There are countless factors that go into the makeup of a superior pack animal and not all are apparent on visual inspection. Many deficiencies are not apparent until the animal is put to work.
There are llamas in North America with less than ideal conformation and movement that are highly valued by their owners as packers and trail companions. Many of these animals are valued because of traits that cannot be measured, such as a close bond of trust with their owners, or exceptional dispositions and a will to work. It is not our intention to lessen the importance of such animals.
But selecting actual breeding stock requires a very critical eye.
The llama who has long, smooth, reaching strides with an effortless way of going, who also stands up to repeated seasons of packing - THIS is the ultimate athlete. If we could unerringly define and reproduce this animal, the world of llama packing would be almost perfect.
The yearling female on the left and the two-year-old male on the right are beautifully balanced, athletic youngsters and are excellent examples of the Ccara breed.