I know bracing is a debatable topic, but I have a couple questions about bracing anyways so here goes.
1. The doe who I will be teaching to brace is about 8 months old. Luckily, I don't start showing until may/june, so I have plenty of training time. How many times a day and for how long should I train her? She also doesn't like to keep her head up... Any suggestions for that?
Well, unless you'll be showing her in the market goat/wether classes you won't need to brace her at all. For open shows and fairs in the breeding classes you never brace. I am the wrong person to try and answer how you should teach a goat to brace... I know there are some others on here who can answer that for you though.
Just keep practicing with her on holding that head up. If you can get a half or full prong collar that would really help her not want to lean on the collar.
The judge that judged our breeding show at my fair asked me to brace my doe so i think it's a good thing to train them to brace anyways.. I also think it makes them handle better if they are braced correctly. Just my personal opinion though . I haven't really had much experience teaching goats to brace but they way I teach my lambs to brace is to back them off something a few feet off the ground. I started them on a stack of railroad ties that we're laying around( 2-3 high, 4-5 wide). I did this for about one week and started them on the ground. They would brace a little bit but they finally realized that they weren't really that high off the ground and would just step off so I started backing them out of our horse trailer. That really made them hard. I have heard of people backing them off a fitting stand too. It just takes a lot of time and patience! Some people train them to brace on command which I think is really smart! They will tap the top of their head or pinch their neck a little then push on them and the lamb/goat will learn to brace when they do that.. Sorry for the novel but I hope that some of it will help
Okay, so I just had my first bracing lesson. I was backing her out of the trailer.
She would either squirm around and face sideways so she didn't have to push, or just step down off the trailer. She tried to jump on me a few times. Normal for the first attempt?
I work on the bracing then the head.
I explained it to someone-- thinking in little kid terms as "you have to get the kid the stand there for you before you can work on them looking at you: getting them to look at you (hold their head straight) is pointless if they won't stand for you"