What a long and hard working trip that was! I learned an amazing amount of information and now it is time to put it into practice. When I got back into the city, we had a little show-n-tell with the boys with all the llama and alpaca gear I had. I think we are ready to bring our own llamas to the land and feel very confident about handling them.
Saturday morning we left for a day at the land. I had these large catch pen panels (see them in the picutres with Uber the llama) that were strapped to the roof of the car, so we needed to get them up to the barn. It was a good excuse for paying a visit to our new neighbors who owned a llama named Uber. Uber is a 10 year old gelding and he just hangs out in their backyard on a long leash. I think we’ll have to bring him down to our pasture for a visit.
After checking out Uber from afar, I could definitely tell we had some work cut out for us. Uber, while gentle and willing to be handled, still displays some discomfort about it all and you can tell he is wary about things. So, first and foremost, I got him into the catch pen where I could assure him that he had an "escape route" while I built up trust and safety around the act of catching him and seeing if he’ll take to a halter. It went beautifully! Uber had no problems with the halter and we went for a short walk up the driveway and I challenged him with some different turf than he was accustomed to.
Back in the catch pen, I worked on touching. Uber really was jello in my hands when it came to touching his head with the TTOUCH techniques I learned. However, it was quite a jittery story when I moved down to his back and even tried to get to his legs. He would have none of that. He defintely needs a bit more work. I could see we need to trim his toenails, and as for his fleece, well, that needs some cleanup for sure. But for today, it was enough for him and I to be introduced and walk around. I could tell I gained a lot of ground with him after I removed the halter and put him back on his "leash". He stood there and let me massage his head and touch his mouth without moving away.
I’ll be back to practice with Uber and we’ll see if I can bring him down to stay with me when I’m up at the land…