Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Still Here

Yes, I know.  I am so far behind on posting, it’s not funny.

First off, we all survived Sandy relatively unscathed.  The storm hit land at the right place and time for our area and we ended up only experiencing some moderately heavy winds (~45-60 mph) and lots of rain.  There really wasn’t any flooding, but the ditches are still full and the yard is still super soggy.  Saturday is supposed to be the first chance at a dry day.




A new job.  A new schedule.  A lot of adjustment.  sigh3

Getting home later and getting dark earlier, I can’t work with The Boys as intensely as before, but we are still working on little things until the longer days are here again.


You can lead a llama to water...

Haltering is no big deal for any of The Boys anymore.  Staking them out in various parts of the yard:  Old hat.  The only thing I have to be careful about here is making sure that Indiana always gets taken out in the middle – he does not like to be left by himself.  As long as he knows where either Harry or Dalai is, he’s fine.  Otherwise, he gets pretty anxious.  That will have to be something we’ll have to work on once the nice weather returns. The other guys don’t care if they are staked out by themselves for a bit until everyone else arrives.

Touching all over – including their heads – no problem while they are haltered… we’re working on that while they are loose in their field.  Indiana and Harry are pretty good about it – Dalai is still a little skittish in that department.  No problem checking their front feet… we’re working on the back feet now.




When I couldn’t rely on just grass for them to eat, I quickly learned that I needed to employ the same feeding method I had to use with The Ladies with their treats to keep the peace:  Everyone needs their own pile.  As long as no one has to share, everyone seems happy.  Even if someone decides that another pile looks better, that’s OK, because the one being pushed out still has an unattended pile they can claim. 

At first I had to keep the piles pretty spread out, but now The Boys have no problem eating right next to each other.  As long as they each have their own pile  smile  They don’t really care about anyone else’s pile anymore.

We had a couple field trips planned since we went to the Erie County Forest, but the weather did not cooperate on either occasion, so we never got out.  With hunting season in full swing, I think that we will wait before we plan any more field trips.


Some bunny sees you

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Field Trip – Erie County Forest

So a couple weeks after our adventure in Batavia, we took a field trip to the Erie County Forest.  They have horse trails there… and where horse trails are, llamas are allowed to go  smile

What interested me most about this field trip was the fact that the forest contains streams, wooden bridges and covered wooden bridges – all things I want The Boys to not think twice about should they encounter them in the future.

To accomplish these goals, I enlisted the help of my sister and my friend Terry: one set of hands for each llama.  Unfortunately during the actual training times, we were all too busy to take pictures  hmm


Unloaded and ready to go!


On our way...


The trails in the forest were great and it was a very enjoyable afternoon.  The first obstacle we came to was the wooden bridge.  I have to admit that we spent a lot of time there…The only one to make it successfully over the bridge was Harry.  I guess I’m going to be able to bribe him to do anything  laughing  And just as before, once he went over the first time, there was no problem after that.


Hey - I made it over!


Indiana and Dalai just would not cross.  Both went onto the bridge, but once we hit the point where the bridge was actually going over the streambed (there wasn’t any water flowing underneath), they refused to go any further.  Between the three of us, no pushing, pulling, poking, prodding or bribery would get them to want to cross.  Indiana kept looking over the railing.  Maybe he’s afraid of heights?  I’m thinking that when I go back with him, the strategy to use is to distract him so he just looks straight ahead and not let him look down.  We’ll see how that goes…



Treats wouldn't get Dalai over the bridge  :(


Not far from the bridge was a stream that we could walk across.  The Boys did well here.  Indiana just plodded through, exactly like he was supposed to.  Harry and Dalai tried jumping over at first, but quickly learned that they needed to walk through the water, not over it.  I had wet soggy feet the rest of the afternoon to prove it  rolleyes


Heading out to explore


We spent a couple hours exploring the trails and stopped for a little something to eat before heading back to the parking lot.  While we were eating, a hiker passed by us – The Boys behaved like perfect gentlemen  smile


Lunch time!


On the way back, we decided to try the bridge one more time, but the results were the same.  I’m going to have to bite the bullet and come back with Indiana and Dalai one at a time and just work with them until they get it.


Say Cheese! 

All in all, it was still an enjoyable afternoon and I do feel like we did accomplish something…  I can’t wait until the day when they will start carrying our stuff.  I have to save up for the saddles, so it may be a little while  hmm


Indiana is my sister's favorite


The Boys are ready to go home!

Ready to head home!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Washed Up

I would really like to think that my Boys really liked the rain we had today and found it very refreshing instead of thinking that they weren’t smart enough to stay inside where it was dry.







Monday, September 3, 2012

Llamas and Chickens

So the one question I get from everyone is “How do the llamas and chickens get along?”

The answer has kind of evolved.  At the beginning, neither couldn’t have cared less about the other.  Over the weeks however, The Ladies have taken a keen interest in The Boys.  Every evening now, when I picket The Boys, The Ladies come over to visit.



