kids showing goats

Follow These Goat Show Tips to Get Ringside Ready

Goat show season is officially starting — and champions have been preparing for months. But if you’re just now starting, don’t worry! These step-by-step goat show tips will turn your barnyard friend into a confident competitor.

Six Months Out: Bond and Build

Everyone knows the saying “Stubborn as a mule.” Goats share this stubbornness, too. Not to be difficult, but as a survival mechanism.

They can still be trained, though. It just takes them a while to feel comfortable being handled. That’s why you should start training six months or more before show season starts. This will give them plenty of time to familiarize themselves with being led — and plenty of time to form a bond with you.

Four Months Out: Diet and Shine

If you’ve ever tried dieting, you know that results can take weeks to show. Maybe months.

The same goes for goats, which is why you should strongly consider researching goat nutrition or consulting a veterinarian to create a proper feeding regime that will help them stand out when it’s showtime.

Following a recommended diet helps achieve a few things:

  • Maintaining their ideal weight
  • Building muscle
  • Making their coat shine

You’ll also want to start introducing your goat to a muzzle around this time.


Because you don’t want them picking at the leg hair you’ve worked so hard to grow (or at other things they shouldn’t). The muzzle could be made of mesh or a nylon/mesh combo to allow for easier breathing and comfort.

Three Months Out: Hoofin’ It

When the show is a few months away, you’ll probably want to have a hoof trimmer pay a visit.

This way, your goat will have proper footing — literally! — as their training ramps up. Additionally, when their hooves are nicely trimmed, you’ll notice a difference in your goat’s structural soundness.  

Two Months Out: Step Up Your Training

Now is when you’ll want to make grooming sessions part of your routine. And you’ll want to make sure covering your goat in a goat tube or a goat blanket after they’re bathed and brushed is part of that routine.

goat with a blanket on

Otherwise, you run the risk of dust and debris dulling your goat’s coat — not to mention goat blankets regulate body temperature, which helps maintain a goat’s overall health and appearance. 

One Month Out: Practice Makes Perfect

What do champion athletes and champion showmen have in common?

They all train.

So, consider enrolling in a clinic to take your showmanship abilities to the next level! Also, be sure to practice walking, setting up, and/or bracing your goat daily.

Three Weeks Out: Polishing The Performance

A lot of people are creatures of habit.

The same thing can be said of actual creatures. You know, like goats.

And soon enough, your goat will be in front of new sights, sounds and smells.

They’ll most likely be unsettled, perhaps even hesitant — and that won’t impress the judge.

But you can avoid those performance jitters by establishing a daily routine three weeks from showtime that includes feeding, grooming and relaxation.

Now, it’s important to note the routine itself doesn’t matter. Neither does the order.

What does matter is establishing the routine so your goat is calmer when competition day comes.

Two Weeks Out: Time for Touchups

This is when you’ll want to groom or clip your goat regularly. If you start now, there will be time for bad lines to grow out or missed areas to be touched up.

You’ll also want to give your goat a final hoof trim here so they can heal in time to strut their stuff confidently.

And, if possible, begin phasing out the muzzle — entirely if possible.

The Day Before: Look Your Best

Tomorrow’s the big day!

You’ll want your goat looking their absolute finest — and you’ll want to look your best, too.

That means picking out an appropriate outfit for the ring:

  • Boots or leather shoes
  • Clean, non-ripped jeans
  • A polo shirt, conservatively buttoned up

The Day Of: Time to Show Off

This is it: The day you’ve been working towards. You’ve practiced your routine. Your goat looks great and feels calm.

girl showing a goat

There’s just one last goat show tip to follow: Before it’s your turn to show, be sure to watch the classes before you and observe how the judge wants the ring to flow, and what he or she is looking for. After all, paying attention to the judge’s preferences can mean the difference between winning and losing.

No matter what though, following this schedule should strengthen the bond you and your goat share. And that’s reason enough to celebrate.

Good luck this show season!

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