Training a Young Camel to Wear a Saddle: Tips and Tricks


Learning how to introduce a saddle to a young camel can be both exciting and daunting. As a beginner, you may feel unsure of where to begin or worry about the safety of both you and the animal. However, with the right approach, patience, and attention to detail, you can successfully train your camel to wear a saddle and carry weight. In this beginner’s guide, we will take you through the steps of introducing a saddle to your young camel and offer tips for maintaining a safe and comfortable fit. Let’s begin.

Why Is Training a Young Camel Important?

Reason 1: For safety reasons, training a young camel is important. Untrained camels can be dangerous to handle and ride, which makes proper training crucial for both the animal and handler.
Reason 2: Training helps build a trusting relationship between the handler and the camel. Good training methods help the animal understand what is expected of it, and in turn, become more cooperative during handling and riding.
Reason 3: Training enables camels to carry heavy loads with comfort, which is a major reason why they are treasured by people for centuries. Proper training ensures that the animal is comfortable carrying loads over long distances and on different terrains, ensuring the animal’s welfare.
Reason 4: Training camels provides the opportunity for enriching interactions with the animal. Spendind time training and interacting with a young camel can offer amazing insights and bonding opportunities.

Properly desensitizing a young camel during training process is key to ensuring safe and comfortable handling for both the animal and handler. For more tips on desensitizing camels, you may click here. Additionally, ensuring the proper equipment and techniques are used during training is important for safe, comfortable and effective training. You can learn more about safe camel training techniques by clicking here.

Preparing for Saddle Training

Preparing your young camel for saddle training can be a daunting task. However, with the right steps and equipment, you can make the process smooth and stress-free for your animal. Before you start the training, there are two important aspects you must consider: assessing the camel’s temperament and health and gathering the necessary equipment. It’s essential to ensure that your camel is healthy, calm and comfortable with handling, and has been through basic training. If you’re unsure about halter training or teaching basic commands, consider reviewing those topics first at /halter-training-camels/ or /teaching-camel-basic-commands/. Proper preparation for your camel’s training is crucial to the success of your camel’s training, your safety and your camel’s wellbeing during the process.

Assessing the Camel’s Temperament and Health

When preparing to introduce a saddle to a young camel, it is crucial to assess the camel’s temperament and health. This will help determine whether the camel is ready for training, and what training methods will be most effective. Here are some things to consider when assessing your camel:

  • Temperament: Camels can be nervous, skittish, or even aggressive. It’s important to work with your camel and gain their trust before introducing any new equipment or training methods. Consider using clicker training to build trust and reinforce positive behaviors.
  • Health: Make sure your camel is healthy enough for training. Check for any signs of illness or injury, such as limping or a lack of appetite. Also, make sure the camel is up-to-date on vaccinations and other veterinary care.
  • Age: Young camels may not be physically mature enough for saddle training. The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends waiting until the camel is at least three years old before introducing a saddle.
  • Size: Consider the size and weight of the saddle in relation to the camel. The saddle should fit comfortably and not cause any discomfort or injury. Additionally, be aware that certain foods and supplements can cause a camel to pack on excess weight, which can increase the risk of injury during training.
  • Training history: If the camel has not been trained before, it may take longer to introduce the saddle and other equipment. Be patient and use positive reinforcement techniques to make the process as stress-free as possible.

Assessing the camel’s temperament and health is an essential first step in introducing a saddle to a young camel. For more tips on good camel training practices, check out our article on good camel training tips.

Gathering the Necessary Equipment

To properly introduce a saddle to a young camel, it is important to have the necessary equipment on hand. This will ensure that the training process goes smoothly and that both the camel and handler are safe. Here are some essential items to gather:

  • Saddle Blanket: A soft and lightweight blanket should be used to cushion the saddle and protect the camel’s skin from rubbing. It is important to choose a size that fits the camel properly.
  • Saddle Pad: A thicker pad should be placed underneath the saddle blanket to provide extra cushioning and support for the saddle. Like the blanket, it should fit the camel well.
  • Saddle: Choosing the right saddle is critical to ensuring the camel’s comfort and safety. Camel saddles come in a variety of designs and materials, so it is important to do research and select one that is appropriate for the camel’s size and intended use.
  • Bridle and Reins: A bridle and reins are needed to steer and control the camel during training.
  • Girth: A girth or cinch is used to secure the saddle to the camel’s body. It is important to choose one that is the correct size and fits snugly without causing discomfort to the camel.
  • Clicker and Treats: Clicker training is a popular and effective method for training camels that can help build trust and facilitate learning. A clicker and treats can be used to reinforce positive behaviors and encourage the camel to accept the saddle.

