This week I want to focus back on showmanship and preparing your hog for the show. Before I get into detail about showmanship again, I want to encourage you to constantly be evaluating your hog. It is important that we know what we like about our pig and what needs changed about our pig. If you are uncomfortable about evaluating your pig, ask a friend or 4-H advisor that you trust to come evaluate. Just like in sports, it is important that we keep improving our pig daily. This means if the pig is not changing, maybe you need to be switching feeds. (Not necessarily brands, just the specific feed you are on)
Today I really want to focus on how to get to the next level of showmanship. We have talked about the basics of keeping your hog moving, keeping a good 10-15ft. from the judge, eye contact, keeping the pig in between you and the judge, and showing different angles. Today I’m going to tell you the secret to being at the top of showmanship and even winning showmanship.
Are you ready?
It is easier than you may think……
Here it is:
Be the best at mastering the basics! I know this sounds simple, but that is the key. Many people think that since they know the basics they don’t have to keep practicing them. However, if you can successfully conquer all the basics to showing that we have discussed in previous blogs, and stay in the open sections you will do well.
The goal is to get the judge to look at you and your hog more than anyone else. Thus when you get clear eye contact with the judge, do NOT look away first. Hold the judge’s stare for as long as possible. Intense eye contact is a Huge advantage to showmanship. Just looking at the judge will not cut it, you have to look into their eyes and hold that eye contact. (If you are a shy person, look at their forehead/ eyebrow)
Next is to master your posture. The key is to be aggressive, but calm. There is no need to get over worked and no need to over tap your hog in the show ring. Show off all the hard work you put in before. They key is to get your pig to turn without tapping it a million times!
Winning showmanship is not a science, it’s who can present their hog the most times in front of the judge, while maintaining control, speed, and has good eye contact and confidence.
The best way to learn is watch others who do well, and ask for help!