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Alpacas as companions for a horse?

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  • Alpacas as companions for a horse?

    Anyone have any experience with alpacas as companions for a horse? Alpacas in question are experienced equine companions -- they apparently get quite fond of the horse they live with...

    trying to learn more, specifically about whether a horse might settle in to having the alpacas as companions in lieu of other horses...
    The big man -- my lost prince

    The little brother, now my main man

  • #2
    Any of the horses I've ridden with are PETRIFIED of alpacas and llamas. That being said, I'm sure they can learn to coexist.

    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


    • #3
      My daughter's morgan is afraid of nothing. Until we rode by the alpacas up the road......my greenie husband was riding him and i saw that little horse lower his butt and SCOOOOOOOOOOOOOT forty feet in the blink of an eye LOL. I would love to borrow one to throw in the pen with the horses but I have a feeling I'd be posting LOST HORSE signs!


      • Original Poster

        well, i have no doubt the first encounter would be alarming but I am interested in longer term. I had a friend who boarded at a barn with a mini donk, which terrified new horses but got along great with them once they got over the shock...
        The big man -- my lost prince

        The little brother, now my main man


        • #5
          We have 2 alpacas at my barn, and the horses are not scared of them. They used to roam freely around the barn, and only stuck together. Their favorite trick was to sneak in horse stalls in the morning, and any unlucky horses that were being ridden before morning feed would find a pair of alpacas in their stall trying to eat their breakfast. My DraftX was not super amused by that

          Now they live in their own paddock, and don't really interact with anyone. They were always scared of most people and didn't seem to give a flip about the horses either way.
          My Blog - www.shemovedtotexas.com


          • #6
            Just my guess...I think Alpacas are pretty expensive and fragile. They might learn to co-exist, but the alpacas also might get hurt.
            Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


            • #7
              Originally posted by asterix View Post
              trying to learn more, specifically about whether a horse might settle in to having the alpacas as companions in lieu of other horses...
              If you are asking if your horse would prefer another equine, the answer is yes!

              Before getting involved with alpacas, do some serious reading on the difficulties you may face.


              • #8
                Got a new mare last September. She was very thin so I didn't even take her our of her paddock for weeks. The barn owner said he didn't even know what she looked like because her head was always in her feeder. Anyway, I started handling her and taking her for walks and I was so impressed with her beautiful calm ground manners -- she had raced some thirty times and didn't seem fazed by anything. So I took her past the pasture with the alpacas, steeled myself for a rodeo, and there they came, four alpacas galloping full speed up to the fence line, making their funny noises. My sweet mare didn't bat an eye!

                I have two others who know they are surely going to be eaten by those cute little alpacas. "What the hell ARE those freaky things?!!!"
                "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks, guys -- this wasn't about ME getting alpacas -- it was about evaluating a potential home for my sale horse where he would ONLY have alpacas as companions....
                  I suspected it was wishful thinking that this would be equivalent to equine companions.
                  The big man -- my lost prince

                  The little brother, now my main man


                  • #10
                    Alpacas like each other, very herd oriented. I haven't seen them be good horse buddies. It might be good to borrow a couple for letting your equines get used to them, but I wouldn't put them IN WITH larger equines. Alpacas seem to be more spooky, flighty, than Llamas are. They are smaller than Llamas, more fragile, don't like strangers much, not always very friendly for petting.

                    If you own them, you will need some way to get them shorn yearly. Hire it or do it yourself in Spring or first part of Summer for their comfort. They do need some hoof attention during the year, maybe your Farrier will do them for you.

                    Here in Michigan, they can get Brain Worms from the White Tail Deer you can't keep out of the fields. So the Alpacas and Llamas need worming done on a regular basis, to prevent early death by Brain Worms.

                    Not the best choice for a horse companion.


                    • #11
                      Place I boarded had an adult llama out in pasture with 3 young stallions.

                      Llamadeus quickly established himself as the Boss of You, and all 3 boys wore green spit until they learned llamas do not play like young studs.

                      He also learned that humans came with mints and would run to the fence and threaten to spit if you did not give him a mint first.

                      In the Winter they had to bring Llamadeus in and give him his own stall as he fussed so much when the boys were brought in and he was left in pasture.

                      So in this case, adult llama & young horses were fine together.
                      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                      • #12
                        Llamadeus! I dearly covet a llama, and used to want alpacas. Took a little tour around the local alpaca compound that was trying to give me all their pet quality 'geldings' if that's the right word in that species. They're a fair bit of fuss and trouble and they DO really like each other. It depends on your sale horse though, my guy is one of those that does honestly seem to do better without a herd, but it's kind of a rare thing.
                        It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.


                        • #13
                          Bad idea unless you want your horse to be pretty lonely. I find them aloof and fractious...


                          • #14
                            Llamas and Alpacas DO NOT act the same. They may look the same except for size, but Llamas are usually lots more dominant, especially males if not gelded.

                            You may want to learn the "choke-hold" that is essential at times, in establishing your herd dominance with the ill-behaved ones. Saves you a BUNCH of problems in handling them.


                            • #15
                              We had two to four Alpacas w our one horse for months and they did great together. All were males but not gelded. Just pet quality boys.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by goodhors View Post
                                Llamas and Alpacas DO NOT act the same. They may look the same except for size, but Llamas are usually lots more dominant, especially males if not gelded.

                                You may want to learn the "choke-hold" that is essential at times, in establishing your herd dominance with the ill-behaved ones. Saves you a BUNCH of problems in handling them.
                                This, alpacas are generally not nearly as social as llamas. Llamas, since they were used as pack animals have been bred for temperament whereas alpaca were bred primarily for fleece quality. Having had both, the llamas got along well with the horses but the alpaca were always very aloof.