Because a llama's head is held with the mouth
almost horizontally (rather than almost vertically, as in equines),
a bit is not a comfortable or effective means of communicating
with or controlling a driven llama. Several specially designed
driving halters are available, and some people have tried driving
llamas in regular halters.
Gwen makes our own driving halters, designed
specifically to allow precise cuing. They fit snugly, unlike
a normal halter, and have a pair of rings on the noseband below
the cheek pieces. This design minimizes slippage and thus increases
cue precision, allowing instant understanding during training,
development of a very light "hand," and outstanding
responses in a well-trained driving llama. The driving halter
is not adjustable for both safety and comfort, and so must be
custom-made to fit each llama.
Winkers are a tremendous asset to the driving
llama when showing. To an animal with a large field of vision
but poor depth perception, a pleasure driving class held in an
arena appears to be an unpredictable and dangerous mass of llamas,
carts, and humans all moving at different speeds, some directly
at him or her. Winkers allow the llama to focus on where he or
she is going rather than to panic about turnouts that are actually
a safe distance away, which in turn increases safety in the class
and improves performance. The winkers are mounted on a separate
strap for proper positioning, are made of light packcloth for
safety and comfort, and are supported by the llama's own bony
orbits -- there are no stiff parts or wires to endanger the eyes.
The winkers are optional and can be removed, if desired, for
actual pleasure driving.