I’d like to think that they really like each other, but in reality it’s probably the fact that with all of us out in the back fields, we kick up a lot of the the grasshoppers and crickets.  We make easy meals for The Ladies   rolleyes



I’ll bet you never saw a chicken cross a picket line before….  laughing 


crossing the picket line...


Chicken?  What chicken?

 What chicken?

Field Trip – Batavia

So two days after Dalai learned to get in and out of the trailer, we headed off on our first field trip.  My sister owns a whole bunch of acres of land, so that was our destination:  it was still private land, in case we ran into any trouble, but still someplace new for The Boys to experience…

When we first arrived, I put The Boys out on picket lines until after we ate and got settled in.  They did fine – they were more than happy to graze away while waiting.  Then the fun began…  The kids love The Boys – especially my nephew – he couldn’t wait to go out walking with them!  (He looks a little worried in the picture, but that’s just how he looks when he says ‘Cheese!’ for the camera laughing )


Ready to go!


So once everyone decided who they wanted to lead, off we went…


Off we go!


The Boys did really well.  The only thing I noticed was that at the beginning Harry seemed like he was worried that everyone was going to leave him  behind (I had him at the back of the line).  By the end of the day, he figured out that no one was going to leave him and he did great. 







When it was time to go, The Boys all loaded onto the trailer easily.  The tricky part came when we got home – it was after dark.  I hadn’t thought about how to unload The Boys at night, but it went well once I got a flashlight.  They all got off the trailer nicely and we made to their field without any incidents.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give the day an 8  smile

Sunday, August 19, 2012


My goal is to expose The Boys to as many different things/places/situations as possible in a controlled environment before I take them out solo on a trip.  I want my Boys to be as prepared as they can be so we can all have enjoyable adventures together  smile

So with this goal in mind, getting The Boys in and out of the trailer is essential.

The Boys loading easily into trailer = Many wonderful adventures

When I bought The Boys, there seemed to be a bit of commotion getting them loaded into the trailer to come home.  I do not want to have to deal with any drama whenever I want to go somewhere with them, so I set out to work on trailer training.

As usual, Indiana has been-there-done-that.  He got in and out of the trailer with no problem whatsoever.

Harry was kind of hesitant at first, but he figured it out pretty quickly – he was easy to bribe with some llama pellets.  After he went in on his own the first time, I took him in and out a bunch of times and he totally cooperated  woot   Over the next few days, I loaded him in and out just to make sure that he really did “get it” and that the first day wasn’t just a fluke.  He performed like a champ  smile

…Then we got to Dalai.  sigh3   He just didn’t get it.  He would get to the bumper of the trailer and then just stop.  Over the next few days, no matter what kind of coaxing, bribing and pleading I did, he just wouldn’t pick up his feet to get in.  I tried working him by himself and then with the other Boys.  They showed him how easy it was, but he just wouldn’t follow their example and go in.   How are we supposed to go anywhere if they all didn’t get in the trailer????

They say that  you are supposed to keep training sessions with llamas to no more than fifteen or twenty minutes.  For everything else so far (haltering, moving backwards, touching their head and feet, etc.), the short sessions seemed to work great.  I decided that Dalai needed longer than fifteen minutes in a session to learn to get in the trailer, so I prepared myself for what could be a very long afternoon…  I got Dalai up to the trailer and as usual, he got to the bumper and just stopped.  I ended up tying the lead to the inside of the trailer – it was long enough where he could back up a little bit, but not long enough where he could focus his attention anywhere except the inside of the trailer.  After a bit of tugging, pushing, petting, tickling and bribing, I just couldn’t think of how to get him to understand what I wanted him to do. About an hour into the session, I asked him, “What’s going to happen if there is a fire or a tornado or something and I can’t get you out because you won’t get in the trailer???”  I’m sure it was a total coincidence (it had to be, right?), but a minute later he just calmly stepped up and into the trailer.  For a second I was totally dumbfounded.  Then I threw my arms around him and gave him a huge hug…he was probably wondering why the crazy lady was hugging him and squealing all of a sudden  laughing   And then I let him eat the container of llama pellets I promised him if he ever did go in the trailer.  Just to make sure, but not to push my luck, I took him out and brought him back in one more time, just to see if he really did mean to go  in.  He did  smile

He did it!

Over the next few days we practiced just to make sure, and he acted like he had been going in and out of trailers his whole life and it was no big deal  rolleyes

I tried to get a picture after-the-fact of Dalai just standing at the bumper like he was doing before (because I never thought to take a picture of him doing something he wasn’t supposed to), but he wouldn’t stay there – he kept getting on the trailer… Maybe now I need to work on a ‘Stay’ command  laughing

Anyway, I am so proud of all my Boys… they all load into the trailer very nicely - I couldn’t wait to take them on their first field trip…  stay tuned!

Getting ready for an adventure!