Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Culprit?

I think the culprit in the great escape a few days ago may have identified himself.  This morning, when I turned Pie out by himself into the dry lot, he stood by the gate looking for company.  But wait . . . what's he doing now?  Playing with the gate latch with his lips and hooking his head and neck over the gate and trying to pull it towards him into the dry lot . . .  Hmmm . . . .  I've never seen him do that before - looks like we may have a suspect - Mr. Mouth may have taught himself a new trick!

I don't know whether he managed to undo the gate latch for the great escape or whether he found it unlatched, but he's clearly got in mind moving the gate as part of the exercise.  The good news is that the lower gate which opens to the outside world now has a sturdy keyed bike lock on it.  I'm not sure that he'd be interested in opening an internal gate - particularly once grass is available - but I may want to double lock his paddock gate from now on.

23 comments:

  1. Betty's gelding Morgunn is a real houdini. He can open most anything and will try. His previous owner said that when he was about 4 she came out on Mother's Day morning and Morgunn and his mother were nowhere to be seen. She found them across the street munching on some grass. She figured that Morgunn decided to take his Mom out for a Mother's Day meal. After that she had to put an extra latch on the gate to keep him from opening it.

    Dan

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  2. There are two horses, full brothers no less, in the barn where I board who can open their stalls. It's rather impressive to watch them. They need to both pull the spring loaded handle down and move the door to the side at the same time to get it to work. Needless to say they both had bucket ties added to their doors to keep them shut. Smart kids!

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  3. Pie is such a smart fellow, as witness how quickly he catches on in your lessons, that he may teach himself how to get out of just about every situation (or pen, as the case may be). Aren't horses great?? ;oD

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  4. Escape artists are a PITA. My last horse could open his stall door. All it took was a snap bolt to stop him but it was one more thing to worry that someone would forget. I had a German Shepherd that was an escape artist. She took a litter of puppies - not hers - on a tour of the town one day. It was a small town and apparently this was the afternoon entertainment. When they got home a local police officer tied the gate shut. Everyone thought it was hysterical - except me.

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  5. Good thinking about reinforcing his gate lock. We have a resident escape artist too. Blue will work the gate and latches until he's free to roam. Ours are double enforced because of him.They're pretty talented with those lips.

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  6. Maybe an escape artist on your hands?! Not surprising - he sounds like a smart guy - smart enough to make mischief apparently ;)

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  7. Pie!

    The Great Houdini (or is it Horse-ini)? lol!

    What a silly boy.

    ~Lisa

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  8. How funny that you caught him in the act! Too smart for his own good :) Our horse Pebbles knows how to open gates too and has let everyone out a few times. We put hooks on the gate's chain to stop that. So far so good. *knock on wood*

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  9. One of the residents here, Ivan, is a gate opener. We make sure that any gate Ivan has access to is double latched, including a snap and a tie.

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  10. My Chance would be a great partner in crime for Pie. *lol*

    My first horse learned to open his stall door, and everyone else's. At one barn he escaped and then just let out his particular friends to do a "Bay Boy" raid on the feed. Barn owner did not find it amusing...but I'll admit, I did. The couldn't get to very much grain, so that was OK, but they did make quite a mess with spreading equipment around.

    An additional hook and eye on the bottom half of the stall door, out of reach solved the problem nicely.

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  11. i had a nightmare about this last week, that the horses learned to open our gate and were outta here.

    couldn't happen with baasha alone, he has never willingly put anything in his mouth that wasn't food in his entire life. (although he does that mouth/teeth pressing on you thing that dawn does.)

    however just yesterday i found a piece of firewood in his stall. there is no way it could have gotten from the woodpile to the stall unless someone carried it there, and it wasn't the cat.

    i'm leaving it there to see what happens.

    gotta get a smart latch for your new horse kate!

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  12. Well, you knew he was a smart horse !

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  13. I had to resort to devices that could only operated by species with an opposable thumb.

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  14. Oh, how funny! Some horses are very good at opening latches. So, maybe he should be called Pie-dini!
    We had a horse at the therapeutic riding center barn that could undo a slide latch in the blink of an eye. We'd put her in, turn and start walking down the aisle only to feel her hot breath on our necks as she followed us. We had to put a chain with a snap on it to keep her in.

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  15. I swear horse lips are like fingers!!

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  16. Well hello there, Mr. Smartypants! You've got a bit of a joker on your hands.

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  17. Ornry boy!! LOL A gelding I sold to Colorado figured out how to squeeze past a waterer, then lift a panel out from where it was hooked to another, swing it out, then undid a gate latch and lifted that gate out to get out as well. He was always sneaking out of my pasture--he figured out how to ground the hotwire and then climb through it so it wouldn't shock him. I'd drive up and he'd be in the wheat field, having the time of his life....

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  18. That's funny--very smart of him!

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  19. I didn't want to say anything when you posted that story, but immediately I thought Pie might be up to something. He is SO smart and he probably watches you guys latching the gate and moving it inward and thought to himself, "I can do that!"

    I hope a keyed bike lock keeps him safe!

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