The Secret to Showmanship Success: Building a Strong Connection with Your Show Pig

show ring showmanship Nov 22, 2023

Swine showmanship is more than just walking your pig; it's about building a partnership. The bond you create with your animal is essential for success in the ring and the process of creating this bond is a journey that combines patience, understanding and skill.

"You and your pig are partners, you guys are teammates, and the whole goal is for you guys to build a bond together."  - Aimee Inskeep

The Essence of Partnership: Aimee Inskeep, show pig breeder, nationally renowned judge, and instructor of Winning Swine Showmanship says Showmanship is all about teamwork. A showman and their pig are partners, each relying on the other. This partnership is based on a deep bond, where the showman anticipates the pig's next move and the pig understands and responds to the showman's cues. When you see other showmen in the ring who just seem to flow with their animals, it's not an accident, it's the result of hours of dedicated work to build understanding with each other.

Building the Bond: The process of building this bond involves spending countless hours together. It's about creating a sense of trust and familiarity, where the pig knows exactly what to do when tapped on the shoulder or under the chin. This level of understanding makes the showmanship look effortless, almost like a dance where both partners move in perfect harmony.

The Importance of Daily Practice: Daily interaction is key. This includes taming the pig, being gentle and patient while you're teaching the pig to drive and creating a routine of regular practice. These activities are not just about training but about creating a language of communication between the showman and the pig. Over time, this leads to a fluid, smooth performance in the show ring.

Challenges and Solutions: Not every session will be perfect. Pigs, like humans, have off days. They might get spooked or act out of character. This is where the showman's patience and perseverance come into play. Staying calm, maintaining a routine, and spending more time with the pig can help overcome these challenges.

Swine showmanship is an art form that requires more than just technical skill. It demands a deep, empathetic bond between the showman and their pig. This bond, forged through daily practice and mutual understanding, is the key to a flawless performance in the ring. As aspiring showmen, the message is clear: invest time, be patient and build that indispensable partnership with your pig. It’s not just about winning; it's about the rewarding journey of stockmanship, where you'll learn to connect with animals on an entirely different level. 

This blog provides an insight to the topics discussed in Winning at Swine Showmanship, an online course from that will take you from struggling to drive pigs to standout showman. Check it out! offers video-based online courses in showing livestock, taught by the industry’s most talented breeders and feeders. We're here to help you win - in the show ring and beyond. 

View Available Courses

Get the latest from!

Join our mailing list to be the first to know when new courses are announced. 

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.