Basic training packing
Basic training: packing
Your llama is now easy to halter and he knows how to walk on a lead, move over, and back up.
Hopefully you have taken a lot of walks and gone on trails, through streams, and over bridges. Now its
time for the pack. Choose a pack that fits your long term plans. If you plan to take week long pack trips
there is no reason to spend money on basic packs as you can train using the pack you want in the end. If
you just plan to take short day hikes and want your llama to carry lunch a basic training pack will be your
best choice. If you plan to enter trail classes at shows choose a back with double cinches and removable
panniers as those will be required for pack classes.
If you choose a larger pack simply remove the panniers and the butt and breast straps and use just the
saddle for the first lesson. Your first goal is to get the lama use to the cinches. Show the pack to him
and set it on his back. Since you have already desensitized him completely you may be able to reach
under the lama and pull the cinches up. If he won't let you do this tie a lead rope to the cinch and throw
it under the lama. This lets you pull the cinch up without reaching under him. Once the cinches are
hooked up and he is comfortable with that add the butt and breast straps. As soon as he knows they
don't hurt he will be fine with that. Now you can add the panniers. Attach the panniers to the saddle
and fill them with newspaper to make them stick out. Now walk around the farm walking close to trees
and buildings so the lama begins to understand he is wider. Do this until he is no longer spooked by the
sound and feel of the pack rubbing against things.
Next you can add weight using bags of sand or whatever you want to gradually get up to the weight you
want him to carry and take lots of walks. As time goes by he will become more and more comfortable
with the pack.