Selecting the Right Show Stick

When you enter the show ring you have two pretty powerful tools to use to showcase your calf: your halter and your show stick. Most skilled showmen will tell you that your halter serves as the steering wheel for getting your calf around the ring, and when halter pressure is used correctly, it can help you effectively set up feet.

The show stick is often needed for making adjustments or moving hind feet. For an excited, novice showman it is easy to focus mostly on the color of the show stick. Fun colors and patterns are a great way to show off your personality, but the most important factor to consider is size.

You might think that a young or short showman needs a smaller stick, but the exact opposite is true. Shorter-statured exhibitors often need a show stick that is taller than they are so they can effectively reach the hind feet without turning the animal’s head to the side as they work.

When it comes to selecting an appropriate color of show stick there is much debate.  A black or silver show stick is the safe bet for showmanship classes, and still the ideal option for confirmation classes. However, if you feel like you need a little color or bling be sure that it isn’t distracting from your animal.

Finally, make sure the bottom point of your show stick is sharp. You clearly don’t want to cause pain to your animal, but you do want them to be responsive to the pressure.

For additional tips on using your show stick check out our Prep to Win “How Do You Move Your Calf’s Feet” video.

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