Preparing your goat to show involves training him to walk beside you without fussing, getting him accustomed to loud or strange noises and unexpected activity, and having him look his best for the show ring. Don't make the mistake of thinking you can groom him thoroughly just before a show and have him look as nice as the goats that receive regular coat care during the months leading up to the show. There is no replacement for elbow grease and time when preparing your goat's coat for the show ring.
Brush your goat regularly with a stiff-bristle brush. The stiff bristles will lift dirt and dead skin from the coat, keeping your goat's coat clean and shiny. Brush in the direction of hair growth, using short, firm strokes to flick dust and loose hairs away from the coat.
Trim your goats' hooves on a regular basis. Goats who spend much of their time outside, particularly on hard or rocky soil, will naturally wear their hooves down and not need them trimmed as frequently. Goats who are kept in a pen, however, should have their hooves trimmed about every six weeks. Plan to trim your goats' hooves for the last time before a show about one week before the show. This way, if you clip him a little short, he has time to work out any soreness in his feet before the competition.
Clip his coat. Clipping the coat makes your goat look neater, and his muscling and conformation will be easier to judge. Bathe and dry your goat before clipping, as dirt will dull the clippers. Clip your goat so his hair is between 1/4 and 1/2 inch long. Don't clip below the knees or hocks, aside from a little cleanup around the hooves. You can clip around the face and hooves with a smaller set of trimmers. Clip your goat at least a week before the show so his hair starts to grow back a little, masking clipper tracks and any areas of pink skin.
Bed your goat's pen deeply, and clean it regularly. This will help keep him clean and ready to show. Once you get to the show, you may want to pick out his pen several times a day so he doesn't have a chance to get dirty.
Items you will need
- Stiff-bristle brush
- Mild animal shampoo
- Hoof nippers
- Large animal clippers
- Smaller, trimming clippers
- John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images