This is the first post in the Fair Prep Series.
The first step in preparing the show string for the fair circuit is getting the animals comfortable wearing a halter. We start several weeks before the fair and take the process in small steps.
The older heifers and the cow that has been to fairs before take no time at all to get used to the rope halter. The young bull and heifer calves take a couple of sessions until they realize that the rope on their face will not hurt them.
Once the animals are calm and comfortable with their new equipment, we start taking them for short walks while they are wearing the halters.
At first the animals are only restrained for a short time period and will work up to longer times. It’s important that they can be content because this is how they will be spending much of their time while at the fairs between baths, grooming, walks and competitions.
The animals soon learn that they can rest comfortably while they wear their halters and we keep a close eye on them to make sure they have frequent breaks for walking and water between feedings.