A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

January 8, 2008

Step by Step We’re Getting There

Filed under: alpaca, alpaca handling, Alpaca Shows, Alpacas, camelids, Crias, General — Tags: , , — alpacalady @ 7:59 am

The weanling and cria halter training is progressing well and the weanlings have now graduated from walking on the lead inside the training pen to taking a short walk around the pasture.

It would be foolish of me to try and walk them all at the same time; I can see how that would end up in a tangle of lead ropes and confused alpacas!  With each alpaca having  a distinct personality there are still differences in their learning curves and until they get closer in their stage of progress I respect their differences and work on an individual basis.

As the weanlings walk around the pasture on a halter and lead you can tell that they are still not sure what this is all about.  They are used to being able to wander around that area at will, and I am sure that my tour of the pasture is nothing like the path they would walk if they were off the lead, and therefore it is a little bewildering to them.

I often walk weanling alpacas at the same time as one that is halter trained.  Seeing the halter trained alpaca walk calmly along beside me seems to reassure the alpaca in training that maybe this process is okay after all.  They then stop thinking so much about why we are doing what we are doing and relax into walking more freely.

Shiimsa has been a great help in this process as she leads really well and is quite happy to walk anywhere I take her.  It can be a bit trying for her if there is an alpaca that wants to pull back on the lead rope or not move at all, she will often turn her head and look at the offending alpaca as if to say “what’s your problem”.  Shiimsa’s withering look though typically doesn’t make the reluctant alpaca move any better.

So step by step we continue to make progress and I am sure that by show time the weanlings will be ready to show themselves to their best advantage.  Of course you never quite know how a young alpaca is going to behave at it’s first show, sometimes the ones you think are going to be the best are the ones that act up the most and vice versa.  But by working with them, gaining their confidence and exposing them to different situations before the show they will have a better chance of being more at ease when show time comes around and less stressed by the whole process.

Rosemary

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