10 Definite Losses You Will Take in the Show Barn
Although there are many positive aspects of showing livestock or growing up in a barn, in general, there are also many things that will make you want to throw in the show halter right then and there. It's not all glitz and glamour all of the time, even as much as we pray it would be.
1. What is sleep?
Whether it be the countless hours spent in the barn at home or at the show, sleep is unheard of. The usual all-nighter spent driving to the show to get front row for the "best" pens or the 3 hours you're at the hotel getting sleep because you have to be back to the barn to start washing by 5 A.M. You better just count on a nap for the next 12 hours the day after.
2. Freddy's in the Wash Rack
Here it is.. show day, you're in your show clothes washing your heifer in the wash rack and suddenly the back of you is dripping with water. You turn around and there is showman that is soaked head to toe with barely any water on their animal... Poor kid is about to get a load of disappointment or if it happens again maybe a dirty look from the people around them.
3. Unloading Feed
Growing up as a farm kid, it was inevitable that we would be loading and unloading feed, as a kid I thought I seemed so cool because I could lift 50 pounds worth of feed. Years later when it was time to unload pallets of feed for your show animal, it didn't seem as appealing.
4. Poop EVERYWHERE
The biggest thing that I learned from moving from sheep to cattle was just how much poop my animals produced. The worst thing other than endlessly scooping was when you got covered from head to toe when they're not feeling too well and let out a big cough.
5. Stock Show Crud
Besides missing a week of class for the show, you might as well call in a few sick days after because unless you have a bomb.com immune system you will get the stock show crud. Which might actually be caused by too many tears and lack of sleep, it has yet to be proven.
6. When your halter isn't waiting on you...
The easiest way to get me angry is when I have been in the show ring for 30 minutes fighting my animal and I walk out of the ring as a sweaty mess and I realize that my halter is not waiting for me. I then realize I have nowhere to go because do you just leave your whole family without your halter or do you wait with your 1,300 pound animal and just block the whole aisle of traffic.
7. Snot and Boogers and Slobbers, OH MY!
By the end of show season, I'm sure our dry cleaning bill is out the roof. You can be setting your animal up or working with them for 15 minutes and your whole arm would be covered in just pure slobber. That doesn't even count the 30 minutes before that your heifer had been sitting there licking you. Better make sure you have an extra show shirt because somehow you will end up needing it.
8. The Stench
After the show you will most likely go on either a celebratory dinner or a dinner talking about "shoulda, coulda, woulda's" that had happened that day, don't worry the restaurant will smell right at home because the smell will linger with you for at least the next month.
9. Forgetting that "have to have" item
In the middle of getting ready, you will check the show box and realized you forgot one of the most important items for show day. This will end up in your dad handing you money as you take off toward the Weaver trailer to grab the item that you will have double of when you get home.
10. The Biggest L... Losing in the Showring
Just recently I took a strengths quiz and my number one strength was competition, along with everyone who is anybody in the show barn. Everyone in the running for that blue ribbon and purple banner has one thing in their mind and that is winning. Nothing is worst than leaving a stock show not doing as well as you have worked for and expected to do.
Regardless of all the L's that you will definitely take, I would not trade the stock show life for anything. It has taught so many life lessons along with teaching responsibility. Above all, you will gain lifelong friendships and maybe even a college roommate! It is something I could be around for the rest of my life and you better believe my kids will think the same.