Show Animals

April 8, 2008
By Colton Howard, Mexia, TX

If a person was ever in need of responsibility, I have found the job for them. Showing animals at the local county fair is the best way to practice responsibility. Sweating out the time with the animals for hours to get them broke to lead and to stand still for the judges. Being with the animals when any sane person would be nowhere near a livestock filled barn.

I started showing mainly for the promise of the possible monetary rewards for doing well at the county show. First off, I needed a suitable animal to show, nothing less than the best lamb to raise for me. Second I needed to research the cost of keeping a lamb for the sole purpose of showing the animal. Costs associated with feed, halters, sheep pen materials, buckets, and the time involved in the raising. Third came the actual raising of the lamb. Teaching it to lead, stand still for the judges, and to brace itself to show off its muscles and superior body design.

On a twice daily basis I would have to feed it the half-a-coffee can of sheep feed and refill it’s water bucket to make sure it will gain the proper weight by the time of the county show. Because a lamb that has not gained the proper weight will not be desirable for it’s meat. Working with the lamb involved bracing it, running it through the paces of the show ring and exercising its muscles. It all came to a heap of work on a daily basis for several months until the day of the show.

The day of the show has arrived and nervous is an understatement. I was shaking down to my boots. Which was only one of the things needed to be presentable. Other necessities were jeans, belt, button-up shirt, and one clean lamb. The lamb was cleaned first with soap and water to clean the wool. Then I brought out the clippers and sheared most of it off. Then came the smaller clippers for a finer cut. The lambs needed to be cut to the skin to show the muscles. Its hot where we live, so the lamb I bet was pretty, thankful.

The hour for the show is here. I’m waiting in line and now I’m walking in. I brace the lamb and wait for the judge to come over and decide if it was grand-champion material or not. He walks to my lamb, walks to the center of the ring, and announces, we have our grand champion lamb right there. Happiness washes over me like a tidal wave.

This just goes to show you that with the proper mind set and willingness to work, it will all be worth the wait and work in the long run. For the harder one works and the more responsibility he shoulders, the more they will receive. The money lamb made from the sale also made it worth while to.

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