Taking her passion

Getting ready for show 
Taylor Harriman works the hair on Armando to make sure his legs are shaved to appear like two posts when the judge views him in the show ring.  Photo/Dawn Rye

Dawn Rye | Writer

Many people in the show cattle industry say the ability to clip and fit an animal to appear perfect is an art form. The canvas is a clean, fresh heifer or steer and preparing a show heifer with a comb, clippers and adhesive is difficult. It is not a simple process to properly fit and clip a show steer to emphasize his best features and hide his faults. 

Taylor Harriman, Parker, has been clipping cattle for the last couple of years is one of the many young women taking her passion for the clip and fit to make it a lifelong career. 

Harriman is 13 years old and will be an eighth-grader at the Parker School this fall. 

She stated that her black steer, Armando and her heifer Hope, were both born in March. 

Harriman starts by spraying tail adhesive to the hair, which helps create a thicker appearing hair follicle until the calf has the desired look. On Armando, she uses white paint to see the flaws before she starts clipping the hair. 

When it comes to legs, a steer needs to look straight and bigger-boned. The front legs should slope from its shoulder down to its knee and its hoof, like the shape of a banana. Specifically, with steers, the hair is used to stouten and straighten the back legs while still putting some set into them.

Once the clip is complete, Harriman uses a product called Hocus Pocus, which will loosen adhesive, remove paint quickly and not leave a residue.

She decided to explore her passion after realizing how much she enjoyed cliping and fitting a calf. Some family and friends even told her she had a talent for the clip and fitting cattle. Harriman commented that she had been raised by an awesome “4-H” family memebers that have supported her in her journey to pursue her passion. 

She learned by watching people in a barn for two years before starting on her own. Cody Unklend, Shannon Duxbury, Dale Duxbury and Jerod Schmidt have taught her a lot in the last year about clip and fit. 

She has gone to a show in Nebraska at a national level and had tons of fun. Her goal for each day was to clip and fit 15 calves and she did it. However, it took much patience with the calves constantly moving.

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