Input on improving the 'goat train'?

Discussion in 'Pack Goat Training' started by Jenesis90, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. Jenesis90

    Jenesis90 Member

    Aug 23, 2013
    Howdy! I have 2 11m/o lamancha wethers that I bottle raised. From 3 weeks old they've been hitting the hills with me, riding in the car, and going on walks with the dogs.

    I had a system down pretty well for leashed walks: the lazy brother, Aster, is leashed from the chin of his halter to the back of the dog soft-pack that his brother, Isol, wears. Isol has an insatiable energy drive so I keep him to my right, leash clipped to the chin of his halter, and he essentially pulls his brother around while I keep his pace in check. I have my ultra-light tent in his dog pack (for a whopping 4lbs total bag weight) to give him a little more energy outlet. (and if you don't agree with that, no need to share your thoughts).
    The dogs walk patiently on the left (not rolling their eyes at me), goats on the right. Now and again Aster decides he actually wants to walk and he occasionally gets tangled trying to surpass Isol.

    This works pretty well. Well enough that I can take them through neighborhoods and in areas of traffic. Except now I have 2 adult angora does I've added to the fiasco. I'd like to have a system in place for walking everyone!

    I've been trying to duplicate my methods to incorporate the girls, but it's hap-hazard and full of tangled goats. I keep Isol at my side with a tight leash and Aster follows him, attached to his pack. Then on a long leash that I also hold, I have my 'matriarch' doe, Ashan, who follows Aster. And rigged to Ashan's halter is her 'sister', Mischa.

    They follow their order well. Me, Isol, Aster, Ashan, Mischa, in that order... when they're not tangled... I am really only holding 2 leashes to 2 goats. But there's gotta be a better way! Half a dozen leashes, halters, harnesses, collars, and packs- oh my! Not to mention I don't like having Ashan on a long leash- if she can dart 4 feet away from me, and Mischa another 2 feet, that's a goat 6 feet out of my reach if there's a problem.

    I guess my question is does anyone out there leash walk 4+ goats at once, and if so, how so?

    I don't leash them on hiking and camping trips, only on 'practice' and 'conditioning' walks down the lane.

  2. fivemoremiles

    fivemoremiles Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    western montana
    With that many goats it would be easiest to drive them to a trail head and hike with the goats off lead

  3. Bob Jones

    Bob Jones Member

    Aug 21, 2009
    only 5 at a time

    I did hike with 5 at a time on leads. I would basically manage the leads to let them find their own order. Eventually they would settle into an order. the shuffling all started again on the trip back.

    Usually it was dark by then so I would shorten the leads so that I had the two largest goats on my sides and the other around us. I often would partially ride them back, leaning on the two since I have a bad back.

    You learn to let the leads slide in you r hand, and check them only to keep them at he distance you want rather than the position you want.

    They hike a lot nicer if you have a second person.

    On person takes the lead. the other stay back. The herd will spread itself between the two with the exception of the one who thinks he is herd leader, and he will follow behind me. I think the second in command (the human) leads, and the herd leader follows. The others jostle a bit from time to time, but I have found this the most orderly way to hike.

    When I hike with them alone now, we dont use leads. They can go ahead, or behind or off to the side. But the herd dynamic demands that they stay in proximity to me.

    I have let them wander all night at camp, but I feel better staking them close to me. I sleep better. They wander farther for munchies in terrain where there is little to eat. Out in the west desert they once wander about a quarter mile over night. But responded to me when I called to them, so I knew which direction they had gone.

    I tried doing the formal string a couple times. But it only really worked when the last thing on the string was a sled, so there was something to keep them in a line. It wasn't technically a string. but 5 lines to the sled of different lengths.