Llama success (I think)

If you’ve been following my “llama saga”, you’ll know that I have been unsuccessful in getting Paridot, our llama, to let me put a halter on him. He’d been trained for this so it shouldn’t have been a big deal but he is a smart one and had decided that he didn’t need to do this if he didn’t want to.

I spoke with Julie recently  – she sold me Paridot – and she offered to come over and help me out. An important start was to get him into the shelter. I had Kathy, my landlord, not feed him that morning so he was pretty happy to follow me into the shelter to get his alfalfa.

The sheep are used to following Paridot into the shelter and sharing the hay that falls out of his hay rack so I wasn’t able to keep Sid out but figured that would be OK if he hung around.

"Wait a minute, WHAT are we doing?!"

The others were also surprised not to be in the shelter.

"How come we're not in there?"

Marley was rather indignant.

"There is something so wrong with this."

Julie then showed me how to give Paridot less choice about where he can go in the shelter by using a panel to enclose him. I’m used to this technique with the sheep but it was good to see it works with llamas, too.

If you look carefully, you'll see Sid got trapped, too!

Julie reaches around Paridot’s neck to grab the halter.

Then, she can just slide it over his muzzle and buckle it.

"If I look the other way, maybe she'll go away."

She made it look easy. Now, it was time for me to try. Julie suggests getting a lead rope around his neck first to help control him.

Then, slip on halter.

Letting Paridot eat ….

…….rewards him and also shows us that he’s not overly stressed out!

Of course, if Paridot is eating, Sid must be close by.

"So, this is how I get all that alfalfa in my wool!"

Since Julie was there, she offered to show me how to trim Paridot’s hooves. They were in pretty good shape so she didn’t need to do much but it’s good to keep him used to getting his feet handled. Julie runs her hands over his legs, working her way down to his hooves.

Julie does his front and rear hooves, using the panel again and tethering him, and I give a look. I’ve decided that this is definitely a two person job, however, as he did struggle against the panel some.

After it was all over, we went for a little walk, just to celebrate.

A few pats…

…and we’re done!

A big thanks to Julie for getting us straightened out. Also, thanks to my friends Pat, Shannon, and Robin for all sorts of suggestions as to how to accomplish getting a handle (or halter!) on Paridot.

Postscript: The next day, I was able to offer Paridot some alfalfa and pretty easily get ahold of the halter and attach a lead rope. I’m hoping he just gets used to this – especially if he is being suitably rewarded with treats. My Border Collie, Mobi, is about ready to start working our sheep so it will really be important to be able to isolate Paridot so he doesn’t try to protect the sheep from Mobi!

Published in: on April 7, 2011 at 5:43 am  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Congrats Jackie, that’s awesome!

    • Thanks, Tina. I’m looking forward to moving on to the next phase – Mobi herding! Since Quentin has still not decided that people are OK, it will be good to start halter breaking him once Mobi can help me catch him!

  2. Congratulations on your success. Can’t wait to see them all in person (or in sheep and llama)!

    • Thanks! We’ll have to make a visit there in May!

  3. A very big success! Good job!

    • Thanks, Shannon. It still works best if he’s very hungry – that or I have to get faster at grabbing the halter! He really is a very nice llama – just very smart and learns quickly what he wants to learn!

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