Old show heifers may be the greatest tool with which to teach a youngster how to clip and fit! While doing our McCullough Fitting Clinics, we are often asked how a child can get better at clipping and fitting. At clinics, we can teach the proper techniques of clipping, the reason why you remove the hair and leave the hair in the places we do, but unless they actually get the clippers in their hands and practice, they won’t become great at it. Think of the great athletes. They spend countless hours practicing for an event. Michael Jorden, Shawn Johnson, Peyton Manning to name just a few, spent countless hours practicing to be the best they could be. This is the same with showing, clipping, and fitting cattle. The more comfortable you are with the feel of the clippers in your hand, the comb, and show stick, the better showman you will be.
Another question we get asked is, what age is a good time to start? Well, the sooner you start the better you will be. Sure there will be some MAJOR screw ups, and that is part of it. This is why the old show cattle need to be kept around to practice on! In the past, we have even broke 5 or 6 replacement heifers for Erin and Cody to clip on so they and we don’t have to worry about them messing up on the cattle they are actually showing that year. As for learning how to fit, the more they do it, the better they will get. Our children were able to practice on the show cattle they were showing for the year. They just had to make sure to oil and wash the glue out afterward then apply oil to the places they glued in order to keep the hide from getting dried out. At first, the clippers were not used until they had the right idea of what the leg should look like and where the hair needed to come off. Working alongside of a great fitter is a perfect way to be able to develop a young person’s skills. This works as long as the fitter will let them work alongside of them and the child will respond to constructive criticism. God has blessed us all with skills that He wants us to use for His Glory. Our job is to look at what we or our children are interested in and help them become the best they can be. All athletes set goals and focus on developing their skills. I remember back on my 4H years and when starting out a new year, I would set goals on what I wanted to accomplish that year and the areas in which I wanted to improve. If you do this, you will be challenging yourself to work harder to become something better.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 NIV
“Do your best and let God do the Rest”
Chuck and Karen McCullough, McCullough Fitting Clinics. If you have any questions feel free to call,
Chuck McCullough 641-344-5566, Karen McCullough 641-344-5548.