I'd first like to say that I have a follower, and I'm so, so, so excited! My very first. I hope I don't scare her away.
Now for this entry, I hope to find some pictures someday to add. I think they add a certain, something.
As you may recall, I used to show dairy heifers at the fair. I loved doing it. We would bring our animals in on a Friday and the next day would be show day. This meant we woke up very early in the morning, scrambled to get our whites ready for show, and then finally taking off. We would arrive at the fair before the sun had fully risen in the sky, so many times there was still a gentle fog on the ground.
Going in the barns where are heifers were kept, the scent of fresh sawdust and soap would hit my nose. I loved that smell-and I still do! Before doing anything else, I would say hi to my ladies and take them for a bit of water. Then I'd clean up under them, making sure no stray clump of poop was left behind. After this, it was out to the wash stand to clean up, most of the time this resulted in an extra shower for me, but it always meant a squeaky clean Holstein as well. I would then put a blanket on the freshly washed bovine and bring her back to her clean stall. There she would eat all she wanted and drink whenever she felt necessary. I would brush her and make her look just perfect for the judges.
I know I've made it seem like showing is a fairy tale, but it's not. One family always made this very, very clear. There were three sisters and a brother in my 4-H club who always had their string of show cattle just across the aisle from me. Whenever I would finish with my chores, I would sit on my tack box and just watch them. It was pure entertainment. The oldest would yell at her sisters and then all three would yell at the brother for everything from "she's using my straightener" to "YOU LET MY HEIFER SIT IN SHIT!" (which is a VERY bad thing to do!) They acted as though the show they were preparing for was the end of the world and if their cows weren't perfect, they would have to answer to the big man Upstairs.
I don't believe most shows are this high strung. However, what's done is done, and that was one experience I'll never forget.