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Can female llamas drive?

Yes. They actually do quite well. They don't seem to be so preoccupied with the surroundings. The females seem to be more calm than the males.

Are the harnesses hard to put on with so many buckles ?

Not really. The first time will be a challenge. After you get the first fit, the harness is disconnected at four places and lifts off as an assembly. Then to put back on, you lay the harness on the back and hook those connections again. Having a llama that stands still helps this process.

I read that it's bad for llamas to drive and that it harms them.

We would not drive if that was the case. The design of the collar and the weight distribution of the cart puts very little strain on the llama. The llama actually is less loaded than if it were packing. The llamas neck is free to full movement. The length of the shafts leaves plenty of clearance for the hocks when fully running. The riding surface should always be considered before driving. This includes icy, hot pavement, broken glass, etc.

Do I have to use "gee" and "haw"

No. The main thing is to be consistent. Make sure the commands don't sound like the llama's name. Be stern with your commands and use your reins. These commands are universal from dog teams to horses.

Is it OK to let my llama eat the grasses on the side of the road while we are out driving?

No. That's a good way to ruin a team. Every ten feet your llamas will stop to eat. It will be a very hard habit to break.

Is your harness different from other harnesses?

We use a collar style harness instead of a breast strap. We feel very strongly about this collar style harness for the comfort of your llama. We have offered the terrets for the back saddle for look and competition. The other reason we stand with this harness is the ease of installing. When we do clinics the people are amazed at how quick and easy it is to put on with the spring clips, and no question which is front and back.

How long does it take to train a llama to drive?

Every llama will be a little different. Also your expectations are different. The amount of time you practice is directly proportional to his / her driving ability. You will also get better as you drive. You and your llama will become a team. In competition this is what the judges are looking for. I really hate to put an exact number on that. After a full season of driving you should be pretty happy pleasure driving.

Can I train my llama to drive by myself?

I wouldn't recommend it at all! One run away situation and you will know why. You should have a person out front for awhile then to the side as you improve. Make sure that your animal will stop on a dime before you go alone. Make sure you are driving, not the llama going anywhere it wants.

How do you clean the harness and store it? The harness is washable in a pillow case and put in the wash machine or I soak mine in clothing detergent in a sink or bucket and then hang to let dry. The collar and back pad should NOT be submerged, they will take for ever to dry. Wash the surfaces with the detergent water your using to soak the harness. A brush helps clean the crevices. I recomend storing your harness in a clean dry environment, I keep mine in a sport bag for easy transportation, which keeps all the pieces together.
What is with the different driving halters? The driving halter is your head signal. The llama goes where his nose is pointing. The next thing is for stopping. At best the driving halters are to make the llamas face very uncomfortable when pulling back on the reins. My driving halters dig into the cheek bones with the rings. Others squeeze the nose and mouth, and some really don't do much. The main thing is your llama knows his verbal cues!
Why are your cart wheels 26"? The larger the cart wheels the nicer the ride. The small (20") wheels fall into every small rut or pot hole and you feel every rock. The wheel has to spin much faster too. To add, the center of gravity on my carts is low to give a more sports car feel ride compared to a tipsy feeling ride.
How small a llama can pull a cart? Size equals length of ride and long term durability of the llama. The small llamas will pull your cart but will tier quickly. A team of small llamas will help lengthen your ride. My carts are designed for 40" (withers) or more llamas.
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4 H
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