It is also important to ensure that all equipment is clean, well-maintained, and in good condition before beginning training. Any equipment that is worn, frayed, or damaged should be replaced to avoid the risk of injury to the camel. For more information on camel training techniques, see our article on benefits of clicker training for camels or on building trust with your camel during training.

Training Your Camel to Wear a Saddle

Training Your Camel To Wear A Saddle
As your young camel becomes more comfortable with being handled and touched, it’s time to start training them to wear a saddle. This can be a daunting task, but with patience and perseverance, your camel will soon be ready to carry you on their back. The process involves a series of steps, from introducing basic equipment to gradually increasing weight. Before you begin, make sure you have assessed your camel’s temperament and health, and have gathered all the necessary equipment. Now let’s dive into the training process! For more information on camel rider training, check out our article on camel rider training. It’s also important to be aware of which foods to avoid feeding your camel during training–you can read more about that in our article on training camels: foods to avoid.

Step 1: Getting the Camel Used to Handling and Touching

The first step to introducing a saddle to a young camel is getting them used to handling and touching. This is a very important step as it builds trust and confidence between the camel and the handler. Here are some tips for getting your camel accustomed to handling and touching:

  • Approach slowly and calmly: Camels can be skittish and nervous around humans, especially if they haven’t been handled much before. Approach your camel slowly and calmly, speaking softly and reassuringly to them.
  • Offer treats: Treats can be a great way to gain a camel’s trust. Offer small treats like carrots or apples by hand, and praise the camel when they take it.
  • Start with basic handling: Start by handling the camel in basic ways, such as brushing them or leading them by a halter. This will get them used to your touch and handling.
  • Gradually introduce new stimuli: Introduce new stimuli slowly and gradually, such as touching the camel’s ears or legs. This will help them get used to different sensations and prepare them for wearing the saddle.
  • Use positive reinforcement: Reward the camel when they respond positively to handling and touching, such as praising them or giving them a treat. This will help build a positive association with the saddle training process.

By following these tips and taking your time, you can help your young camel become more comfortable with handling and touching, which will lay the foundation for successful saddle training.

Step 2: Introducing the Saddle Blanket

Step 2: Introducing the Saddle Blanket

The saddle blanket is an essential element of the saddle and plays an important role in keeping the camel comfortable while carrying weight. Introducing the saddle blanket to the young camel is an important step in the saddle training process.

Here are the steps to properly introduce the saddle blanket to your young camel:

  1. Start Slowly: Begin by exposing your young camel to the saddle blanket. Place the saddle blanket on the ground or over a rail in the area where the camel is familiar and comfortable. Let the camel investigate and sniff at the blanket without any pressure. This will help the camel become familiar with the saddle, making the next steps easier.
  2. Touching and Rubbing: Once your young camel is comfortable with the blanket in its environment, start touching and rubbing them with the blanket. Do this by gently swinging the blanket back and forth on either side of the camel, allowing it to feel the pressure and weight of the blanket. This will help the young camel become accustomed to the feeling of the blanket on its body.
  3. Placing the Blanket: Once the young camel is comfortable with the blanket touching and rubbing their body, it’s time to place the blanket on its back. Place the blanket gently on its back and let them stand for a few moments before removing it. Gradually increase the time that the blanket remains on the camel’s back, making sure to observe their behavior.
  4. Repetition is Key: Repeat the process of placing and removing the blanket multiple times, each time increasing the duration that the blanket remains on the camel’s back. This will help it become more comfortable with the sensation of the blanket and prepare it for the next steps in saddle training.

Remember to observe your young camel’s behavior throughout the saddle training process. If you notice any signs of discomfort or resistance, pause and take a step back before continuing the training. By following these steps, introducing the saddle blanket to your young camel can be an easy and stress-free process.

Step 3: Adding the Saddle Pad

Once the camel is comfortable with the saddle blanket, it is time to introduce the saddle pad. The saddle pad is an essential piece of equipment that helps distribute the weight of the saddle across the camel’s back and prevents any discomfort or pressure points.

