Preparing for the show – practicing for your success

Preparation for shows starts at home with practice and learning to work as a team with your animal. Follow this news article series to prepare for your successful show ring experience.

Being ready to walk into the show ring for a jackpot show or fair involves more than just having your animal with you. The Michigan State University Extension “Preparing for the show” series is a four article series that helps youth become better prepared to walk into the ring and have a successful experience. The series will focus on the three C’s surrounding the most frequently asked questions: Cleanliness, confidence and clothing.

Walking into a show ring is a lot like giving a speech. The biggest difference is that you have a prop with you that may or may not be wanting or ready to be there. So how do you attempt to have the most success? Two words: Practice and teamwork.

Just like you would practice giving a speech, preparation for the show begins at home. Preparing an animal for the show takes patience as you continue to train the animal for what you would like to do in the show ring. If you believe that your class will take at least 20 minutes, make sure you practice the exact way you would in a show for that same amount of time so that the animal is use to the experience it will have. This will also help you mentally and physically prepare for your showing experience. If you are on your own working with your animals, consider hanging up a mirror so that you can see exactly what your animal looks like and what changes should be made to foot and head placement.

Even if you are having one of your best days showing, if you and your animal are not working as a team, experiencing success will be much more challenging. Teamwork is an essential life skill off of Iowa State University’s Targeting Life Skill Wheel. Working together as a team with your animal not only increases the comfort level of the animal, but will allow you more success in reaching your own goals for being in the show ring.

Looking for more information on how to prepare for the show? Part 2: Cleanliness, Part 3: Confidence and 4: Clothing in this series will further explore the three most common questions in relation to getting you and your animal ready for the show.

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