was a terrific help in me obtaining my first llama, Cielo. She is advising
me on his care, including training and grooming and never makes me feel
inadequate, even if she has to show me something repeatedly. Every one at
the farm is very friendly and will help out in any way that they can. The
llamas and horses are very well cared for. Everyone makes you feel like you
are part of the "family". Very happy with my new addition and extremely
happy with the way I am treated and the information that is given to me.
Thank you again!!!
July 28, 2012
My entry into the world of
Gary and Katrina Capasso came via my job. I was
with some very special people, who had a soft place in their hearts for
animals and people.
My initial interest
was horses, having grown up riding and always wanting a horse of my
own. After hearing me relay a
story of how I begged my Father to turn the garage into a stable (I had the
plans made and all!!) John Franck decided he would be my partner, and we
would take over Mr.Bojangles (Bo). A big thanks to John, not only has my
dream come true to have a horse, I am also learning
about the llama side of the farm. I am amazed at what Trina does on a weekly
basis for the 4-H club, and it’s members! Her very real caring and concern
for the children and their llamas
is inspirational. The environment surrounding the farm is one of
helpfulness, happiness, and friendship. The animals all feel it, and exhibit
the same in their personalities.
extremely blessed that my path in life has lead me to Dakota Ridge Farm.
Gary and Katrina have created a haven for animals and animal lovers alike!
Marsha R. Canfield
Dakota Ridge Farm is so much more than a
llama farm. It really has become like extended
family for us. I have dreamed of owning
llamas for over ten years. My first real
experience seeing them up close was many
years ago at the Saratoga County Fair. I had
heard of Katrina and watched her with the
4Hers during a llama exhibition. It was then I
knew for sure that this was for me. My
daughter had been showing horses for many years
but I wanted something of my own. After a
difficult divorce, I relocated to a mini-farm
outside of Saratoga, fenced the land and
ended up almost immediately with an unruly
llama (an understatement) and goat. I had
absolutely no idea what I was doing so I called
Katrina. She gave me invaluable advice and
support and even came to my farm to show
me how to work with Spirit (who has now
been renamed Spitfire). I visited Dakota Ridge
many times that year and every time, Gary
and Katrina made me feel welcome. My frantic
phone calls were always answered and I
made it through the winter with both my animals
I bought several llamas from the Capassos,
one of whom soon had a cria. I was now the
proud owner of four llamas and a goat. My
daughter, Abby, and I got involved in 4H and
decided to keep the DRF llamas there until
after the county fair. Then I planned to
move all the animals to my farm in
Saratoga. Several events happened that changed that
plan. First, through 4H we got to know all
the llama and horse people and found them to
be kindred spirits. Second, I realized
that with my job, taking care of farm animals was a
stretch. I can't say that I regret
anything about the way things unfolded because the
journey took us to Dakota Ridge. Needless
to say, all of our animals now reside there.
Thanks to Gary and Katrina, we are
learning more and more about llamas, are having a
fun time showing our animals and, best of
all, have newfound friends for life. This has
been such a blessing since all our
relatives live in the Midwest. There is nothing Abby and
I would rather do than to hang out at the
farm. In fact, we hope to bring our horse there
in the near future. The Capassos are a
true gift to us and I am forever indebted to them
for taking our lives in such a positive
direction. Their llamas are of excellent quality, their
farm is homey and inviting and the people
there are the best. We can't imagine our lives
now without them.
Linda and Abby Griffing, proud owners of
llamas Heidi, Luna, Galaxy, Spitfire and goat,
A life changing
experience. That’s what entering the world of Katrina Capasso and Dakota
Ridge Farm has been for my family and me. Akin to finding a needle in a
haystack, I found Katrina and entered a fascinating world of Llama-ness,
better than any fairy tale I’ve ever read. Our meeting wasn’t searched for
or planned; it truly was one of those ‘meant to be’ remarkable things.
