Dealing With a Tantrum Throwing Animal


When Your Animal Throws a Fit in the Arena We’ve all been there, we work for hours and months before a show or rodeo preparing for a good outcome. We want to win so we know that working with our animals daily to give us an edge on the competition. The day before the show you take your animal out to the arena and practice, they act perfectly and things go smoothly.

You arrive at the show and rodeo ready to show everyone what you’ve been preparing for all of this time. You go to your trailer to get the future “Champion” out. For some odd reason its acting spooky. Sure it’s been around 100 wheel barrels, bicycles, and strollers but for some reason today it is acting like it hasn’t seen anything before. People start staring at you as you try to calm your animal down. You get those “They should have practiced before they thought about coming to this show” stares. You know those looks all too well, because normally you are the ones giving them out.

You finally find a pen and you start trying to calm your animal down, maybe trying calf calm or just petting it. When you get in the arena your animal continues to act like a bratty child in a grocery store though. How we handle this embarrassment varies. Here are some of the top ways people handle these embarrassing and aggravating situations. Most of these aren’t the best ideas but happen in most places.

  • Cry. “It’s your show/rodeo and you can cry if you want to.”
  • Pretend it’s not happening. “No that’s not my pig in the corner of the show ring.”
  • Talk to their animal like they are your child. “You can kiss that extra flake of hay goodbye tonight after what you just done.
  • Just stand there. “My heifer just got loose and ran over five people but I don’t know what to do.”
  • When they finally catch the mad heifer chances are the exhibitor will let them go again. “I don’t want her to run over me!”
  • Push their animal/carry. “Fine Bertha! You don’t want to move. I’ll just push you there.”
  • Yell at someone. “This is your fault dad! I told you I didn’t want this sheep!”
  • Blame others. “Well if Sally wouldn’t have brought her dog, my steer wouldn’t have tried to kill it, even though they were sitting at the top of the bleachers and her dog wasn’t doing anything.”
  • Blame the judge. “If he would have hurried up my goat wouldn’t have acted that way.”
  • Hide. “If they don’t see me, they won’t know that’s my horse running away right now.”
  • Get mad. “I’m yelling and throwing my arms around because that’s going to calm Fred down.”
  • Lie and say you haven’t owned the animal very long/it’s not mine. “I’m just showing this horse for a friend, I’ve only had it for like three days.”
  • Laugh it off/shake it off. “Taylor Swift would be so proud of me right now.”
  • Stay calm, the best way to handle a crazed animal. “I’m talking in a calm voice, I’m not throwing my hands like crazy, and I’m not running away.”

We say that our animals are like children, so I guess them throwing a fit every now and then can be expected.

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