Recently I’ve had the privilege to see show season kick off in full swing. My social media has been overwhelmed with all of those great pictures of everyone showing. As I was looking through some local show pictures I was thinking about how hot it was outside. I was feeling sorry for anyone that shows haired cattle, because I know how much of a pain it is to keep hair on cattle. That got me thinking about how stock show kids think of seasons so differently than everyone else.
To us our seasons don’t go Summer, Spring, Winter, and Fall. Our seasons go from show season starting, to show season ending. We count every county show, fair, jackpot show, state show, and national show in between the beginning and ending. We get our future blue ribbon winners all lined up and broke in. We get our calendars out and begin marking every show we can think of, while scanning the internet searching for more. We have been waiting for show season to begin ever since it ended. Finally show season is among us!
We spend summers excited to be sitting outside in the barn with our animals rather than sitting at school wondering what “Fluffy” was doing all day. During school we wonder if they are thinking about us like we are thinking about them, and wondering if they had taken their daily nap, of many daily naps. Stock show kids just enjoy spending time in the barn, working with their show animals and spending as much time as they want with them. Blue ribbons don’t win themselves and it takes a lot of work even during those hot summer days to get there.
We fight the life sucking bugs to be able to practice driving a pig and bracing a sheep. We sweat like crazy working hair and practicing setting that goat and steer up to where it just comes naturally in the show ring. Stock show kids also have to fight with the heat and hair loss. We dread combing and blowing hair because we are afraid that we will have enough hair to make a wig for Mr. Clean. Plus nothing is worse than a sunburn on a fair skinned pig.
In Fall the weather is finally cooling down a bit, and it’s finally time to bring out the coffee to the barn (Stock Show Boutique has some pretty amazing coffee mugs and travel cups!) Hair is finally starting to slowly grow, and appetites are starting to pick up. The leaves are changing and nothing is a prettier sight than getting to go showing and driving down the road and seeing how pretty the scenery is. Fall weather is the best during show season!
In Winter stock show kids bundle up to fight the cold to make sure our show animals are nice and toasty. At this point hair is normally nice and fluffy, so working the hair is a must. It might be 0 degrees outside, but these animals are still hungry, and needing the ice busted in their water troughs. Stock show kids brave the cold in order to be their show animal’s hero.
Spring is a great season, and show animals really seem to enjoy Spring just as much as humans. The grass is turning green and it’s finally warm to start walking the pigs outside again. After spending so much time inside during winter, show animals can start developing barn fever. There really isn’t a better sight than watching your show animals get the chance to go outside again. Show animals playing around and feeling good is always the best.
Stock show kids brave the extreme weather because they are hard workers. These kids are motivated and don’t let anything stand between them and their show animals. The weather is extreme but these stock show kids are so persistent and willing to brave it all to keep them happy.
About Breanna Viles is a current college student who is combining her passion for agriculture and love for writing together, which created Raised in a Barn on Facebook. On WordPress her blog is called Raised Right in a Barn is an informational and educational blog that is helping give agriculture a much needed voice. When she isn't blogging she is spending time with her family, boyfriend, or enjoying life on the farm.