I went through all of my clipper bags/boxes to dig out blades that need resharpened. I go through a pile of blades every year. One, because I probably shear/clip more goats than most people. Two, because I despise using a blade that is getting dull. I look at lots of goats at lots of shows and sales. I truly appreciate a well groomed animal, no matter what species it is. I see a lot of wethers that are sheared with blades that aren’t the right thickness or with blades that are getting dull. I can’t stand to see skips on a shear job. It also drives me nuts to see legs left unclipped and not blended in. And if you look at the pictures of the winners at just about any show, they will have been sheared/clipped properly. They look like a winner.
1–Make sure you have a sharp set of blades. Get your blades sharpened right now, before everybody dumps them on the sharpening services at the last minute.
2–Make sure you have the proper thickness of blades. Most need covercotes. It depends on hide, hair and show which blades that I use on any particular goat. I never use surgicals and I very rarely use fine blades. On babies, I always use covercotes.
3–Don’t leave soap or purple shimmer lights in the hair. Rinse it out. The best soap is Weaver’s coconut shampoo. Killer good soap for leaving hair clean and ready to pop.
4–Skin and hair MUST be clean and MUST be dry. Does or wethers. If a kid asks me if the goat is dry, I don’t even bother to feel it, I just yell, “Keep blowing!” The drier it is the more the hair “pops” and the smoother it will shear or clip.
5–When shearing, make mutliple passes. Don’t leave skips. Use the bevel on the edge of the blade.
6–Blend legs. Don’t leave the legs looking like some poodle in a dog show.
7–If you’re not sure, ask for help. Lots of people will tell you if something looks like a crap. Ask Schoovy, I don’t mind telling him that he screwed up.
8–Have good lighting. The show ring will be well lit and skips will show up.
9–Don’t get in a hurry. Do it right the first time. Before you take the animal off the stand, look it over for skips, uh-ohs and what the hell did I do there kind of things.
Why work with an animal all year and then not prepare it properly to give a kid their best chance at doing well.