How to come out of the gate
Regardless if its Houston, your county fair or a jackpot show.. all of your hard work, time, and money with your show pig comes down to the first three to five seconds that you enter the show ring or sift pen.
You will often hear people say “How does a judge know that quick if my pig is good?” I always tell them that if a person walks by or you are watching the Miss America pageant it only takes a few seconds for you recognize if that person is attractive, same with a pig! Watch this video of Kaden and Kamlynn of how to get a great first impression coming out of the gate and learn some of the common mistakes that showman make.
One thing that I mentioned in the video but we didn’t hit on a lot is to know the strengths and weaknesses of your pig. We will cover that in more detail in another blog. Basically, you need to consider all three views of your pig (side, chest, and rear) to know whether to angle more coming out of the gate or come straight at the judge and then how quick to transition to a side view. When considering chest view, you never want to angle too much coming out of the gate because that is a red flag to the judge that you think your pig has a problem there. Angling slightly will help your pig’s chest look a little wider. As always, having their head up as high as you can when you drive a chest view will always make them plant squarer and wider.
I also mention how we like to simulate the sift pens at the major shows at home. Kaden’s first year he started showing at the majors we did this and built sift pens for each major show for him to practice and I think it made a huge difference. Still to this day, when we are at a show we will take the kids and go through the sift pen scenario with them before they show. Kaden likes to actually walk through the sift pen (just him, not with this pig) the night before. I have pictures of him walking through it the night before he showed “Hollywood” at San Antonio this year. He had watched where Mark Hoge had been standing all week in the sift pen and then walked the path that he planned to show with his barrow. As with anything, you can never be too prepared!
It is incredibly hard to make up for your pig not getting a great first impression with the judge when you enter the ring. The ones that “hit them hard” when they come out will be the ones that stick in their minds for the rest of the class! In future blogs we will cover “Making a great second impression: coming out of the placing pen” and “Just not losing while you show in the big ring”. If you have any topics that you would like to see covered, please comment or text us and let us know! As always, Do the small things right and BIG things will happen!