Market lambs can be a perfect project for a young show person. The difference in placing at the top of a class begins with planning, selection, nutrition and health, but ends with how the youth and animal perform on show day. Many hours are spent on the farm preparing the animal for the big day and when it comes; it’s time for a show person to shine.
One day before the show, exhibitors should take time to lead their lambs in the ring to let themselves and their animal become familiar with the ring structure. This will allow the young show person to gain confidence before the show and evaluate the proper footing for their animals.
Come show day, University of Arkansas Extension suggested that exhibitors avoid corners of the ring and leave plenty of space between the lamb and others, usually 2-4 feet depending on the size of the ring and the number in the class. Set the lamb up, making sure the legs are set properly, and keep the body, neck and head in a straight line, with the lamb’s head up and ears alert. Always show with both hands. Do not put a free hand behind the back; use the free hand to keep the lamb’s head and body straight.
A key tip is to always keep an eye on the judge and one of the lamb. Practicing at home showing the lamb will prepare both the exhibitor and animal for expectations come show day. When practicing at home, youth should focus on using the halter to keep the lamb’s head up while teaching him to lead. Having a parent or older youth available to assist by pushing the lamb from behind will aid inexperienced youth. Be sure to teach the lamb to lead with its front shoulder and the lamb’s neck should stay in front of the exhibitor’s body. It is important to have someone to assist by pushing the lamb from behind whenever he stops.
When showing a lamb, be careful not to cover your lamb with your body so that the judge’s view is not hindered and always keep the lamb between the exhibitor and the judge. Set the lamb’s front legs up first, then place the hind legs, keeping the body and neck straight and the head high.
Be prepared for the judge to handle your animal and keep the lamb’s head up and body, neck and head in a straight line at all times. Lambs must be taught to push back, when the judge is handling the animal – this must be taught at home as part of the training process. Steady, constant pressure helps the judge to evaluate the lamb. If the lamb does not stand and push properly when the judge handles it, the animal may place lower in a class. If the lamb is selected by the judge, U of A Extension suggested to circle the animal at a moderate pace out of the line and follow directions of the ring man, while also keeping an eye on the judge.
Exhibitors should be showing at all times once they enter the ring. A youth should realize they only have sometimes 15 seconds to make an impression on a judge, and if the lamb is not shown effectively when handled, the animal may be overlooked among the class. 
In addition, after the judge makes a decision it’s always important to remember to show good sportsmanship in the ring and afterwards.


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