Poor Indiana. Being the oldest of all my Guys, I used to try anything new out on him first. I figured that he had the most experience and he would be the one to help me learn. I learned that llamas learn by watching other llamas. I learned that Indiana doesn’t like being the guinea pig (It took me a bit of time to learn that).
Because I practiced my injection-giving skills on him, he is the only one of the Boys that gets upset when he sees me coming with the syringes. I feel really bad for him – it’s got to be kind of like when you have a bad experience at the dentist – you always anticipate the worst every time you go for a check up afterwards… This past month was the best he’s been in a while – there was a lot of foot stamping, but he did stand still
When exploring new places to hike, I would bring Indiana with me. A lot of times the hike ended up being a lot longer than either of us anticipated. I think because of that, he is not as excited to go on hikes as the other Guys are. I am working on purposely taking him on short hikes – I want to try having him go home wanting more… hopefully that will help him enjoy our walks more.
When it came time for shearing in the spring, I thought he would have been the easiest of the bunch, but he turned out to be the hardest. He just would not stand still, even in the chute I made. It was horrible. I only got the bare-minimum done on him before I gave up.
As I progressed through the other Guys, I thought maybe I would see if I could go back finish up Indiana and do a little bit better job – especially as the weather was getting hotter (I didn’t do everyone at once – the whole getting-everyone-sheared was spread out over about a week-and-a-half). I think that by him watching me shear the other Guys, he figured out that it was nothing to worry about. I was prepared for battle, but he stood perfectly still as I finished up his haircut. It was actually quite enjoyable finishing him up! And no – I am not posting pictures of The Boys after their haircuts… it was my first attempt they looked pretty bad for a couple of weeks (I used scissors – I can’t afford electric shearers ).
I tried putting a packing saddle on him and he did not like it at all. He let me do it, but he was not happy. Maybe I tried when it was too hot out… But I think I need to let him see me put it on someone else. I’m going to try putting the saddle on Dalai while Indian is watching and then see what happens.
It’s kinda of tough learning how to do the things I need to do without making mistakes. I feel bad that Indiana has been the one to feel the brunt of those mistakes, but I think in a sense he’s been sort of training me
I think it will take a while before he realizes that I’m not going to practice on him anymore. Well, at least not very often anyway.