The Trouble With a Good Rope Horse? He’s Good With Rope.

After the second big lock-picking escape in which Hudson stole Dinero and himself, my thinking changed. I saw George Clooney and Brad Pitt.

Think Ocean’s 243: Hudson starring as George Clooney, Dinero as Brad Pitt. Between the two of them, no lock is safe.

For a smart horse, learning to untie a quick-release knot is a fairly ho-hum occurrence. Pull the end, and I’m free.

Hudson is a smart horse with a stupid owner: I  let him watch me tie the non quick-release knot, without blindfolding him first.

Exhibit A: in which he thinks I’m not paying attention.

Exhibit B: in which he knows I’m paying close attention.

We love the hideous teal lead, because it has a panic snap. It’s why we can tie Hudson with a real knot.

Hudson is tied all the time, and he never bothers the lead.

He’s an efficient oat eater. Quick and thorough.  Dinero, however, is a leisurely diner. Hudson only bothers to untie himself when he determines his opportunity to double his dinner are most excellent.

I’m trying to decide if his blindfold should have flames on it, or hearts….

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16 thoughts on “The Trouble With a Good Rope Horse? He’s Good With Rope.

  1. Anonymous

    Once in a great while my QH, Casey, will untie himself. He hasn’t done it in a long, long time. But, I rarely give him the opportunity.

    I have an Aussie pup that houdinis out of his crate regularly. He learned to open the latch. Then when we put a carabiner on it, he knew it somehow kept the latch locked, so after much play with it, he got it stuck on his lower jaw, while still attached to the crate. (My husband grabbed a hacksaw blade and cut him free). Then, my pup realized the tray in his crate moved, so he tried to dig out after moving the tray, ruining the lino underneath! And he opens doors, gates, etc!

    Are opposable thumbs on Hudson’s Christmas list? If so, you’re in BIG TROUBLE!

    Reply
  2. