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Preparing for National Show

Writing my first blog on a cold dry sunny end of February morning, perfect Alpaca weather.  This is the time of year when we start preparing for the National Show end of March, the show is the largest show in Europe with over 600 alpacas attending. When we first started showing I found it so stressful worrying about the journey, the pacas going into the show ring for the first time on their own, being in a small pen for 2 – 3 days phew I was so glad when we got home. But what we found was after the show we had very confidant alpacas and so easy to handle at home. But when they got off the trailer they did look happy to be home again!!!! They are very intelligent animals and of course love being surrounded by so many of their own kind. Now the Halter training begins and cannot emphasis enough it has to be gently gently and you have to be patient  waiting for that light bulb moment when it all makes sense to them! I have found the most difficult to train in the beginning are the easiest later probably because they are trying to work it all out. I must say I love halter training and we are so lucky to have woods where we walk them, the more variety of experiences the better. So today is the day, we start by putting on head collars for the first time leaving them on for a short time but never putting them in the paddock with head collars on,  we then add the lead rope and then in a few days off we go! We also try to have a trained alpaca leading the first few times.   Getting excited thinking about it already, goodness knows what this years group will be like as each year it varies so much. We would have started earlier but have been on holiday, still plenty of time to get through the whole process. Trust in the handler  makes it easier for everyone. I hasten to add I still worry about the journey and always glad when they are home safe and well.