Horse Houdinis or, who needs opposable thumbs to open a stall door?

The first time Kroni got out of his stall, I thought that whoever had fed him hadn’t latched his door. I started to get suspicious when it happened a second time.

Then, one day when I was in the tackroom I saw him unlatch the door. He would only do it when he thought I wasn’t looking but he was fast. Who needs thumbs when you have an upper lip with such dexterity? He’d stay in his stall for meals, but then would let himself out when he was done. Once he’d mastered his stall door, he quickly learned how to open the door to the hay storage area. Different type latch, but equally entertaining for him. I developed elaborate methods for fastening latches. Some kept him in; some just challenged his talents.

Like many escape artists, Kroni wasn’t content to just let himself out; he liked to cause mischief. One day I left my dogs locked in his stall. I had to go somewhere for a few hours and didn’t have time to take them home. When I came back, they were gone.  At first I was really annoyed that someone had let them out. Then I realized that the “someone” was my horse. I suspect he wanted to go inside for awhile so he opened his stall so he could go in. The dogs were lost for hours.

Luckily he never learned how to open the feed room door. Nor could he get out of the paddock but he sure did try!

The video below isn’t of Kroni but this horse has a very similar technique.

3 thoughts on “Horse Houdinis or, who needs opposable thumbs to open a stall door?

  1. I have known many houdinis. Apparently it doesn’t take thumbs to be skillfull problem solvers. You are right–all it takes are prehensile lips and patience.
    We always had to padlock the feedroom because our foundered Shetland was a houdini horse.
    Love the video. Too bad you don’t have Kroni video for good memories of mischief in the making.

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