , or not taking things seriously, let the animal walk at a natural pace. Um , again, just like sheep, you're gonna want to walk behind the point of that shoulder. That's going to help that goat really stride out the way that they should don't drag or pull your goat. Um, and I know goats are, can be very, very stubborn and that's easier said than done sometimes. Um, but really hopefully you've worked with them enough at home that they understand what they're supposed to do when they go into that show ring . Once again, remaining professional, don't slap, don't hit that goat. Um, we don't want to see anything like that happening. Um, and honestly, that's just a really quick way for me to sort you out of the top. Use proper chain placement while leading a goat. So a lot of times when you don't have that chain actually placed correctly, that goat's not going to want to walk because it's uncomfortable. So making sure that you have adjusted your chain placement when you're, when you're headed on the walk , um , is going to help you out a lot, know where you're going and what view is first. That's always going to be , um, something that you need to be keeping in mind during the class. You always want to keep the goat between you and the judge, just like everything else. Let that goat walk at a natural pace. Keep spacing between exhibitors. Don't get too close. Don't get too far away. Stay in line again. Don't be too close to the fence. Don't be too far out of line or turned around or turn in the wrong position. If you're on the side profile, keep those goats on a side profile. Don't let them turn to a rear view. Um , again, walk, set, brace. That's their job, keeping those , uh , 90 degree angles. Don't stretch them out or let them bunch up, especially goats that just naturally don't have quite the levelness that sheep do. And out of that hip, sure that you're not bunching them up is going to make them appear to be a little bit more level. Uh , again, don't fidget with their legs, especially if the judge is looking at you closest close enough , um, readjust those feet. If you need to, while the judge is looking at somebody else, keep that goat in a straight line from nose to tail. Don't bend their head when you're setting their feet. Um , it's just going to make them move again, walk them into place. That's going to be the easiest thing to do and brace them with all four feet on the ground and do not pick them up and hold them. Use proper hand placement for control of the head and to keep those ears up again. If you're not sure what I'm talking about. Um , if you're listening to the podcast, you can actually get online and look these up or call an Extension Agent , uh, 4H Leader, anybody to help you use proper feet placement. Again for the bracing, use that L shape. A light brace, while the judge is looking at you, on the side profile. You don't have to overwork necessarily. Start bracing on the rear view when the judge is about two goats away. When he's coming down the line to handle, keep bracing until he's about two g oats p ast you. Again, do not slap or hit the goat. Um, it's just very unprofessional. You can tap the goat lightly on the side as acute a brace , just like you would for sheep. It kind of wakes them up and lets them know that, Hey, it's go time. You can relax a goat by rocking, shaking the head lightly while the judge is evaluating other animals. Again, making sure your belt buckle isn't rubbing or scratching that goat's neck is gonna also help you out. Um, in terms of keeping them comfortable, you need to keep their nose level, not cranked up to them , the sky and switch sides. Once the judge has passed you. Again, no talking, no visiting, hanging out in the ring or in the holding areas. The front view, if you're exhibiting these goats , um , and the judge is going to come around and take a look there at their chest. Um, you want to make sure that their feet are wide and square. Hold those g oats, heads up with their ears up and s witch sides. As the judge passes. If the judge pulls a goat in front of you, make sure you pull up and fill that empty spot. And t hen everybody behind you needs to fill in, u m, the empty spot that you'll be leaving. We'll talk a little bit about the questions. It's k ind o f the same thing with these goats. You know, I'm pretty basic in terms of the questions that I a sk. I t's not a, I just don't feel like it's a q uiz b owl contest. Age? That might be something I might ask you. Some feed type things: So brand, the amount of h ow many pounds of this, pounds of that, protein levels, fat supplements? All those sorts of things that go into the feeding. Ga in p er day, as well as how much they weigh? Um , o nce again, we're going to talk a little bit about coaching. Please. Just keep that down to a minimum. Don't be distracting , um , to the judge as well as don't be distracting to the exhibitor. If they're paying more attention to you than they are, the judge , um, they could possibly getting, be getting pulled for a good reason or bad reason, but if they're not paying attention, then they don't know that. And the judge moves on. He may forget that he had pulled that goat, you know, into a third. And then all of a sudden you're sitting there in fifth when you could have been in third. But you weren't paying attention because you were paying attention to whoever was coaching us outside of that ring. All right , CattleSpeaker 5:
[inaudible] ,Jessica Swapp Massengill:
Some people would probably argue with me on this one. Well , actually think the cattle are very difficult to show. For me, they were probably the hardest thing. Um, again, all of them are hard , um, in their own way. Um, but when we're entering the ring again, proper equipment, so a show halter, a comb and a show stick are pretty much the essentials. Once again, you want to make sure you, you've used those things at home. We've, practiced with these items at home . Don't smile, just look intense, look serious, look professional, your halter needs to fit properly. Um, meaning that it's not too high and it's not too low. These are things to figure out at home. Um, if you have several calves that you're taking, you may want to actually label the halters that go to which animals. So that way you don't have a wreck. Whenever you're trying to head to that show ring, making sure that that halter fits that animal properly. So it's not too high on their nose, not too high , um , trying to cover their eye or not to down low, or it's actually cutting off their air. These things are going to cause you problems cause it's uncomfortable for them. And they're not going to want to cooperate. Use a correct color of Halter. Um, for some people, this is a big deal for some people it's not. Um, I think depending on the situation , um, you know, obviously we have a black path, don't use a white halter. If you have a white calf , you know, you probably can get away with a black halter. It's probably okay. It's really up to the judge. And again, this is really why you should know your judge know what their preferences are. For me, as long as the halter is not distracting, I really don't care what color it is. Um , I would say black across the board , um, works just fine. Um, if you have a red calf , you can get kind of a reddish colored halter. The halter lead doesn't need to be too long or too short. Um, so on the YouTube video, I actually have a picture there on the far right hand side of a lead, that I would consider to be too long. It also could be that she doesn't have , um , this calf's head crank cranked up quite enough. But I feel like that lead rope is just a little bit too long. When you have the lead rope too long, there's a chance that you could step on it. Your calf can step on it as they're trying to move. And it just, it doesn't work. So these leads need to be about arms length, so not too long. Um , but also not too short either. You don't want to completely cut them down to nothing. And then you have nothing to hang on to. Don't wrap that lead rope around your hand. U m, you should, you should be able to just let it hang freely where it's not on the ground. It just is k ind o f hanging freely. Your s how show stick should be, u m, also the proper length. Some people say it n eeds to be the height o f t heSpeaker 6:
Kid. Um , I say thatJessica Swapp Massengill:
It's whatever works best. If you have a kiddo that needs a longer show stick. Let them have a longer show stick. If that's what's working, you know, best for them and to the calf. I say, do it. Again, keeping your keeping your show stick, I would say respectful and professional. I don't really like to see really the blinged out show sticks and stuff like that. I'm cool with it at home. U m, but maybe for the show ring, really just sticking with, you know, kind of a black colored, u h, show stick is really best. Let's leave the rhinestones and stuff. U m, aside for the show ring. Again, be looking at the judge before you even get into the r ing, show them that you're paying attention. U m, I know myself a lot of times, I like to watch b efore they actually come in. I w ant t o see what these kids are, are doing. Are they , um, are they looking focused? Are they kind of game planning in their head? Um, or are they, you know, maybe hanging onto their girlfriend or boyfriend and, and they're not really that serious. Um, these are the things I'm kind of paying attention to. You're going to want to be ready to enter. Um , so don't make the judge wait. Be ready to enter the ring whenever they call you in. Have that head up in a natural position before, and as you enter the ring. No talking, no visiting again, this is a pet peeve. So I like, put it on every slide, don't be messing around in there. Um, let that animal walk at a natural pace and really manners for these animals need to be taught at home. Cattle are very big. They they've got a mind of their own, and I completely understand that and respect that, but we've got to work with these animals at home to teach them some manners. You need to hold your show stick properly. Um, I know sometimes we'll, we'll put that show stick up there in front of their face to try to keep them, you know , kind of slowed down if they're trying to get away from us a little bit too much and possibly, you know, to , to a small correction. Um, in terms of their manners, but really that show