My daughter, Hannah is
a very petite ten-year old. She is quiet and sweet, and an only child. She
is a bit isolated here at our hobby farm in the country. Sadly, her best
friend, thirty-five year old pony, Suzie, died last summer. It was
heartbreaking to me that she wanted nothing more to do with horses, she was
that crushed by the loss. The loss coincided with the arrival of three
rescue llamas here at our farm. Although a wonderful experience, they came
with no training and questionable histories.
assistance and inspiration, the training has been a rewarding process. Even
Hannah, with Katrina’s mentoring, has been practicing the Mallon method with
Hannah found new joy
when Katrina introduced her to Martini, a young gelding at Dakota Ridge
Farm. Martini was already blessed with a sweet disposition and wonderful
training from Katrina and a 4H member. Hannah and Martini are the most
adorable pair together, and although Hannah’s pony cannot be replaced,
Martini has filled that empty part of my daughter’s heart. She also became
a member of the Wooly Llama 4H group that Katrina leads. Now she has
friends who have llamas!
And me…..now, how is it
that Miss prancy dancy beautiful llama, Star Katcher, with one blue eye and
one brown, and I just happened to be paired for a llama hike one fine day?
Does Katrina have some sort of sixth sense that knew I would fall in love
Star and Katrina….and Hannah and I….a world of the Llama that has brought my
daughter and I so close. Hannah and I have a wonderful way to spend our
Saturdays. We do llama things (hiking, obstacle courses, brushing and
training) with our new llamas at Dakota Ridge Farm. It’s a way for
Hannah and I to venture into the tweens and teens together. A
mother-daughter sharing thing. And, Katrina’s wonderful, melodious laughter
and guidance making it all good and right.
the patience of a saint with us, or I should probably say with me. No
matter how many times I ask the same question, she doesn’t hesitate to
reply. And she doesn’t tease me – too much! Speaking of saints, Hannah had
a homework assignment for her religion class to describe someone she knows
with ‘saintly’ qualities. She didn’t even have to think about who she was
going to write about! And as a mom, I feel truly blessed to have Katrina in
my daughter’s life. Here is what Hannah wrote for her assignment:
"We have llamas at our farm. We
have two rescues and the one female rescue had a baby (cria) in September.
The gelding is Apache, the mom is Cheena, and we named the baby Catera. We
also have two llamas that we keep at a llama farm in Ballston Spa, mine is
Martini and my mom’s is Star. The farm is owned and run by Katrina Capasso.
Katrina runs a 4H llama group
and she also trains llamas for people. She can train even the most
difficult llamas. Many people turn to her for help. She is known as the
Katrina is very good at working
with children even though she doesn’t have any of her own. She has taught
me so much with my llama.
Who I’d like to call a saint is
Katrina. She is very nice and this is what she is like.
Katrina is perfect to me. I think
she is funny, nice, helpful, and generous. She also is so funny she makes
me laugh, even when I am frustrated. She is very patient with llamas and
people. Her farm is really big because she has ‘millions’ of llamas. She
also has lots of hiking trails and we hike with our llamas. I love Katrina
and she is so much fun. Katrina also goes all over the world for shows and
does very well.
Katrina has helped my mom and I
learn how to train our rescue llamas.
Just about a week ago, Katrina
went to the Nationals (the highest level) and got 5th place with
her llamas out of tons of entries.
Katrina is the best and so much
fun to be with! That’s why I would call her a Saint."
We are boarding
Martini and Star at Dakota Ridge Farm until the end of the summer 2006.
Hannah and I will continue our visits and learn more about llama showing.
We are very blessed and grateful that Katrina and Gary welcomed us so warmly
into their lives and to the magic of Dakota Ridge Farm.
Teri Conroy, Wunsapana Farm, Altamont, NY
Hannah and Martini
"When my wife and I decided to
buy llamas, it was both an exciting and somewhat frightening decision (we
knew little about the care of llamas). Once we met Katrina and Gary, it
became all excitement.
The support we received could
not have been better. Now, many years later, it is still there. Questions
and answers have gone back and forth by phone, e-mail, and even by visiting
the farm to fine-tune a skill. Every single contact is ended with words of
encouragement to keep in touch – to make us comfortable calling whenever
there is a question or problem.
You can’t put a value on that
support. But it is why we would not buy from anyone else. They care deeply
about their animals, not just while they are on the farm, but forever. And
they care just as much about the new owner’s comfort with their animals, and
their enjoyment of them."
