What is in your show box?
Packing your show box is kind of like packing your suitcase. If you are anything like me, you tend to over pack. I am always afraid that I will need something the second I don’t pack it. This drives my husband Bradley nuts, however I would rather be safe than sorry! Especially when preparing for a pig show.
The key to knowing what you will need in your show box depends on the type of show you are going to. If you are going to a one day jackpot show, you will need to pack a lot less than if you are getting ready for your county, state fair, or any other show that you will be at throughout the week.
First of all, you need to read the rules of the show that you going to. Are you allowed to use oil on your pigs? Is only water allowed? Do you get a tack pen/area or do you have to put all tack above your pig pen? Knowing what is allowed will be the first step in packing. If your show has a strict no oil policy, there is no reason to even pack it! Just leave it at home.
First you will need some kind of show box. It does not matter what it looks like. From handmade wooden trunks to aluminum hanging boxes, they all get the job done. Just make sure that there is a latch and a way to secure the box (even lock it) if needed. When Lynsee and I first started 4-H we had a bright pink and green plastic trunk. It worked great.
Must have’s in your show box!
1. Spray Bottle – You will need something that you can spray your pigs down with water before going into the show ring. We like a pump stray bottle. They are easy and quick to use. We recommend staying away from watering cans because these can let a lot of water out at once making your pen wet and messy. We recommend that you have 2 just in case one breaks or if you have 2 pigs in back to back classes. One can go up to the show ring and the other can stay back in the barn.
2. Big, Soft Bristle Brush – This is to brush your pig down with before going into the ring. This is an easy way to get shavings and debris off of your pig when you are preparing back in the pen. Also the soft bristles should not scratch or turn your pig red.
3. Small pocket brush – This is the brush you have in your pocket in the show ring with you.
4. Show Utensil – Whether you show with a pipe or whip, this needs to make the trip. We strongly recommend taking at least two (just in case one gets lost or broken)
5. Soap – Needed to wash your pig!
6. Fly Spray – this is very important for summer month shows. You don’t want to spend months preparing your pig at home to have it get to the show and get bit by flies and other insects. Any farm store should have a good fly spray. **note if you are showing in winter months fly spray would not be needed
7. Skin Conditioner – We never leave home without Sudden Impact or Revive. You want to keep their skin looking good at the show.
8. Show Spray – Such as Final Bloom, Peppy, Show Sheen, Purple Oil, etc. There are a variety of different show sprays out there. Just make sure you are allowed to use oil before you use. Also if it is supposed to be warm or hot show day, we recommend skipping the oil and just using water. NOTE** make sure you wash oil off of your pigs right after they are done showing; this will help keep your pig cool as well.
9. Waterless Shampoo – We can’t get enough of this stuff! We normally use Sullivan’s EZ Clean. This is great to use when you don’t have access to a wash rack or if your pig rubs against the gate or lays in something dirty right before going into the ring.
Other Useful Items –
1. Towels – To dry off or clean your pig. (Don’t take your Mom’s new, nice towels!)
2. Number Clip – If you have one, don’t forget it!
3. Feed Scoop – We always forget our scoop when we go to shows! We started keeping a backup in the show box.
4. Wire Cutters/Pliers – these always come in handy.
5. Pocket Knife – you never know when you will need it!
6. Pen/Marker – There is always paperwork to fill out at shows, so it is best to keep one or two in the show box as back up.
7. Zip Ties – If you have clip feeders, signs, or anything else hung up, it is always nice to have a few of these on back up for any mishaps!
We know that everyone packs their boxes different and will use different things. If you are attending several shows throughout the summer, you will find out what products you are using and what you can leave at home. There also may be something we didn’t mention that will you find useful to have in your show box. We hope that this is a guideline for you as you are preparing your show box for shows this summer!