To add the saddle pad, follow these steps:

Step 1: Hold the saddle pad firmly in one hand, and with the other hand, gently lift the camel’s tail and place the saddle pad smoothly over its back. Make sure the pad is centered and goes up to the withers (the highest point of the camel’s back).
Step 2: Smooth the pad down the camel’s back with your hand, removing any wrinkles and ensuring that it’s lying flat against their skin. Wrinkles or bunching can cause discomfort and hotspots on the camel’s back, which can lead to saddle sores, making the camel refuse to wear the saddle pad.
Step 3: While holding the saddle pad with one hand, use the other hand to introduce the camel to the girth or cinch that will go around its stomach. Start by holding the girth loosely against the camel’s belly and gradually increase the pressure until the camel is comfortable with the sensation. Be sure not to overtighten the girth. The girth should be snug, but not so tight that it makes the camel uncomfortable.

It is essential to take the time to ensure that the saddle pad is correctly fitted and comfortable for the camel. Check that the pad isn’t slipping or moving by gently pressing your hand against it. If it is slipping, it may indicate that the pad is too narrow or not long enough for the camel’s back.

Continue to handle and touch the camel while wearing the saddle pad, so they become accustomed to it. Allow the camel to move freely so they can adjust to the sensation of the pad beneath the saddle. With the saddle pad introduced, the camel is one step closer to carrying the full weight of the saddle.

Step 4: Introducing the Saddle

At this point, your camel should be comfortable with the saddle pad and ready for the next step. Here’s how to introduce the saddle to your young camel:

  1. Place the saddle on the camel’s back: Start by gently placing the saddle on your camel’s back. Be sure to keep your camel calm and relaxed. In case your camel resists or becomes nervous while placing the saddle, remove it and try again another day.
  2. Allow the camel to feel the saddle: Let your camel feel the weight and pressure of the saddle on its back. This will help them get accustomed to the feeling and weight.
  3. Buckle the girth: After your camel is comfortable with the weight of the saddle, you can proceed to buckle the girth. It’s essential to do this slowly and steadily, so your camel doesn’t get scared. If your camel seems uncomfortable, loosen the girth a bit and try again once they’re comfortable.
  4. Walk the camel around: After securing the girth, walk your camel around for a few minutes. Let them get used to the weight and feel of the saddle while walking. If your camel transitions with ease, give them a treat for positive reinforcement. If they resist, remove the saddle and try again the next day.

Remember to proceed slowly and calmly in each phase of the training process. It’s essential to ensure your camel is entirely comfortable with each step before moving on to the next one.

Step 5: Adjusting the Saddle to Fit

Once you have introduced the saddle to your young camel and they are comfortable wearing it, it’s important to ensure that the saddle fits properly to prevent any discomfort or pain. Adjusting the saddle to fit properly involves considering several factors such as the shape of the camel’s back, the size of the saddle, and the weight that will be carried.

Saddle Fit Considerations

Before adjusting the saddle to fit your camel, it’s essential to check on the following:

Consideration Description
Saddle placement The saddle should sit evenly and snugly on the camel’s back without any gaps or pressure points.
Spine clearance The saddle should not put any pressure on the camel’s spine, which can cause discomfort and pain. Ensure that the saddle pad or blanket provides cushioning and that the weight is distributed evenly.
Bridging A common fit problem is bridging, where the saddle sits too tightly on the front and back but is raised in the middle. This can cause pressure points and discomfort. Consider using a saddle pad or blanket that is designed to reduce bridging.
Girth Ensure that the girth is snug but not too tight, allowing room for breathing and movement.

Adjusting the Saddle

To adjust the saddle to fit your camel:

  1. Place the saddle on the camel’s back, ensuring that it sits evenly and without too much gapping or tightness.
  2. Adjust the cinch, so it sits snugly without being too tight.
  3. Place your hand under the front of the saddle to ensure that there is enough clearance between the saddle and the camel’s spine.
  4. Check for bridging by looking for any gaps or pressure points.
  5. Adjust the saddle pad or blanket to provide extra cushioning if necessary.
  6. Take note of any changes in the camel’s posture or behavior which could signal discomfort and make adjustments accordingly.

By following these steps and making adjustments as necessary, you can ensure that your camel is comfortable and well-supported while carrying weight with a saddle.

Teaching Your Camel to Carry Weight

Now that you have successfully introduced your young camel to wearing a saddle, the next step is to start teaching them how to carry weight. This is an essential skill for the camel to learn as they will eventually be used for transportation of goods and people. However, it is important to proceed with caution and follow a gradual process to ensure the safety and comfort of both the camel and the rider. Let’s explore the steps you can take to teach your camel to carry weight.