- Irv & Freida,
Trina and Gary Capasso and Dakota Ridge Farm suddenly became a part of my
family’s life when 4 week old Benji was purchased from DRF as a surprise
birthday present for me in 2001. My mother and husband, knowing
absolutely nothing about llamas, checked out several llama farms in the area
before finally choosing DRF. My Mom remembers that “Gary and Trina
were both so friendly and I could tell that they loved the animals. As
they spoke to me about llamas and the possibility of boarding, it was more
out of pleasure than business.”
did not take long to realize that:
~ Trina contains a wealth of llama knowledge including basic llama care,
behavior, training and showing, and is willing and anxious to share it.
~ Trina is filled with enthusiasm for showing and will spend endless hours
working with novices, such as ourselves, just so that we can dabble in a few
~ DRF is the home of quality animals (even our “pet” Benji received Grand
Champion Lt. Wool Male at the Big E in 2003!)
~Trina is loved and respected as the leader of the Woolly Llama Whisperers
4-H Club due to her sense of humor, patience, and words of encouragement for
boarders at DRF, my family has discovered that the farm has much more to
offer than llamas and horses. Gary and Trina have made it possible for
my suburban raised children to experience both farm and rural life on a
daily basis. Their childhood is now filled with the ability to explore
wildlife in and around their pond and acres of woods; go hiking, skiing, and
snowshoeing on the trails; and canoeing, fishing and ice skating on the
pond. When Gary greets us on the farm and says, “Hi! What are you doing
today? Go have fun!” He means it!
Dianne Martin, Ballston Spa, NY
11-year old son Nick and I were entranced with the wonderful llamas, people,
and other animals at Dakota Ridge Farm. We purchased a beautiful dark
brown female, June's Jubilee, who gave Oella Meadows its first cria, named
Havana Hurricane after the storm that accompanied his birth. Katrina was
extremely helpful in guiding us through our anxieties about llama pregnancy,
birth, and upbringing. On another trip to upstate New York, my son
fell in love with young Joe Boxer, who we could not resist adding to our
family as a future herdsire. It is obvious that not only was Joe
extremely well bred for temperament as well as good looks, and well-trained,
but also very much loved. The caring and integrity that goes into
everything that Dakota Ridge Farm does makes all the difference.
Lydia and Nick Temoshok
Ellicott City, Maryland
A few years ago in March of 2003, our
good friends and neighbors, The Carminattis, invited us to see a llama
birth. All went fine and a beautiful cria was born. Meanwhile, during the
wait, Lisa walked around the farm and fell in love with a young male called
Spirit. To make a long story short, we bought Spirit a week later. Never
owning a llama before, we were both frightened and excited. Katrina and Gary
Capasso made the frightening times much easier with great, helpful
knowledge, genuine concern to us and the llama, and fun experiences. Shortly
after (less then six months) we were up to three llamas. Legacy and Stormy
joined our little llama family and its been non stop fun since. Dakota Ridge
is not only about the llamas, it’s both Gary and Katrina and their fun
loving families, the llama and horse owners who are wonderful and fun to be
around, the llama shows and everyone that we meet who are helpful and make
you smile, and the farm and all its beauty and peacefulness, make Dakota
Ridge a wonderful family experience every day. Thank you Katrina and Gary
and Dakota Ridge.
Lisa & Tom Brown & Ryan
note: No one has, as of yet, done a testimonial in the style of a pithy
Harper's auteur. Or Kerouac for that matter, but I have neither the time
nor the physical constitution for a cross-country llama binge, so there you
Through Trina we were
introduced to llamas over five years ago - and we would never want to return
to time B. LL. (Before Llama, or antellamum, if you will).
Trina is the llama
Master Po (master Shaolin monk, if you've never seen
Kung Fu, grasshopper). She is
supportive, knowledgeable, inviting, accessible and fun (as is Gary and his
machines, but I won't drag him into this). And in addition to the farm's
welcoming and exciting atmosphere - think
Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory,
but less fattening and with more wool - DRF produces sound,
well-conformed animals with wonderful temperaments.
Personally we own two
llamas that we board at DRF: Dakota Ridge Farm's Cappuccino and Penny
Dreadful of Dakota Ridge. They are wonderful companions and pets, and if
that weren't enough Penny has done extremely well in ALSA shows, being three
times Grand Champion, twice Reserve Grand Champion and placing first eight
times. She even placed 8th at Nationals in 2004.
We cannot recommend
Trina, Gary and Dakota Ridge Farm highly enough.
Lisa McLain, for
Ford & Lisa McLain, "It Came From the Drive-in..." Llamas