How to get your goat to brace/push??

Discussion in 'Show Circuit' started by jcarr492, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. jcarr492

    jcarr492 Member

    93
    May 2, 2011
    My girls are in to their 3rd year of raising boers for 4H and the county fair. One thing they haven't gotten the hang of is training their goats to brace or push for show. They get them to half way look decent standing...but since we have new kids...they would really like to know how to just START with them to teach them to do this. We've had them a week and the girls are just getting out there to be with them. They have collars on them and when they leash them up, of course, they dont want to walk, yet. What are the steps to working with them and how long should they work with them each day? What are good things to do with them to help build up muscle? I wish they knew more about them, but they've just gotten lucky in the ring at fair time. They placed 5th and 7th last year..but would really like to strive for grand or reserve!
     
  2. RPC

    RPC Boer Goat Breeder

    I have been wondering the same thing. Bracing is new to our county fair and so I don't know how to teach the kids to do it. We have not started working with ours yet so I know it will be a chore.
     

  3. Dani-1995

    Dani-1995 New Member

    Mar 10, 2011
    Greenville, NC
    I start by pushing them backwards using my knee. Sometimes i push them into our chain link fence, or into a puddle of water. I know some people push them to the end of the fitting stand but just far enough to step off and then pull them forward before they're feet hit the ground. So far with 3 wethers that hasn't worked for me. I have more luck backing them into to things and bulling them around then anything. I'd try a couple different methods with them and see what works best. Just remember to reward them when they do a good job
     
  4. RPC

    RPC Boer Goat Breeder

    So when you puck them into the wall you are hoping they will push back against your leg? What if they don't and just let you keep pushing? Dani I am not going to lie I was hoping you would comment.
     
  5. jcarr492

    jcarr492 Member

    93
    May 2, 2011
    how often should we be working with them? everyday I'm sure...but how many times a day? the kids have school during the week, but have evenings and weekends free till schools out. Also, how long should they work with them? 1/2 hour? hour? longer? they have two progress shows this summer...would be nice to not have to fight the goats in the ring. LOL getting a free treadmill tomorrow that we'll rig up to use to walk the goats on an incline later. Just want to get this training started early instead of half way to fair time.
     
  6. Dani-1995

    Dani-1995 New Member

    Mar 10, 2011
    Greenville, NC
    Well Roger, I'm not going to lie, I know people who have way more expirience in this than I do but I'll tell you what I do and maybe it'll help you. I've been showing goats for three years and the last two bracing has become really popular in our area.

    If they keep letting me push them I will pull them into my knee really hard and quick, then push them back again until they catch on. Mine will evetually get mad at me and start pushing, once they push for about 20 seconds I stop bracing and pet them, then brace again. It takes a few days of work to get them to brace good. I normally work mine for 10 mins at a time. It also helps if you can get them tired before hand so they won't try you as much.

    Be ready for them to jump up and throw a fit because they will more than likely get mad. Just keep pushing them down and try again. Its all in practicing with them. Another thing I've done this year is not use a collar to brace until they're doing good. I have a goat that likes to jump and act a fool, so I just grabbed him like a lamb one day and it worked. I introduced the collar to him during bracing after he finally caught on. Preassure behind the ears and on the poll works too.

    Hopefully that helped you all a little bit. Everytime I work with my goats I find something new that works... they can be tricky creatures for sure.
     
  7. goatgirlzCA

    goatgirlzCA New Member

    507
    Mar 9, 2011
    Clovis, California
    We have found that some wethers will put their legs back and brace, and others squat and practically sit down!

    Like Dani said, get their front end up and put your knee in their chest. If they don't "set" their legs, start slowly pushing/walking them backward. If they don't stop and put their legs back and push back, we back them into a fence, wall, etc. With the "squatters" we had, which were very hard to train - we would push them backwards off the hill on our driveway. When they felt the drop off, they would push back. Somebody told he too to dig a rectangle hole and fill it with water and back them into that. I never tried that though.
     
  8. firelight27

    firelight27 Hopelessly Addicted

    Apr 24, 2009
    Southern Oregon
    I used to put my show lambs in the bed of my truck and push until they got to the edge. I would let one leg step right off the bed. I never had to pull them back up as they would never come close to falling. They just stuck one leg out there, felt air and scrambled for the truck bed again. Instant brace. Pretty soon they learned to brace against my knee every time I pushed back.
     
  9. Dani-1995

    Dani-1995 New Member

    Mar 10, 2011
    Greenville, NC
    Oops forgot about the squatters. I use my non bracing leg and tap there stomachs to get them to stand straight. Sometimes it helps to pull the heads up really high to straighten them out too. None of my personal wethers have ever been squatters but I have worked with a couple that were.
     
  10. jcarr492

    jcarr492 Member

    93
    May 2, 2011
    Okay, thanks for the tips! you said you work them about 10min a day starting. How many times a day though? Or do you do a morning, afternoon, evening schedule? And should we start them on this now or do you wait till their a certain age? These were born in January.
     
  11. RPC

    RPC Boer Goat Breeder

    Wow awesome thread thanks everyone.
     
  12. Dani-1995

    Dani-1995 New Member

    Mar 10, 2011
    Greenville, NC
    Start them bracing as soon as you can. That way they learn that you or the kids are definatley stronger and won't put as much of a fight. It was very difficult to get my wether last year bracing at 6months old.... its soo much easier when they're young. I have a 2 and a half month old that already braces good.
     
  13. Zarafia

    Zarafia Senior Member

    Mar 25, 2012
    Archer, FL
    What, exactly, is meant by the term "bracing"?
     
  14. Dani-1995

    Dani-1995 New Member

    Mar 10, 2011
    Greenville, NC
    Bracing is when the goat pushes on the exhibitors knee to make the top handle firmer as well as the muscles in the back leg pop out. It is done to make the animals muscle show more expression.
     
  15. Zarafia

    Zarafia Senior Member

    Mar 25, 2012
    Archer, FL
    So does the handler drop to one knee? I'd love to teach Pan to do this.
     
  16. Dani-1995

    Dani-1995 New Member

    Mar 10, 2011
    Greenville, NC
    No, we stay standing, just use one knee to push the goat. I got pictures of mine bracing today for project books so I will post a few later as examples.
     
  17. Dani-1995

    Dani-1995 New Member

    Mar 10, 2011
    Greenville, NC
    Here are some pictures of two of my wether this year braced. The first one is Chip, a 4 1/2 month old, he's only been excersing for about a week. The second is a wether I just bought this past weekend at a jackpot show.... his name is Ryker, he's two 1/2 months old so verrryyyy green.

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  18. Zarafia

    Zarafia Senior Member

    Mar 25, 2012
    Archer, FL
    Ah, I see! THank you! (Your goats look great!)
     
  19. HamiltonAcresBoers

    HamiltonAcresBoers Premium Member- Kansas Goat Breeder

    May 9, 2012
    Olathe, KS
    We don't brace in JoCo Kansas, but i was trying to teach a young girl how to brace her sheep, and my three month old Boer wether, Prince, was a doll about it, and braced like an old pro!
     
  20. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    California
    I clicked on this to see what brace was as well. I was thinking as I was reading, and just an idea, what if you had a little treat in your left hand right out of reach, that might make him do the bracing. Idk, was just thinking.