Grooming Your Cattle for the Show

Hi All, We have been gathering information from customers over time and hope this helps anyone getting into the grooming space. Everyone has their own techniques and tricks you will pick up over time and this article should give an insight to beginners and help them get the show on the road!

The following steps will take exhibitors from the shed to the show ring. We will discuss in section washing, blow drying, combing, clipping and fitting.

Step 1: Washing

Washing consists of cleaning the mud, manure, and dirt from the animal/s hair. It is also beneficial in stimulating hair growth. You will need shampoo,a hose a wash brush, a halter to secure your animal and a circular curry comb if the animal is very dirty. Wet the animal completely and squirt the soap in the stream of the water. This will evenly disburse the soap on the entire body of the animal.

Start scrubbing, getting into all the nooks and crannies. Face, legs, and underneath are key spots. Don't be shy with the elbow grease; a gentle hand won't cut it! Rinse off all the suds thoroughly to avoid any dandruff appearing.

Step 2: Drying

One of the main slip-ups here is patchy drying, leaving bits of your animal damp, especially around the face, legs, and belly. Ensure you dry the whole coat through and through. Consistency is key in this game. Start at the front and work your way back, keeping that nozzle at a 30-45 degree angle, just like when you're giving a good comb through. You might even want to brush or comb as you blow-dry, helping to train that hair into shape.

Step 3: Brushing

Brushing or combing is crucial for getting your animal's hair in top shape. Before you start, make sure your calf is used to being tied up. Brushing stimulates hair growth, especially in long-haired animals, giving them that thick coat you're after. But remember, a good coat can't hide every flaw. . Wet the animal before brushing or combing. Start the hair training early, brushing and combing forward and slightly up, covering the whole body, including the legs.If you are struggling with hair growth the Osmonds range is known for improving coats on animals.

Step 4: Clipping

There are many different ways to clip your animal and it usually depends on the breed and where the animal’s strong or weak points are. Having a good quality clippers will give you a clean cut. Battery clippers have become very popular as it is a lot easier to manouvere around your showstopper!

Final Touches

Before you start working on the legs or any other parts, you need to wash and blow dry the hair fully. Give yourself plenty of time for this. One tip we often give is to wash your animal the night before and let them bed down in clean straw. If you do this, then the next morning, if they're not too dirty, all you have to do is blow the dirt off your animal and start getting them ready for the show.

On the day of the show, you'll want to do the fitting. This involves fluffing up the hair on the legs, hindquarters, and tail head. As you fluff up the hair on the legs with your comb, spray adhesive on it to make it hold for your long-haired cattle. 

All you need to do is take your fluffer comb and comb upward and forward. Just as you did in the training process. Some people like to use soaps to finish the animal. apply the soap in a downwards motion and then brush back up into the hair. Others like to use oil based conditioners like final bloom or revive to put a shine on the animal.

Now you are ready for the ring and best of luck!

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