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Hi all,

Next week we are getting a new guy for our lonely wether, Lewis. Both wethers are 3 y.o. Lewis is an angora and new guy an alpine x who we hope will become our pack goat.

We will separate them with a fence for a bit, til they get comfortable w/each other.

New guy apparently leads on a rope already. How do we begin the pack training process? Is there a progressive step guide out there? I'll bet we first get him to trust us and Lewis! Any advise will be greatly appreciated (and printed out!)

Thank you all,
Beth in Ut
 

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The training process for a pack goat is really easy. Take them on a few walks so they get used to being away from the barn, then strap on a saddle. I'd recommend having the goat on a lead the first time you saddle it up. Most goats will just stand there and maybe chew on a strap or two but every once in awhile you'll get one who takes off in a panic when they figure out something is strapped on its back. If you have one that doesn't seem to care, you're already done. If the goat seems nervous and flighty then walk with it on lead till it accepts the saddle. Once you have a few hikes under your belt with an empty saddle add the panniers. It'll take a little while for them to get used to them rubbing on things when they walk past so be aware that they may charge forward when they hear them rub on brush and stuff. Eventually you'll have loaded panniers and you'll be goat packing!

Get in the habit of always walking a path your goats can fit through. Eventually they'll figure out its easier to follow your lead than to bush whack on their own and get stuck between trees. Experienced packers know how wide their load is and swing wide enough around obstacles to avoid hitting. Inexperienced goats will bounce their packs off of every tree they walk by. Keep that in mind when loading fragile items. ;)
 
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