will be using a halter to move your llama where you wish them to go for
their care , walking , putting them in a trailer etc. So the proper fit of the
halter is very important.
Halters come in sizes from weanling up to an extra large. They can also be custom made for your llama.
A good fit is important because the pressure of the halter sends signals to your llama telling it what you want it to do. If it is too tight the llama can not feel the changes in pressure and it can restrict the llama's breathing. If it is too loose it will spin around the head or slide down the nose and restrict it's breathing when you pull on the lead rope. Or worse yet, will fall off the nose.
For a good halter fit , the halter should allow you to send signals to the llama and also be comfortable enough for the llama to eat and drink. There are two important points of contact on the llamas head with the halter.
1. NOSEBAND-- The noseband should be placed on the llamas nose so that it is in about the middle of the nose and about an inch away from the eye. There should be enough room to put two fingers between the nose and halter. ( two fingers side by side)
this picture: Notice that the nose band is in proper position in the middle of
2.CROWN PIECE-- The crown piece is brought around the head and buckled on the head just below the base of the ear. You should be able to place one finger between the halter and the head here.
In this picture: Notice that the crown piece is too low on the neck
QUESTIONS OFTEN ASKED ABOUT HALTER FIT .......
Question---Why be so careful with halter fit?
Answer------ The anatomy of the llama's nose makes the fit very important. From the top of the head to just below the eye is bone then it becomes cartilage and soft tissue which is not as strong. This last 1/2 of the nose from the nostrils to the middle of the nose cannot withstand the pressure and constriction of the halter's noseband .
The halter has to be placed correctly to avoid damage to the cartilage and soft tissue. And proper fit gives you the method to communicate with your llama so you can lead him without restricting the breathing.
Question----Can I let my llama grow into a bigger halter?
Answer---- No, you shouldn't do this . There are halters to fit all ages. As your llama grows from a small cria to an adult the sizes will need to be adjusted. There are many styles on the market. The hardest size I see that people can't find is an extra large , but it is available See page on booklets to order llama & alpaca supplies. The catalogs will explain to you how to measure your llama if you want a custom fit halter too.
ONE LAST LOOK
After placing the halter on your llama give it one last look. What you should see on the llamas face is a HALTER SHAPED LIKE A TRIANGLE. When the noseband is properly placed and the crown piece is under the poll or base of the ear the halter will form a natural triangle with the point under the chin. If the crown piece is too low there is a box shape. If the noseband is too low it will appear like a long oddly shaped rectangle.