February 8, 2017

What is Showmanship?

I find myself constantly trying to find the right definition of showmanship when it pertains to livestock. The Formula of Champions site has a really good description. It's basic, doesn't go into all of the details, or what if's of a show ring, but a good overall description.

This year I found myself disappointed in the showmanship skills of my kids and those that I am working with. What have I done wrong? There is so much room for improvement.

First and foremost, we all know that kids get tired of mom or dad always harping on them, sometimes it's different coming from someone else. Second is time, when you have busy kids you have to make the time for them to practice over and over until it is natural. Third, you have to review the what if's and how to adapt or correct them.

We all know that showmanship matters in every single class, not just in the showmanship division.

Showmanship is...

-presenting your animal to the best of it's abilities, showing the strengths more than the weaknesses

-knowing when you are getting covered up or hidden by another exhibitor

-understanding the flow of the ring and how classes are being set up

-being prepared for the unexpected placing change or to walk an extra time

As our daughter begins her first official year showing and the other kids need a little more experience, I'm also in the business of helping newbies, so I better get my act together. Between looking up video examples, and practicing, my mission is to do better at demonstrating instead of telling. Instead of everyone having a fresh calf on the end of the halter and me telling them what to do, I should be demonstrating what I'm saying and how to avoid some of the what if's of a showring. For newbies at livestock showmanship, check out Formula of Champions!!

1 comment:

  1. Katy,
    Growing up in the show ring I can share a couple thoughts:

    1. My Mom and Grandpa showed cattle. I attempted to play rec basketball and softball as a kid. I am short and slow. Mom told me she knew how to help me be a good showman and she could not help me be a better athlete.

    2. The more you go the more you know! Every show you learn something. You do the best to prepare and sometimes that preparation is for the unexpected. As long as you don't beat yourself, every show (no matter the ribbon color) can be a success.

    3. Sister and I showed home raised calves. We didn't have the show jock type steers. Mom and Dad knew that we couldn't raise the extreme club calves and make a living as a commercial cow/calf operation. They did know Sister and I needed to have success in the show ring. Showmanship became a challenging, but achievable goal. We also showed breed steers.

    4. I will also tell you, from my limited observations, showing cattle today is different from when I showed calves. I wish you and your family the best of luck as you work towards success in the show ring.