About Bungalook Alpaca Products
How Our Story Began
Here at Bungalook alpaca farm, just out of town, we had an idea for involving our alpacas and people for fun. People want to learn about the bush, enjoy picnics, and just love alpacas. We thought we could take people on alpaca escorted bush walks, with a neat little pack on each alpaca, that would carry a small picnic hamper.
We made up a set of packs and with the help of our grandchildren, we began leading our alpacas down through the paddock, across a bridge, through the rain forest, up the hill and home again. the alpacas were a bit reluctant at first, but soon settled into their practice walks.
It all seemed trouble free, so we invited our neighbours to lend themselves to the experiment. They were happy to oblige, so brought their grandchildren to join in. To our surprise and consternation, we found that our tractable and placid alpacas did not like these newcomers and objected to the children. We had failed to recognise the vast difference between people, who have been alpaca trained and those who have not. The alpacas could spot the difference instantly and reacted with alarm. They behaved badly, pulling on their leads and lurching about, trying to stay as far as possible from the new people. The most worrying aspect of this experience for us was to to see the discomfort caused by the headstalls we were using.
We have always regarded headstalls (a headstall is a harness, bridle or halter that attaches to a lead) on alpacas as something of a problem, particularly during the early stages of training young animals. Every alpaca owner must be familiar with the problem of nose bands pulling on soft tissue when placed too far down the nose, or side straps riding too high on small heads, and, putting pressure on eyes. These factors are an uncomfortable distraction to early training sessions. In the hands of untrained people, this problem was much increased, so although we were sure that our alpacas could be trained to accept handling and leading by inexperienced strangers, we felt that the headstall problem was likely to go on causing the alpacas discomfort, so we set about designing a perfect alpaca headstall.
We began experimenting with carefully shaped leather straps and found alpacas agreed with our theory. We invited the neighbours to come alpaca walking again and found that although the animals sometimes rudely objected to strangers, the new Bungalook headstall never caused them any discomfort or distress.