PLTA Mentors are members who have generously volunteered to assist folks in their llama endeavors. They offer their time to answer questions and assist you your to deal with all things llama. While PLTA Mentors make no claims to be the absolute experts, they enthusiastically share what they know to help you on your way. Their opinions are their own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of the Pack Llama Trail Association.
Mentors can help you with training, equipment, and herd management issues. Some of the mentors have extensive experience in the show arena. Some have years of experience with llama carting. Some are backcountry packers. All are seasoned in planning for and undertaking PLTA pack trials. Whatever you need, they will do their best to help you find an answer.
If you would like to become a mentor and share your priceless llama knowledge, please contact the firstname.lastname@example.org.
Indian Hills Ranch
Ranco Mirage, California
Phone: (760) 699-7006
As a PLTA mentor, Wally shares his expertise in all aspects of llama trainin including from beginning handling and halter training to show ring, performance, obstacle and pack llama training as well as herd and fiber evaluations.
Wally is a former commercial pack llama outfitter, operating in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California. He also served on the founding Board of Directors of the U.S. Forest Service, San Gabriel Rangers - a combined llama and equestrian volunteer public service group. In addition, he has been highly involved with a number of llama organizations in various educational, committee and board member capacities. Wally became a Pack Llama Trial Association Pack Trial Certifier in 1998. Along with hosting pack trial events, he has certified many PLTA trials, while sharing the camaraderie and out back experience the llama packing environment provides.
Wally strongly believes the PLTA is a great resource for those that enjoy the working aspect of the llama on the trail, while attaining formal recognition within a low key, educational and non-competitive setting.
Burns Llama Trailblazers
Phone: (541) 589-0840
Becky mentors those needing assistance organizing and managing pack trials. She has been serving as Trial Chairperson for PLTA pack trials for over fifteen years. Her many adventures at the helm of two-day events for all levels have given her a great deal of experience to call on, especially considering that the trial organizers consisted of the members of the local llama 4H group. Becky is happy to share her experience and knowledge to help take the stress out of your trial hosting efforts.
Howling Moon Farm
Phone: (479) 597-9401
John is a seriously enthusiastic llama packer who loves sharing his knowledge. He especially enjoys helping out people who are new to llamas, new to llama packing, or just trying to figure out what to do with their llama. John is a key contact for packer training and all things PLTA. He is active in a broad area from Arkansas to the Rocky Mountains.
Phone: (865) 604-3724 (cell)
Susan has been training for and participating in PLTA pack trials for two decades.She has a deep knowledge of training and herd management issues and spends a great deal of energy assisting persons in her region.
A note from Susan:
I have owned llamas since 1995, with my original interest in using them for packing. Since then I have maintained membership in most of the national and my regional llama organizations. I've served on the boards of the PLTA, Tennessee Llama Community, and Southeast Llama Rescue. I have participated in pack trials in the southeast, starting with the earliest efforts in 1998, and joining PLTA in 2000. I have also qualified as a screener for the North American Ccara Association. Aside from packing, I've trained cart llamas, shown llamas in halter and performance classes, worked hands-on with llama rescue, and spun a fair amount of yarn. With the help of continuing education in veterinary issues, I have significant expertise in management of camelids in the southeastern US. I currently own a small breeding herd of 11 llamas plus one fiber alpaca.
Tom has years of multi-season packing in the Rocky Mountains of central Idaho. He can help you with herd management, equipment choices, chosing an appropriate pack llama, training issues and connections with other knowledgeable llama people.
A note from Tom:
My wife and I started working with llamas nearly 25 years ago. A friend of theirs proposed keeping his hunting llamas in shape by working with them all summer. So, instead of carrying backpacks loaded with gear into the mountains, we fell in love with the idea of letting the llamas carry the gear. From 3-4 day trips, we jumped to 8-10 day trips and saw scenery we would not have ordinarily seen, and we did it by holding a rope leading a group of llamas. We have not only summer-packed with llamas, we use them for hunting throughout the fall season. Our experiences with llamas range from crossing huge snowfields, negotiating the best trail through dead-fall, bear and wolf encounters, to the benign humming a tune as we walked down the trail.
Feeding, shearing, simple doctoring, hoof clipping, developing a keen awareness for what your llamas can accomplish, and recognizing personality traits are all part of raising llamas. We have dealt with veterinarians in time of illness and death and looked at numerous diet concerns to keep our boys healthy. We are not in the business of raising females and the breeding side of raising llamas. Our information deals with the training, packing, camping, hunting and day to day care of llamas. During the last 25 years we have experimented with several different packing systems, and have come to the conclusion that each llama, depending on confirmation, age, etc may require different systems. We have participated and organized llama trials moving our llamas from Basic level through Master's level.
What equipment is out there? We can help you. Training your llamas, we can help you. Currently, we are working with llama owners from Billings, Montana to Salt Lake City, Utah.
Never forget, there is someone available that will always help with questions and unique ways to work with your llamas. My wife and I continue to learn and no doubt, it has been a very educational journey. Bottom line, we don't know everything, but are willing to learn. We have also developed wonderful relationships with many people who are also willing to help. If we don't have the answers, odds are we know someone who does.
Burns Llama Trailblazers
Phone: (541) 573-2628
Anne manages the female herd and schools the crias for Burns Llama Trailblazers. She has studied the Mallon Method, clicker training and many other techniques for establishing communications with young animals. Her program takes a cria from birth through basic management and obstacle training. By the time they are weaned her llama students are ready to compete in performance classes or begin their back-country training. Besides training llamas Anne is an experienced dog trainer and teaches in the public schools. She excels at sorting out learning challenges and finding ways for her student, whether they have four legs or two, to succeed at surmounting their challenges. Anne takes great pleasure in sharing her knowledge.
Burns Llama Trailblazers
Lisa is a PLTA Pack Trial certifier with 15 years experience. She is skilled at all aspects of putting on a pack trial and particularly enjoys the Trial Marshal aspect of setting up courses and selecting obstacles. She enjoys training certifiers and mentoring all aspects of putting on PLTA Pack Trials and Challenges.
Lisa also enjoys mentoring people regarding training, packing and places to go in the Great Basin country, Her extensive backpacking experience has made her a highly skilled navigator, a skill she particularly enjoys teaching. With over thirty-five years of llama training experience, her particular strength is training, or re-training challenging adult llamas. her focus is on teaching llamas to work with people and people to work with llamas. She trains llamas to pack, to work in strings, and she conditions them for cross-country travel in the rugged desert steppe of the Oregon Outback. Five of her packers have earned Elite Pack Llama certification.