By Michelle Bufkin
Showing, any species, is hard work. But that’s not news to anyone that shows. Showing teaches you more than just how to take care of a calf, pig or sheep. It teaches you how to take care of yourself as well.
Sometimes it can feel like people who show different species require different things, but these pieces of advice from “has-beens” apply to all species and in some instances, life past showing.
“My favorite quote was always, ‘practice like you have never won, perform like you have never lost.’ Showing taught me to stay humble; I thought I was the best in the ring until my equine partner decided otherwise.” – Mercedes Muldoon
“An exercise my father used to make me do every night before a show was think about the whole process before I went to sleep. Getting my heifer ready, showing and breaking down. I always felt more prepared for the day after doing this, in fact I still do it in my personal and professional life!” – Jacee May
“Be both a gracious loser and a humble winner. Success is a process that isn’t reached in one day; so work hard to reach your goals, don’t compare yourself to others and be extremely slow to criticize others – you don’t know where they are on their path.” – Sarah Dickinson
“If you want to look good in front of thousands, you have to outwork thousands in front of nobody,’ this quote motivated me to work hard in the practice pen.” – Sarah Hunter
“Sometimes you just have to smile through the tears – whether your animal just stepped on your foot, the judge placed you last in showmanship or your animal just is not cooperating. Allowing yourself to get frustrated only makes you look bad and feel worse. Sometimes you just have to breathe.” – Charmayne Hefley
“Never let your animal drink from communal troughs! Always bring buckets and duct tape. Be polite.” – Genta Mills Stanfield
One of my favorite quotes is, “you can either be a participator or competitor.” The choice is up to you. Practice and hard work is what makes you a competitor.
What are some of the best pieces of showing advice you have received?