Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Horse as Escape Artist.

My gelding Wally is one of those horses with an abundance of personality. He's always busy. Busy thinking and busy scheming. He always has a plan. Usually his plan centers around devising ways to escape his corral or turnout paddock. It's not like he lives in inferior housing, mind you. He has thick rubber mats under his shelter (so he doesn't pick up sand and grit while he eats) and he has bedding where he lies down. He's also got plenty of room to roam. So what's the deal? He's just curious. I can tell how his mind works: "Hmmm.... What lies around the corner? Who's visiting inside the house today? How many horse cookies are left in the feed room? I wonder what this eucalyptus tree tastes like."

Fortunately, the most destructive thing Wally's done when he has succeeded in escaping is to add a lovely scalloped edge to several bales of hay he sampled. Otherwise he merely takes a walkabout. I once found a pile of manure neatly deposited outside my backdoor, evidence that Wally had wandered under the carport and across the patio and peeked in to see just when I'd be coming out to ride him. Or catch him, as the case might be.

After several escapes, where Wally had slyly worked open the snap on his gate with his prehensile lips, I wised up. I went to the local hardware store and bought several of those snaps that mountaineers and rock climbers use. I think they're called carabiner clips. Whatever they're called, they work! They are officially Wally-proof! Though sometimes I can hear him flip and fumble with the new-fangled snap on his gate, no doubt wondering why he can't thwart the design, he stays put. No more walkabouts for Wally.

5 comments:

kkc_mama said...

I love that post! How true it all is... The only part I would need to add is how it usually happens when you have the least time, or are on the way out the door, dressed in good shoes!

Anonymous said...

ha ha ha! this is always happening with my quarter horse Homer. i think i might try those locks you mentioned. last time my horse got out he empties a spare grooming bag one of the other borders left outside a stall.

Anonymous said...

love ya!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i love your sections in horse illistrated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cindy Hale said...

I see. So I'm NOT the only person who has an equine Houdini! I still can't quite understand what compels these types of horses to leave their "bedrooms" and venture out. I mean, it's not like their stalls or corrals or turnouts or pastures are untidy. Wally's house is quite cozy. Maybe they were explorers in another life. Yeah, that's it: Wally was Magellan.

WildDeirde said...

Whenever I go into a horse named Hannah's stall, I feel like I'm unlocking a deadly criminal, there are so many gadgets on her door! She's to smart for us.