Step 1: Introducing a Light Load

Step 1: Introducing a Light Load

Once your camel is comfortable with wearing a saddle, it’s time to introduce them to carrying weight. The key to this step is to start small and gradually increase the load. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Choose a lightweight load: Begin by choosing a lightweight load that your camel can carry without strain. This could be a small bag of hay or a few water bottles. The load should be evenly distributed on both sides of the saddle.
  • Secure the load: Make sure the load is securely tied or fastened to the saddle. You don’t want it to shift or slide during the training process.
  • Lead the camel: Start by leading the camel with the light load. Walk them around at a slow pace to get them used to the feeling of carrying something on their back.
  • Slowly increase the weight: Gradually increase the weight of the load over a period of days or weeks. Never add more weight than the camel can handle comfortably. Watch for signs of strain or discomfort, such as excessive sweating, agitation, or stumbling.
  • Take breaks: It’s important to take breaks during the training process. This gives the camel a chance to rest and recover. Start with short training sessions and build up to longer ones as the camel becomes more comfortable carrying weight.

Remember that each camel is unique, so it’s important to pay attention to their individual needs and adjust the training process accordingly. With patience and consistency, your camel will soon be ready to carry heavier loads.

Step 2: Gradually Increasing Weight

Once your camel becomes comfortable with carrying a light load, you can gradually increase the weight to build up their strength and endurance. Here’s how to do it:

  • Start with a small increase: Once your camel is easily carrying their light load, add a small amount of weight. This could be a few pounds at first, depending on the size and age of your camel. Watch closely how they handle the added weight, and make sure it doesn’t cause any discomfort or unsteadiness.
  • Gradually increase the weight again: Over time, continue to add a little bit more weight at a time. Your camel will build strength and muscle as they gradually increase the amount of weight they carry. Be patient and give your camel time to adjust.
  • Monitor your camel’s condition: As you increase the weight, continue to pay close attention to your camel’s health and well-being. Are they keeping up with the pace comfortably? Are they showing signs of discomfort or fatigue? If so, it may be time to take a break or lighten the load.
  • Allow for rest and recovery: Just like humans, camels need time to rest and recover after physical activity. Make sure to give your camel plenty of breaks throughout the day to relax and rehydrate. After a training session, give your camel time to fully recover before beginning again.

By gradually increasing the weight your camel carries, you can help them develop the strength and endurance they need to carry you and your load safely and comfortably. Remember to always monitor your camel’s condition and make adjustments as necessary to ensure they stay healthy and happy.

Step 3: Monitoring the Camel’s Condition

After introducing your young camel to carrying weight, it’s important to consistently monitor their condition to ensure they are not being overworked or experiencing any discomfort. This will require observing their physical state and behavior, as well as making adjustments to the weight if necessary.

Physical observation: Regularly check your camel’s coat, skin, and hooves for signs of irritation or damage. Make sure their gait is not stiff or awkward, which can indicate soreness or injury. Watch for sweating, heavy breathing, or excessive lethargy, all of which can indicate that the weight is too heavy.

Behavioral observation: Pay close attention to your camel’s demeanor and attitude while carrying weight. Are they agitated, vocalizing, or struggling to balance? These could indicate that the weight is uncomfortable or causing them pain. On the other hand, a relaxed and steady pace with a calm disposition shows that they are comfortable.

Adjusting weight: If you notice any signs of discomfort or distress, immediately stop and evaluate the weight. Gradually reduce the weight until your camel is comfortable again. Once they are comfortable, slowly increase the weight over time. Remember to always consider the camel’s age, size, health, and fitness level when determining the weight they can carry.

To help monitor your camel’s condition as accurately as possible, keep a log of their weight and any observations during training sessions. This information will help you make informed decisions and adjustments.


As we come to the end of our journey in introducing a saddle to a young camel, it’s important to reflect on the progress made and the lessons learned. Throughout this process, we have seen the importance of assessing the camel’s temperament and health, gathering the necessary equipment, and taking a gradual approach to training. As with any new skill or task, patience, consistency, and a willingness to adapt to the camel’s needs have been crucial. Let’s take a moment to review the key steps involved in training a young camel to wear a saddle and some tips for maintaining a safe and comfortable fit.

