Horse figured out how to open her door... how do can I lock a stall?
Well, it took a little while to figure out that it wasn't me leaving the door open, but it's her. My 15.2hh paint figured out how to grab the latch on her door to get out to pasture. She does this around feeding time, turn out time, if I keep her in the stall to avoid bad weather (which she doesn't care about) and whenever she feels like stepping out. The latch on her door that leads to her pasture (the stall has two dutch doors) does not lie flat against the door due to it being loose and catching on the metal, while the one on her other door that leads to the barn breezeway lies flat, she hasn't opened the front door but has been seen playing with it if somone didn't push the latch down flat. It looks like she can't get it if it is flat, but I think if she's already figured out how to pull it up fully and slide it open, she would probably figure out how to pick up the latch when it's flat too. It's the usual slide bolt latch. Sometimes a pasture gate is open, and if she opens her door she can end up in the garden or in the front yard, where she could wander out to the road. If she figures out how to open the flat latch, she could wander out to the road from the breezeway too.
So, what ways are there to lock the door? I can close the top doors, one of which is a grate so she can see outside, but I'm worried what I should do if I bring her to other stables for shows, etc., where I can't close a top door or nail a horseproof lock on the door.
And... anybody know of a good stall toy? I think I should get one for her after this x) The booger doesn't spend an average more of 6 hours in the stall if I don't give her access to her paddock, and then most of the time she has the paddock available, but maybe she'd play with a toy to take her mind off turn out or feeding. I once tied a plastic crate to her wall with hay in it, and she figured out how to nose it away from the wall and shake all the hay out! Looks like she just has a knack for pulling and pushing things. Which is funny to me, because she isn't a mouthy or pushy horse to people.
You could just put an eye hook and then a snap in the middle of the latch so she can't get it open. The hook would sit in the middle of where the latch would lie down then just clip it so she can't pull the latch up and slide it.
My gelding is a Houdini, too. :) I just bought another latch and attached it to his stall door lower than he can reach.
I don't have a picture to show you, but when I moved into my property in 2000, one of the farmers who had built the barn put a horse fool proof latch onto what is now my grain room. All it is is a wrought iron metal, 8 inch long hoof, secured to the outside of the door with a heavy duty staple, and there is a 5 inch long one inch wide piece of wood on a nail. The wood can be pushed up and pushed down, but only fingers can move this. I count of this to keep my horses out of the grain, if they manage, otherwise to get into the barn to "play", without my permission.
Let my take a picture of this this weekend, and post it. It's very simple mechanism and a horse cannot open it.
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