Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I was never a person who "herded" my alpacas and llamas. I simply put food in the troughs (in the barn) and they learned to come in once the barn door opened. Well at Marty's clinic in Oregon, I learned how easy it is to herd a group of animals.

We needed to move a group of male yearlings from the weanling area to the pen where there are other young boys and of course a guard llama. Using a wand and a dressage whip as the other wand (I just placed a wand order from Marty), I decided to give it a try. The trick is to guide them with the whips and use them as a deterrent. We never hit them with them, but may touch them to guide them to where we want them to go. I went into the pen that is in the barn where the boys were and closed the barn door. I "cut" them from the rest of the group and guided them into the aisle way of the barn. Once all 5 of them were in the aisle of the barn, I simply guided them into the new pen (hubby was the gate keeper). All but one of the boys went in like it was no big deal. One boy "Montana" wanted to run around the barn and visit the other animals, but with a little guidance, he too went into the new pen. It was all very easy for us and seemingly stress free for the boys.

Always looking to improve on techniques - the only thing I will do different next time, is to make sure there are no other animals in the barn sticking their noses over the gates, this distracts the animals I am working with, and makes our job a bit harder.

The boys are enjoying their new pen with the other boys and I did not have to grab or wrestle anyone to do it.

Respect and safety for the animals is what you need to keep in mind, as well as "feeling" what they may be thinking such as fear, stress etc.

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