One thing the judge doesn’t notice – so don’t worry about it!

It’s so much easier. Way easier. It’s why so many of us fall into the trap.

If I had a nicer showbox, I could fit my calf.

If I had a bigger budget, I would win more lamb shows.

If I had a fancier trailer, I could do better with my pigs.

It’s so much easier to wish we had all these things we believe will make a difference, but when you’re in the ring, the judge sees you and your animal. And all your work at home makes a huge difference in what the judge sees that day. All the early mornings, the washing, rinsing, brushing, walking, and feeding – the judge sees all that represented in your animal in the ring.

But you know what the judge doesn’t see? Ever?

The trailer your barrow/lamb/steer walked off at the show.

The judge also doesn’t see the truck that pulled the trailer, the showbox where you store your supplies, or how fancy your feed pans are.

And yet, sometimes we obsess over these very things like they make or break our chance at a banner. Sure, if you jackpot every weekend that trailer will absolutely come in handy and you’ll really enjoy it. Yes, the showbox can make things easier to find and stay organized and at some point, you’ll likely make great use of one. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have these things. You just shouldn’t think that having those things will make your animal any better.

Instead, what if you intensely focused on the things the judge will be evaluating? We know what matters, but we still find ourselves thinking about the rest.

If I had a nicer showbox, I could fit my calf.

If I had a bigger budget, I would win more lamb shows.

If I had a fancier trailer, I could do better with my pigs.



Because it’s easier to place the “blame” somewhere else for our shortcomings with our project rather than take an honest look at what we could do better with the things we can control right now.

It’s easier to find fault with something (or someone) outside ourselves rather than face the facts about how committed we’ve been with our daily routines at home.

It’s easier to talk about all the things we don’t have rather than do the hard work to maximize what we do have.

I was on the track team during my freshman year of high school. My school had a gravel track then and still does. There were neighboring schools that had all-weather tracks, and yet, it had been my high school that claimed the girls’ state track championship the previous year. Turns out that a stop-watch doesn’t care what kind of track you practice on.

My advice? Stop complaining about all the things the judge never sees (your barn, your truck and trailer, your showbox) and use that energy to be even more committed to everything that does make a difference in the ring. You’ll be more focused, more optimistic, and more fulfilled.

And if/when the time does come for that new barn/truck/trailer/showbox, it will be all that much more fun.



Marlene Eick is a storyteller and coach. As co-owner of Herdmark Media, she helps brands in agriculture tell their story. As a success coach, she helps people discover the stories within themselves.

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