The show stick and the whip.
Presentation is key. Keeping your animal at ease, their feet in place, head up, tail tucked and turning at just the right time to give the judge the perfect view.
The comb or brush.
Keeps every strand of hair in place. Maximizing the look of your animal. Pulling legs, tops and bellies. Hide and hair looking their best. Once again, presentation is key.
The halter and the chain.
Complete control. Head up. Stop. Go. Fast. Slow. Use the whole ring. Stay right in step with your animal. Smooth transitions from one hand to the other.
Though these may just be tools that keep your show box cluttered and nearly overflowing, these are the tools that build every great showman. The critical pieces to perfecting yourself and your animal in the ring for the half of a second glance as the judge makes their initial sort to the class.
However, gripping the tools are the hands of a showman who has spent countless hours in the barn practicing, feeding, and taking care of their livestock. The showman who has the drive and desire to win. The showman who is determined. Determined to outdo the day before, and always reach for the stars.
Even the newest, latest and greatest tools can’t win a major livestock show on their own. The tools are critical, but what matters the most is how it all comes together in the hands of the beholder.