While it’s a phrase that we’ve all heard since we were toddlers, not to mention one of my all time favorite Andy Grammer songs, never does this tactic ring more true than in the show ring. It will take an animal from “zero to hero” faster than any feed supplement or treadmill and all it takes is some positional awareness of your animal and a little extra effort at home.
As a judge, this is a way you know where the break is in the class. An evaluator subconsciously views the structure, balance, and, consequently, the muscle pattern of an animal to be inferior in quality compared to the rest of the class when their head is down. The simple posture of the animal affects all of these areas differently but none in a way that makes the showman look good.
As the showman, this is an opportunity to tap into the subconscious of your judge. It’s been said that there are very few things that you have ultimate control over in this world. You bet your bottom dollar that this is one of them! By getting and keeping the head of your animal in the right spot, you’re not only doing your part as the exhibitor, but you're showing that judge that you want to be there! What happens to the animal as a result of that attitude is yet another yield. You are making your animal more expressive while being better in his lines and more than likely smoother out of his hip. Don’t believe me? Go prove me wrong. Study others and how their showing techniques lead to different looks of their animal, and relate those techniques to your own projects. That kind of experience is what builds champions!