New to showing help!

Discuss the ins and outs of the showring.
bunnybai
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New to showing help!

Postby bunnybai » Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:16 pm

This will be my first year to show a steer. I have showed sheep for 5 years now but decided I needed another challenge. I have no idea what to do. I know how to show them. I plan on going to a few prospect shows next summer because my shows right after summer. But how do you work with them? What do I need to have? I have an idea on some of my supplies like a fan, blower, comb, rope halter, show halter, and show stick. But what else do I need?
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VCC
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Re: New to showing help!

Postby VCC » Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:58 pm

Along with the things you mentioned you need a rice root brush, a hose, water, and lots and lots of time on your hands.
You pretty much named it all except for the paint and adhesives you would need at the shows. You may need to get some sheen, pink or some other hair products, for your daily hair routine.
As far as what you need to do at home:
When you first get the animal home give it a couple days to get acclimated to its new surroundings, spend time in the area, but don’t really push anything on them. Once they seem to settle in, I would start rinsing, blowing and working the hair daily. We really don’t start walking them at first it is more just moving from pen to wash rack, to tie area back to pen. The one thing I have my boys do as soon as they start working the calves is set them up prior to kicking them loose every time. This is when you start working on leading them into setting up, getting them to stop with their front legs squared, and their rear legs into position. The less you need the showstick for setting up the better.

At first we rinse once a day and wash once a week, the closer you get to your terminal fair (usually in the summer) they get rinsed 2 to 3 times a day for at least 15 minutes with the coolest water you can get, kept out of the sun under fans.

One last thing, always start at the rear and work the hair forward, we try and work it forward and up at a 45* angle.

That should get you started.
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bunnybai
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Re: New to showing help!

Postby bunnybai » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:41 am

Thank you so much! This will help a lot! How long do you recommend I walk him?
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VCC
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Re: New to showing help!

Postby VCC » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:52 am

30 to 40 minutes a day should do it, if you have a large pen our pasture to turn him out at night that helps as well. Walking will not build muscle but it helps keep their muscle and it will help keep them moving more freely.
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Re: New to showing help!

Postby SPH » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:50 am

Best advice I can give to people new to showing cattle is that there is no such thing as spending too much time with your animals. The earlier you can start working with them the better and don't try to force it on them all at once in a short time period. You will know what they are comfortable with and what they are not once you start trying things so just be patient and know when to just back off and let the animal calm down before you try again. First show we usually went to was in June so around the 1st of the year or even sooner we'd bring our show animals in and start getting them halter broke. Once they stopped pulling on the halter (usually within the 1st or 2nd time tying them up they realize pulling is not going to get the halter off them) then gradually start trying to comb them so they get used to you. Then start bringing them in at chore time to tie up and feed with the halter on, leave a radio on as this helps simulate some of the extra noise going on at the fairgrounds. The more comfortable they get around things you do then start adding to that with using the blower on them, once you break them to lead then use a showstick and set their feet. Eventually they should get so comfortable with the stick that they will know where you want their feet and not fight the stick when you set them up. Lead them with a show halter every now and then too, it feels different than a rope halter so the first few times you use it they might react differently to it. Basically you will want to have done everything at home multiple times that you would do at a show (wash, blow dry, show ring practice, drinking and eating out of pans and buckets, clippers, etc.) because once you get that animal into an unfamiliar environment all those things add to the stress they already have from getting used to a new place so if they are comfortable with all that at home then it's 1 less thing that will disturb them at a show.

Most important of all, don't be scared to ask others for advice and tips. I learned so many things from my peers that had been doing it longer than me when I was a youth that some of the grooming tips I picked up went a long ways. If you aren't comfortable clipping your calves seek out someone that is and don't be scared to watch them and ask questions. Not everyone uses the same equipment, products, or methods of doing things so be open to ideas and go with what you think is best for you. Best of luck to you, sounds like you have the desire and work ethic!
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bunnybai
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Re: New to showing help!

Postby bunnybai » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:43 pm

My best friend shows steers and heifers so I kinda have an idea I just want to know others advice. I plan to sit in his stall everyday to get him used to me. I do that with all my animals. Most of them get so used to me that they miss me when I'm out of town. I work a lot with my animals and I know with a steer you have to work twice as long. It's a new year and a new challenge. I hope to take a lot from this project! Thank you so much!
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Re: New to showing help!

Postby shortybreeder » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:20 am

bunnybai wrote:My best friend shows steers and heifers so I kinda have an idea I just want to know others advice. I plan to sit in his stall everyday to get him used to me. I do that with all my animals. Most of them get so used to me that they miss me when I'm out of town. I work a lot with my animals and I know with a steer you have to work twice as long. It's a new year and a new challenge. I hope to take a lot from this project! Thank you so much!

I had to kind of laugh about the part where they miss you when you're out of town because my heifer last year was exactly like that. She was even diagnosed with separation anxiety (yes, some animals get that), so when it came time to go to the fair I wasn't able to leave her for anything more than the bathroom, food, or after they locked up the Annex building that she was in, otherwise she would just sit there and bawl like a baby... It didn't help that she was my only heifer, and a group of 8 head didn't show up at the fair so she had an entire side of the building to herself, with everyone behind her. When I bought her, she was being sold "choice" as part of the cow/calf pair (highest bidder gets the bred 1/2 blind cow or beautiful heifer) so the day I bought her was the day she was weaned. This may sound strange, but I think she developed her anxiety because of that and when I brought her home she became attached to me as her "herd."
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Re: New to showing help!

Postby torogmc81 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:56 pm

bunnybai wrote:My best friend shows steers and heifers so I kinda have an idea I just want to know others advice. I plan to sit in his stall everyday to get him used to me. I do that with all my animals. Most of them get so used to me that they miss me when I'm out of town. I work a lot with my animals and I know with a steer you have to work twice as long. It's a new year and a new challenge. I hope to take a lot from this project! Thank you so much!

You sound just like me, starting with showing. We've got two heifers that we're trying to get in shape. Sometimes I feed them the their open pen, sometimes in their open pasture. I do their first couple of scoops in a feed pan. I take a five gallon bucket to sit on. THen put the pan between my feet and the relationship begins! Lol. After they get comfortable, I get them comfortable with me rubbing in and around their face while they are eating, especially their ears. Over the last week I've been tying them up for a few hours and breaking them. It's slow but steady, but I am seeing progress. Good luck to you!
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