So you have a horse on your farm and consider getting a llama as a companion?
But you might be also wondering how well do llamas get along with horses. After all, you might have heard some stories about how they are not the best fit.
Llamas are great against coyotes, they are pretty friendly, they give wool, are cheap and easy to keep – who wouldn’t want to get one for their farm?
Except, your horses might not like the idea.
In this article, we will discuss:
- If llamas can be kept together with horses
- Why horses get scared of llamas (and vice versa)
- How much time it takes for them to form a connection
- Other problems you should look out for
Can Llamas And Horses Live Together?
Llamas and horses can live together on a farm but they require careful introduction and early supervision to ensure they are a good fit. If they bond properly, and their personalities match, these animals will become instant best friends.
Llamas are proud, confident, and social animals, they love bonding with their own and other species.
They are naturally aggressive towards different predators like foxes, coyotes, and wild dogs. This makes llamas great guard animals for livestock like sheep, goats, chickens, and others.
Owners claim that llamas can discern between a neighbor’s dog and some wild one – they will not attack your farm dog.
Llamas take their herd protection role seriously and will even protect horses. If they notice a predator approaching, llamas will release a scream to warn the others. Usually, they will spot the intruder long before dogs or horses notice it.
Llamas and horses can live together in harmony on a farm, too. For their relationship to work, you will most likely need a single llama that is kind of a loner animal. Such animals make the best cattle and horse guards.
Because llamas are very social animals, people will get a pair of them for their farm. This might sometimes be a mistake, as the two might bond between them, and ignore the rest of the herd.
However, as long as your new llama has an animal like a horse or a sheep at the pasture to build a bond and relate to, it will do just fine. Your horse might get to love your new llama.
Some claim that llamas make so good horse companions that their horses become a lot calmer and relaxed when they are around llamas. And you might often find your horse grooming your llama.
Llama and a horse make a great duo as they reduce parasites in their environment and might not get infected by the same parasites.
For example, grazing horses on the pasture will decrease the number of larvae the llamas are exposed to, and the llamas will decrease the number of larvae the horses are exposed to. Perfect combination.
Now before you go to the closest llama breeder to get yourself one, you should be warned – llamas and horses will not always get along.
Horses Can Be Really Mean And Dangerous To Llamas
Just like humans and animals, not all llamas and horses will get along. Horses are bigger than llamas and will use their size to occasionally bully llamas and attack them for no apparent reason.
There have been situations where horses would tease and scare a smaller-sized llama. The horses would try to stomp the llama if it came near them. If a llama ran past horses, they would try to kick it and severely injure the animal or even kill it.
Horses have extremely powerful kicks that can deal so much damage. One llama owner said that his llama got killed when their horse knocked the llama in the head, killing it instantly.
On the other hand, llamas can be dangerous for horses too. If no female is around, male llamas might try to breed with horses or mini horses, and even injure the animals.
One thing you could do here is to get a female llama or a gelded male.
They might also screech and spit at the horse if they do not like it.
Why Are Horses Scared Of Llamas?
Horses will occasionally get petrified of llamas if they are not used to the animals. Horses might injure themselves trying to escape. The same goes the other way; llamas can get scared of horses. Some claim it is because of the other animals’ looks and smell.
The most important part is the introduction.
Llama as a horse companion seems a great idea if you introduce one another slowly and steadily so they don’t run away suddenly and out of control.
Do not put your llama and horses together straight away, give them time to get to know one another. Try to separate them, but give them time and space to see, smell, or even touch.
If you want to keep these two species together peacefully, you should use fences to separate the animals and avoid mixing any kind of mineral access between them.
It might take about 2-3 weeks for llamas and horses to get accustomed to each other and form a friendship. This depends on their personality though; sometimes they might never connect and live in harmony.
Their relationship might develop so well that a llama might hum for the horse and try to call for it when it’s away. One owner reports how his llamas get extremely worried when he saddles up his horse for a ride; they just don’t like the horse leaving them.
Occasionally, there will be a situation where these two animals won’t get along and can’t be kept together. If enough time passed and the animals still bully or dislike one another, maybe it would be best to let go of one of the animals and try to return it to your seller.
Make sure to give the animals enough space and keep a close eye on their relationship to make changes if required.
Llama Vs Horse
Llamas and horses have several similar characteristics but are mostly very different animals.
Horses are a lot taller, bigger, heavier, and longer than llamas. An average horse stands around five feet tall and weighs 800-1200 pounds; llamas are around 3.8 ft and weigh slightly above 300 pounds.
Both have elongated snouts and run quickly. Horses have a lot longer tails than llamas, have stomachs with 4 chambers (llamas have only 3 compartments), and do not spit as llamas do.
If they were to race, horses would win against a llama with ease; they are a lot faster (55 mph vs 40 mph of a llama).
This concludes our article on the question “do llamas get along with horses”.
Horses and llamas can get along together well if introduced properly. Before you put llamas with your horses, you should make sure to give them enough space and time to bond properly. If their personalities match, the animals will get to love one another, and form a great friendship.
Sometimes, there will be situations where these animals won’t get along. And nothing you do can help. If enough time passes and they are still scared or are aggressive to one another, maybe you should consider separating them.
 Cebra, Chris, et al. Llama and alpaca care. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2014.