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!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I’ve been working on introducing The Boys to picket lines.  Picket lines are long lines attached to anchors that screw into the ground.  The llama lead is tied to the picket line and they can graze and hang out when out camping or picnicking without me having to worry about them wandering away.


From what I’ve read, you’re supposed to put them on a picket line in an enclosed area the first time, so if they freak out or anything, they won’t go anywhere.  I tried that.  I picketed them in their field, but The Boys just stood there.  For a loooooong time.  Like over a half hour.  I  could see that they really weren’t learning anything, so I bit the bullet and took them out to the (unfenced) back of my property.  Again – what a difference when they aren’t fenced in…  They moved around and experimented with the line.  Each one got tangled up eventually. 


Indiana figured out right away that if he just picks up his foot, the line will drop down and he can continue merrily on what he was doing.  Harry figured it out after a couple of entanglements.  What amazed me, was when he got ‘stuck’ he just stood there very calmly and waited for me to come over and free him.  I was kind of anticipating all kinds of jumping and tugging and pulling and freaking out, but it never happened.  The same thing with Dalai – he still gets tangled once in a while (it’s taking him a bit longer to figure out the whole I-just-need-to-calmly-lift-my-foot thing… he likes to stamp his foot until it’s free), and if he can’t stamp his foot loose, he just stands there nicely until I help him out.  It’s kind of awesome  smile 

Pretty much every day for a couple of weeks now, I’ve been picketing The Boys somewhere on the property.  I bring a book and a chair and hang out with them for an hour or two, keeping an eye out in case anyone gets into trouble.  Indiana and Harry pretty much have it down pat now – Dalai is about 85% there.

All The Boys

Today when I was out with The Boys, Indiana was totally focused on the cows that were in the field next door.  He’s seen them before and they didn’t seem to bother him, but for some reason he wouldn’t take his eyes off them today.  For the first time, I heard a llama alarm call.  It was kind of neat – definitely not the ‘scream’ that I imagined from what I’ve read.  The one interesting thing I noticed is that Indiana did not open his mouth to make the calls.  His mouth was closed and his lips just kind of quivered as he was making the noise…  Every day has a surprise!

Dalai & Indiana

Indiana & Harry

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Meet & Greet

After The Boys came home, of course everyone wanted to see them – so after they had a week to settle in, we had a Meet & Greet…  My family and some friends came over to find out why in world I ever wanted llamas  rolleyes

The event went reasonable well.  I was a bit dismayed because The Boys didn’t really walk very easily around their field.  I found out later that they just don’t like being led around in their field – once outside their fence, they are (almost) perfect gentlemen on the lead.  Go figure  shrug

…But all-in-all, The Boys showed the pinnacle of patience with everything that was going on and I was amazed at how good they all were with my 5-year-old nephew and 3-year-old niece.








Yeah…. I think I’m going to have some converts  laughing

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Meet The Boys




This is Indiana – he is the oldest of the Boys, at four years old.  In llama years, he is all grown up and I can start using him to carry a pack whenever I am ready.  I can tell that he’s seen-it-all-before…  He’s pretty laid back and patient about most things.  He also knows what he likes and what he doesn’t.  When it was really hot out, I was looking for ways to cool the Boys off – I had read that llamas like to get cooled off with the garden hose.  Indiana does NOT like the garden hose  rolleyes



Say ‘Hello’ to Dalai – he is two years old and a teenager in llama years.  He could carry very light loads now, but really shouldn’t carry a full pack for about another year.  I am very lucky to get him – when I went to visit Leisure Acres Llamas to shop for llamas, he had already been sold to someone else.  When Sonja, the owner of the farm, found out that I wanted to get llamas for packing, she said that he would be an excellent packer and would see if the person who had bought him would be interested in possibly taking a different llama so I could have him.  The stars must have been aligned in my favor and Dalai is mine  smile   I think that Sonja was right – he is going to be my super-star packer.  When he sees me coming with the halters, he is the first one in line wanting to go out!



Meet Harry – he is still a baby at only a year old.  All of the Boys are handsome, but Harry is definitely the Pretty Boy of the three – when he grows up, he is going to be a heart-throb to any Lady Llamas out there  laughing   Harry likes attention and is eager to please – especially if I happen to have a handful of llama feed on me…  I just have to be careful that he learns his manners and isn’t too friendly around people – that would be problem when he is full grown.

Altogether, I think that the three Boys I have now are perfect for me and I am anticipating many, many fun adventures together!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Hello Blog.

It’s been a while… but there really hasn’t been much happening that I felt was worth sharing.  I went to see a medium for the first time this past year, which was kind of interesting, I’ve lost a couple of my Ladies and I took care of a bunch of medical stuff I’ve been putting off, but other than that, not much else to report.

Except for the fact that I finally got my llamas  woot

I’ve been wanting llamas since I went on my first llama trek in the Rockies over twelve years ago (see my profile picture!).  It’s been a long time in the works (and still a work in progress), but my dream is finally coming true  smile

I’ve had them a little over a month now, so I’ll be doing a little back-tracking on their progress, but for now – meet The Boys…

The Boys

They all have their registered names, but I renamed for myself… 
The guy in the middle is Indiana (as in Indiana Jones)
The guy on the right is Harry (as in Harry Potter)
And the guy on the left is Dalai (as in Dalai Lama – get it?  laughing )

I’m training them to be pack llamas.  I want to use them for hiking and camping – they will carry my stuff (how cool is that?!!) 

Stay tuned!