stick really just needs to be down and held to the side , uh, with the pointed side down , um, we don't want to hold it like a javelin, just we could, we could possibly hurt someone and we , we don't want to do that or hurt somebody's animal. You don't want to be too aggressive with that show stick. So once again, don't try to saw that calf in half. Whenever you have them, you know, stopped , uh, just a couple of, of very , um, calming scratches to their belly will help to sooth them. Don't let your nerves get the best of you. And you're just sawing away with that show stick on their belly. It's gonna transfer into a nervous feeling for them. And they're going to wonder why in the heck, you're , you're trying to saw me in half with that thing. Know where you're going and what view is first. That's just going to help you out in terms of getting their feet and legs set. Okay. So during the class again, don't give me that fake smile and just keep it professional, keep it calm. Um, let that cap walk at its natural pace. Keep their head in a natural position. Hold that show stick properly. And again, keeping adequate space between exhibitors. These animals are pretty big. So that space, u m, depending on the size of the ring that you have, you need to leave quite a bit of space. Um, in case you need to pull and move. If the judge pulls you , um, if he's going to come and handle these calves, all those types of things, making sure that there's adequate distance between you stay in line, don't get too close to the fence. Don't get too far out of line or turned . And if you need to, I think I talk about this later, but I'll cover it a little bit right now. If, if you're completely wonky in line and you need to get out and reposition or something like that, just make sure you're taking that, pulling that animal out and making wide big circles. Um , I like to tell kiddos, think of it as a limousine. They do not turn on a dime. Um, you've got to make some really, really wide turns to try to get them turned around. So whenever we're in the ring on , you're gonna walk them , scratch them and set them. That's their job. You're going to want to try to walk them into place. The best that you can just so that you don't have to mess with their feet. However, understanding their feet placement is very important. So if you're listening on the podcast, you can get online or talk to someone and get some help on understanding which feet are supposed to be. Where on the side profile, you're watching the YouTube video. I have a picture actually here towards the right of a Charlotte calf, that's, that's set perfect. Um, on the side profile, the rear show side, but needs to be set slightly further back than the other rear foot. Um , the Front foot on the showman's side , i t needs to be slightly further back t han the show side, front leg. U m, a lot of times, if you actually put them pretty close to even, t hey're usually there's usually enough difference between them that it's set up just right. On the rear view, all feet need to be set evenly, square and wide. Once you stopped. U m, you can scratch that calf a couple times again, just to help kind of keep them calm. And again, don't saw them in half with that show stick, u m, and then start working on setting those legs. And usually if y ou'll set one leg, give him a couple o f scratches, set another leg, give h im a couple scratches. You know, don't just get crazy with those s how sticks, trying to poke and move and everything like that. Once again, if you can train them to stop naturally with their feet, mostly set, it's g oing t o save both of you a lot of work when we're g onna set those feet. There's really two things that you need to do. You need to use the halter and the show stick to set those feet. If you're trying to move a foot up, you're going to want to pull forward slightly on that halter as well as grabbing that foot with your, with your stick. That's going to help your calf to know, you want him or her, to move their foot up. If you want a foot to go back. Um , again, pushing back on that halter and giving pressure to that foot is going to help them to understand you want that foot to go back. You want to keep those 90 degree angles in cattle, just the same as everything else. Don't stretch them out too far. Don't bunch them up or feet too far underneath them. Don't fidget with those legs. Again, especially if the judge is looking at you closest close enough. And if you need to readjust , um, you can always do that while the judge is kind of moved on to someone else and get them back to , um , perfect. Keep those calves straight in line from nose to tail. So, and this is especially hard for some of the younger exhibitors. Don't bend that head while you're setting those feet. You got to try to keep that head and the head and the tail in a straight line. If you bend their head, they're going to want to swing their hips. Another thing is, is trying to keep those ears forward. Just kind of gives these calves kind of a special look. You want to be calm and cool and collected out there. It can be very difficult. These animals are very big. They have a mind of their own. Um, and, and again, sometimes