Showmanship is a great way to show your skills in handling your livestock. It also allows you to exhibit your knowledge of the livestock industry. Here are some tips and tricks to help you become a great showman.
First, become knowledgeable about your species. Becoming knowledgeable about your species will help you understand your animal’s behaviors. Understanding your animal’s behavior will help you feel more confident when you show. Try to look into knowledge that involves specific animal behaviors, why you are feeding the feed that you are, animal identifiers, and specific industry facts.
Second, put in the time to practice. Practice allows you to train your animal, build a bond, and create and team between you. Do you know that saying, “Two hearts, One dream”? That is the kind of bond that we are talking about. You can set up obstacle courses to practice control. Setting up obstacles also helps keep the animals engaged and less likely to try and rush you. In turn, it also eliminates the risk of having negative interactions between you and your livestock animals while trying to build that bond. With that, practice real-life situations. For example, get asked questions by a parent or a sibling while in a “show like” practice run, animal control, etc.
Third, watch and learn from others. Watching others can help you learn new tricks and trends. It is encouraged to watch the showmanship classes before your own. This will allow you to get a feel of what the judge likes and what he/she doesn’t. It will also help you make a game plan for when it is your turn to show. Studying our peers helps us get to improve our skills.
Finally, and most importantly, HAVE FUN. Showmanship is supposed to be competitive and fun all at the same time. It is easy to get caught up in the moment. You must remember that the reason you are showing off your skills in showmanship is because you love what you are doing. Be passionate and always remember to win with grace and never lose, but instead, learn.