Club Calves
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Although the title of this page is "one" month prior to shows, practices begin to change in mid-July to early August. All of the things done in the early summer are repeated but others are added to the routine.
By this time, the steers are beginning to grow some hair. So, the process of blowing the steers dry after rinsing is added to the morning routine and "sheen" is combed and blown into the steers hair so that they are kept cleaner throughout the day. In the evening there is much more focus on getting the steers completely dry after they are washed and even blowing the steers hair well after it is completely dry, to further stimulate and get the hair to pop at the roots. This gives the appearance of thicker, fuller hair. After blown completely dry, products are then sprayed into the steer's hair, combed or brushed in, then blown in as well.
As not mentioned on the summer months page, the steer's hide also needs to be well conditioned to prevent hide conditions, irritation, and to promote more hair growth. This is done in many ways. One way to do this is to rub in and rinse out conditioner during the washing process or if during early summer, work conditioner into hide and leave in until the next morning. Aside from straight conditioner, conditioner diluted with water can also be sprayed either lightly or heavily into the hair and worked in with a brush. A key practice that has not been mentioned yet has to do with leg hair. All four legs of a steer should have good, long, thick hair. This has the potential of hiding a structural flaw in the calf and overall gives the steer more complete look. Good hair in general and leg hair can be genetic and may not take a lot of tedious work but for some steers, this is not the case. Leg hair is just as important as any other hair on the body and should be worked just the same amount. The main thing I do to bring on leg hair is to brush all the hair in an upwards direction using conditioner as well. A "roto brush" may is also a good tool to use to help the growth of leg hair.
Aside from just working the steer's hair at night, walking the calf and working with the show stick is also very important. A show stick is used to set the steer's feet once he is stopped in the ring, and is used to keep the steer calm by scratching his belly. The showman's ability to present the steer to the judge can be the difference between winning and losing. For example, a really good steer might have a structural problem that a particular judge may extremely dislike and not be willing to look past. But, if the kid showing this steer gets the steers feet set to where the flaw is hidden when the judge looks at the steer, the judge may never realize the flaw. A good showman is a kid that can present his animal to the best of its ability and maybe even a little past.
Hair Products
Some of many hair products, and the end of a show stick.
Show Sheen
"show sheen" keep the hair fresh and hide clean for longer periods of time.
roto brush
A roto brush is attatched to a drill and used to work leg hair.
Show Stick
Show stick used to set calf's feet in show ring, loin, or raise his back.Also used to keep steer calm and relaxed.