we can do everything right at home. Things just still don't work in the show ring. Um, I would say that the probability of that happening is not likely, but it does happen. And if, if things go wrong, just try to try to, you know, stay cool, stay calm , um , smooth movements. When you're switching hands from the walk to where you are, where you're going to set up, you know, don't, don't be moving so fast that we accidentally, you know , poke that, that steer in the eye with the show stick or hit him or something like that. just try to be smooth, if you can. If a judge touches or handles your calf, comb that hair back up. Some judges say it's a big deal to them. Some judges say they don't act , you know, it , it doesn't make any difference to them, whether you comb that hair back up. I would tell you just as a safety measure, across the board, if the judge comes by and handles your calf, just comb that hair back up. U m, it's g oing t o keep you safe. Little side note here. When I was a youth, I actually, it was between me and another exhibitor to, u h, to w in the showmanship at our County fair. And I literally lost it off of not combing that hair back up. And I can tell you this, I've never forgotten to comb hair b ack u p ever since. So, u m, just something out there. U m, the judge said he had to use something to separate us, and that just happened to be the one thing I didn't do. So another thing to do is to keep their head up in a natural position. Don't visit. Don't hang out in that show ring, be all business when you're in there, when you're exhibiting this, these animals on the front view. Make sure those feet are wide and square and try to keep those ears forward. If a judge pulls a calf in front of you, again, pull up and fill that empty spot, and then everybody behind you needs to pull up and fill that empty spot. We talked about this a little bit before, but um , if you're needing to reposition. Make a wide, wide circle. There's no way you're going to be able to make a tiny little circle and try to get that calf back in on the side profile. It just, it never works. Again, I don't think that , uh, from a personal standpoint, that showmanship should come down to basically, you know, quiz bowl questions. We have a completely separate contest for, for Quizbowl and I highly encourage all exhibitors to do Quizbowl is it will help you in showmanship. If you do happen to have a judge that does like to ask a lot of those technical questions. However, knowing some of the very basic things are really a necessity. So there are a few questions you should be able to answer. For instance, the age of your calf, when they were born, their breed, how much you're feeding the brand, the amount in terms of pounds, protein, fat supplements , um , anything that you can provide that judge to let them know that you know what you're feeding them and why. Again, game per day, that might be something that the judge might want to know as well as their weight. We talk about this in every slide and it's the coaching part and cattle are especially hard because they are so big and it's hard to see all of those, those feet and legs all the time. And so we sometimes rely on someone from outside the ring to kind of let us know. And there's all these secret hand signals and everything like that. Usually if, if somebody is outside of the ring, just a head nod of a yes or a no, I feel like that's good enough that that should be able to tell that youth that, Hey, take another look. Um a foot's out of place. Something's not right. You need to be, you know, kind of pay attention a little more, cause something's not right. Don't let the kid be so distracted by you coaching them that they're not watching the judge. Um , very, very important. Once again , um, this information was provided courtesy of the Grant County Cooperative Extension Service. My name is Jessica Swapp Massengill and I'm the Grant County 4H/ Ag Agent. Um, if you have any further questions or suggestions, anything, you can always give me a call , um , at my office (575) 388-1559. We're not in the office every day , just due to the rotation. We only come in on certain days, but you can leave me a message. Probably the best way to get ahold of me is through my email, which is jessiej, which is spelled: j e s s i e j @ n m s u as in New Mexico State University.edu ( [email protected]). I hope this was helpful for you. I wish you luck in your showmanship. Um, sh owmanship was my favorite thing to do growing up and it's still my favorite thing to judge. And I hope this help you.Jessica's Closing Statement:
Thanks everyone for listening. If you enjoy this podcast, don't forget to hit the subscribe button on Apple podcast, Stitcher, Google Play, or whatever app you're using to listen to this podcast. Want more information? You can visit us at our website, grantextension.nmsu.edu. Follow us on Facebook at: NMSU Grant County CES. Snapchat at: Grant County NM 4-H. Or shoot us an email at [email protected] edu. O r give us a call (575) 388-1559. New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity. Affirmative action, employer and educator and NMSU, and the US Department of Agriculture cooperating.