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Foggy Llamas

My name is Lori Chowncompany of llamasing, owner of Canyon Mountain Llama Company. I grew up in Corvallis, Oregon. One of 4 kids, we grew up playing with neighborhood kids in the woods, camping, fishing, skiing, backpacking doing yard work and helping our Mom around the house with chores (however grudgingly). I was horse crazy right from birth. I couldn't read Black Beauty enough times, I couldn't have too many Breyer Horses. I asked Santa Claus for a horse every Christmas from the time I could say "horse". I didn't play with dolls, I played with horses. I did have  Barbie, but she rode horses. Riding was easier for Barbie once she developed legs with knees that bent. One year for Christmas my parents gave me a big colorful book of horse breeds. That's where I first saw an Arabian and was lost in their beauty, grace and elegance. I eventually got my way summer between 6th and 7th grade when Sandy, a 1/2 Arabian 1/2 Welsh pony came into my life to be shared with my sister and my dad's friend's 2 boys. One thing led to another and I eventually learned to train and show horses. I worked under different trainers first with a guy who was rough with them, then on to a non-forceful way of training and handling. We had a ski cabin in Sisters, Oregon across the street from a cattle ranch which sold to the Pattersons from Ohio. They moved in with their llamas and Polish Arabians. That was where I first saw a llama. I was entranced with their big beautiful eyes, graceful arched neck, silky wool, how lightly they touched their feet to the ground when they moved and they way they played with one another. I was hooked from there. Who would have thought at that age, maybe 12 or 13 I can't remember for sure, that I would be training, packing, shearing, breeding, and living with llamas today.

 

 

It wasn't until 1989 that I actually came in contact with llamas again. A friend of mine had an injured llama who needed a wound cleaned and repacked every day. In helping her with her llama Love Is Blue, I fell in love. I was thumbing through a Llamas magazine marveling at all the beautiful llamas when I stumbled into an add for a non-forceful training method for llamas called TEAM with Marty McGee. I signed up right away for a 3 day clinic at Cathy Spalding's Gentle Spirit Llamas in Olympia, Washington. I knew nothing about llamas and had only touched Love Is Blue while we doctored her. I found Marty knowledgeable, confident, captivating and saw how readily the llamas she worked with responded to her non-forceful, respectful handling. I've attended a total of 5 clinics, each one packed with new handling findings and techniques as this method evolves with different llamas and alpacas who teach us new ways to handle. How fun!

 

 

I bought a couple of male llamas in 1989, moved to Bozeman, Montana with my 2 llamas, Borzoi Annie, Newfoundland Arthur Barker and husband in 1990 to ski Bridger Bowl and explore the mountains of Montana with my llamas in tow. My husband and I grew apart, he moved on and I moved on to property I bought high on Canyon Mountain bordering public land where I've bred, birthed, raised and trained my pack llamas. I built my house, barn and about 8,000' in fencing. I sit up here on elk winter range in Montana with my world class view of the Bangtails, Bridgers, Crazy Mountains and Absarokas with 31 llamas and my borzoi Jo. Wildlife abounds! My kitchen window overlooks a drainage where, if I'm lucky, I see deer, elk, moose, coyotes, wolves, bears, marmots, bunnies, eagles, chipmunks and assorted vermin as I do dishes.

I spent years breeding, birthing, raising and training an incredible string of pack llamas.  I packed commercially for a number of years marrying my love of good food and wine with wilderness travel and llamas.  I no longer pack commercially but still enjoy training pack llamas and wilderness travel.

Happiness is doing what you love. Freedom is loving what you do.
Author Unknown