Now that have spent the first 4 weeks training your pig, let’s focus this week on training the showman! It is important to work on ourselves just as much as we practice with the pigs. So today I am going to go over the basics of showmanship and “social protocols” in the show ring. Even if you are not planning on doing showmanship (Which I strongly encourage everyone to try) it is important that you know the basics of showing, to get the best look of your pig in the show ring. A judge will take you more seriously, if you take showing seriously.
*Keep referring to the previous blogs and continue to walk and train your pig daily! About this time it can get tiring to do the same thing every day, but I promise it WILL pay off!
- Keep the pig moving at all times.
- Keep your eye on the judge (this is hard if you are shy, just look at their forehead)
- It is important to know where the judge is at all times so you can position your pig in His/her view. Also this is one of those known things for a good showman.
- Keep your pig between you and the judge. Do not block your pig with your body.
- To ensure that the judge can see your whole pig, stand on the other side of the pig.
- Stay away from the fence and corners. This is tougher than the others! My trick is do not let your pig get within 10 feet of them, that way if they head towards the corner you can stop them ahead of time. (The more you work with your pig at home the less it will want to walk against a fence, thus at home do not let them walk along any type of fencing or railing)
- Have a confident posture. Whether you are standing up or slightly bending over to show does make a difference. DO NOT just follow your pig around. You need to be standing by the ham-loin junction of the pig.
- Do not touch the pig, unless it is very necessary. Never use your knees or feet to move the pig. Only your hands, if the pig is being stubborn.
- Like we talked about in the last blog, practice showing all three angles: chest, side, and rear.
I HIGHLY recommend attending a jackpot show at least once or twice before your county fair. First of all this helps your pig understand what happens at a show. Secondly you can compare your pig to others and see what you need to do to make it better. Finally, you can watch other showman. Below are links to jackpot shows around the country. (If you don’t see your state it doesn’t mean there is not a jackpot circuit)
Below is a video explaining the basics of showmanship and how to practice them in your yard. This is with a gilt that has been following the training routine of our blog, so this should be similar to what you are experiencing at home. As always call with questions! Good luck!