Horse Houdini Chronicles, Chapter 2

That would be a good book name, huh? Last January, Mikki wrote about Valentine’s escape from his stall, which fortunately was an escape to the center aisle of our barn and not to the outside world. We have another Houdini and I bet you can guess which horse it is. You’ve probably read about Cash’s karate demonstration back in September, where he literally kicked a stall door from its hinges as we watched. Now he did this accidentally while rolling but he’s the one horse standing at gates and fences with a look on his face that says “I sure would rather be over there”. I went up to the barn to let the horses out one morning and found Cash rubbing his face on one of the stall gates. It’s shedding season so everyone is itchy. Well he continued to rub his face on the latch and while I was standing there, it flipped up. Another couple of rubs and I could see how it would unlock and open the gate. Fortunately (again) I was standing right there to see this or he might have had another run of the neighborhood.

When we moved here, the outside doors of the stalls were all nailed shut and I think I can see why now. Still, in an emergency, I want to be able to free the horses in a hurry without trying to find a hammer, which is why we loosened those nails. But it is clear I need to secure the latch on Cash’s stall door better. Poking around my workshop, I found a spring-loaded keeper I must have bought at the local horse tack auction last year. At the time I didn’t know how I’d use it but now I’m glad I bought it anyway. Ladies, this is a guy thing and although I probably collect a lot of junk, too, this time it worked out. You can see from the picture how we have it attached. The spring is pretty strong but not so strong I can’t open the door latch with a strong pull. It did, however, add a lot of resistance to the latch where Cash like to rub his face. You can see two holes to the left of the horseshoe part. That turned out to be a bad spot, as there wasn’t enough leverage for the spring-loaded keeper to hold the handle down.

Do you have a Houdini and if so, how do you cope?

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