I realized that I was getting a little long winded on the chatter post on the message board. Now, I can be here, without limitations. Sort of.
Since, we are on a roll. Let’s get rid of the showmanship contest at OYE. It isn’t a true showmanship contest anyway. Does and wethers are shown differently. Therefore, they should be judged differently. But I don’t want to add to the schedule so just get rid of it. As a venerable Jedi warrior of the Okie goat scene put it, “Set a box of showmanship buttons on the bleachers and say, ‘come and get you one’ and then let the real showmen go win classes in the real show.” I agree. The best TRUE showmen don’t win contests, they win shows.
What is showmanship? It is about making your animal looking the best that it can be. Hide the flaws, accentuate the positives. Too many worry about the flair of what a showmen looks like. The good showmen only have flair because they hid the flaws and accentuated the positives–OF the animal. Too many mimic the wrong part. Look at what good showmen are doing with the animal. Not how the showman walks or holds their hand or head or dresses. Flair can only be added as the animal is presented appropriately. I see most kids show. There are very few that can add the flair. Duke can’t, yet. But Kela could. But there are a lot that try to be flamboyant.
Show like you are trying to win a show when you are in class. Not in the showmanship contest. Most of our kids don’t enter showmanship contests at OYE or Tulsa. Why? Because we are trying to win classes, divisions and more. The shomwanship will take care of itself.
Tammy loves to help kids work on showmanship. I enjoy polishing good showmen into great showmen. Sometimes, its more about teaching the kid how to look and feel natural in the ring. Too many are fighting themselves and what their mental image of a showman is. They need a clean slate, confidence and work on making the animal look right. Then the rest will take care of itself. Sometimes, a really good showmanship job is judged by NOT making a great one look common. Sometimes, it is about making a common animal look uncommon. It is all relative. And it all takes work at home. With help. Not every kid has the right body build, strength or coordination to look good showing goats. But I am a believer that every kid, no matter what, can make a goat look good in the showring.
I know that I can sound and act like a crabby, old SOB, most of the time. But, I am actually a glass half-full kind of guy. I believe that OSU athletics will be better next year. This little green goat is the “one” with proper feeding and showmanship. And that all kids are good and want to do good. But I am also a realist. Those that work at it, will do good. The others, probably not. In order to be a good showman, a kid must be coachable. Some are, some–not so much. It depends.