Summary of the Training Process

Once the young camel is comfortable wearing a saddle, the training process can begin. Here’s a summary of the steps involved in successfully introducing a saddle to a young camel:

  • Step 1: Get the camel used to handling and touching by regularly brushing, petting and massaging them. This will help them get comfortable with a human presence and touch.
  • Step 2: Introduce the saddle blanket by slowly and patiently placing it on the camel’s back several times until they become accustomed to feeling it on their skin.
  • Step 3: Add the saddle pad while taking special care to ensure that it’s properly positioned and doesn’t cause any discomfort to the camel.
  • Step 4: Introduce the saddle, this time in several stages. Start by just placing it on the camels back, then moving it slightly, before finally securing it in place.
  • Step5: Adjust the saddle to fit properly. Be sure to make any necessary tweaks to ensure that the saddle is stable, secure and comfortable on the camel’s back.
  • Step 6: Once the camel is comfortable wearing a saddle, begin teaching them how to carry weight. Start with a light load and gradually increase it over time while monitoring the camel’s condition.

It’s important to remember that the training process should be approached with patience and caution. Rushing things could lead to a negative and potentially dangerous experience for both you and the camel. It may take several weeks or even months for the camel to become fully comfortable carrying weight while wearing a saddle. Be sure to follow these steps carefully and keep an eye on the camel’s behavior and condition at all times. With proper training, a young camel can become accustomed to wearing a saddle and carrying weight in no time.

Tips for Maintaining a Safe and Comfortable Saddle Fit

Maintaining a safe and comfortable saddle fit is crucial for the health and happiness of your young camel. Here are some helpful tips to ensure your camel remains comfortable and secure:

Tip Description
Regular checks It’s important to regularly check the saddle for any signs of wear or damage, such as frayed edges or loose stitching. If any issues are found, they should be addressed immediately to prevent any discomfort or injury to your camel.
Proper fit Make sure the saddle fits your camel properly. A saddle that is too tight can cause discomfort and restrict the camel’s movement, while a saddle that is too loose can slip and cause injury. Adjust the saddle as needed, especially as your camel grows and develops.
Even weight distribution Ensure that the weight is evenly distributed across the saddle. Uneven weight distribution can cause soreness and discomfort for your camel. Adjust the load as necessary to ensure an even distribution of weight.
Cleanliness Keep the saddle clean and free of debris, such as dirt or rocks. Dirt and debris can cause rubbing and chafing, leading to discomfort and potential injuries. Regular cleaning and maintenance of the saddle will help to prevent this.
Frequent rest breaks Allow your camel frequent breaks to rest and stretch. This will help prevent muscle fatigue and soreness from carrying a heavy load for an extended period of time. Adequate rest and recovery time is important for the health and well-being of your camel.

By following these tips, you can help ensure a safe and comfortable saddle fit for your young camel, allowing for a positive and enjoyable training experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1?

Why is it important to assess the temperament and health of the camel before saddle training?

Answer 1:

Assessing the temperament and health of the camel can help to ensure a safe and successful training process. A sick or stressed camel may not respond well to training and may require additional care and attention.

Question 2?

What equipment is needed for saddle training a young camel?

Answer 2:

Equipment needed includes a bridle, a lead rope, a halter, a saddle blanket, a saddle pad, and a saddle.

Question 3?

How should I introduce the saddle blanket to my camel?

Answer 3:

To introduce the saddle blanket, place it on the camel’s back briefly and repeat the process until the camel becomes comfortable with the feel and weight of it.

Question 4?

What is the best way to introduce the saddle to my camel?

Answer 4:

To introduce the saddle, lay it gently on top of the saddle blanket and allow the camel to become accustomed to it over time.

Question 5?

Why is it important to adjust the saddle to fit the camel properly?

Answer 5:

A poorly fitted saddle can cause unnecessary discomfort and injury to the camel, so it’s important to adjust the saddle correctly to ensure comfort and safety.

Question 6?

Can I use a heavy load to train my camel to carry weight?

Answer 6:

No, it’s important to start with a light load and gradually increase the weight to prevent injury to the camel.

Question 7?

How will I know if I’m putting too much weight on the camel?

Answer 7:

If the camel appears to struggle, loses its balance, or shows any signs of discomfort or distress, it’s best to reduce the load and try again later.

Question 8?

What should I do if my camel refuses to cooperate during training?

Answer 8:

If your camel is uncooperative, take a break from training and return to it when your camel is calm and relaxed. It’s important to remain patient and gentle throughout the training process.

Question 9?

Why should I maintain a regular saddle fitting routine for my camel?

Answer 9:

Camels can gain or lose weight over time, and regular fitting ensures that the saddle continues to fit properly and doesn’t cause discomfort or injury.

Question 10?

Is it safe to train a young camel without professional assistance?

Answer 10:

While it’s possible to train a young camel on your own, it may be safer and more effective to seek the assistance of a professional trainer.