Mentors

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.

Never forget, there is someone available that will always help with questions and unique ways to work with your llamas. PLTA mentors have also developed wonderful relationships with many people who are also willing to help. If weour mentors don't have the answers, odds are they know someone who does.

If you would like to become a mentor and share your priceless llama knowledge, please contact the PLTA office at admin@packllama.org.

Wally Baker
Indian Hills Ranch
Ranco Mirage, California 
Phone: (760) 699-7006
Email: ihllamas@twc.com

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.

Becky Cunningham
Burns Llama Trailblazers
Burns, Oregon
Phone: (541) 589-0840
Email: herd@burnsllamatrailblazers.com

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.

John Fant
Howling Moon Farm
Boonetown, Arkansas
Phone: (479) 597-9401
Email: johnfant711@gmail.com

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.

Susan Gawarecki
Susan Gawarecki & Captain Canuk

Susan Gawarecki
Pathfinder Farm
Andersonville, Tennessee
Phone: (865) 604-3724 (cell)
Email: llamaladysg@yahoo.com

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.

Anne Sheeter
Burns Llama Trailblazers
Burns, Oregon
Phone: (541) 573-2628
Email: crias@burnsllamatrailblazers.com

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.

Lisa Wolf
Burns Llama Trailblazers
Burns, Oregon
Email: packers@burnsllamatrailblazers.com

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.

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