Sopris Unlimited
Sopris Email Update from May 2010

Greetings from La Veta, Colorado!
If you’ll be in Estes Park for the Wool Market June 10th through the 13th, be sure to drop by our booth (in the Blacksmith building next to the main arena) to stock up on halters and leads! We carry outstanding products for all fiber animals, from alpacas and llamas to sheep, goats and yaks.

Llama Training Videos on YouTube
We have begun to load training videos onto our YouTube channel. Please remember that all of these techniques should be practiced in a small enclosure. We’re grouping the videos according to the general training steps: approaching, haltering, leading, desensitizing and saddling. We’ll add more tips (stream crossings, obstacles, etc.) in the future.

The Approach: This is the first step in training a green (untrained) llama. The goal is to teach them to stand for haltering.

Haltering: This is the second step of training. You must first train the llama to accept your hands all over the face and ears. The goal is to desensitize the head so that the llama can be easily haltered.

Leading: This is the third step of training. Start by using a short lead and graduate to a regular lead once your llama begins to catch on. The goal is to teach the llama to respond to the pull of the lead.

Desensitizing: This is the fourth step of training. Desensitizing the body is essential in preparing your llama to accept a pack. Use a patting technique to work your way around the barrel of the llama and down the legs.

Saddling: This is the fifth step of training. The goal is to train the llama to accept the pack equipment.

These general principles can be applied to training your llama (or alpaca) for a variety of different uses. 

Hope to see you all at the Wool Market!

Charlie Hackbarth
President, Sopris Unlimited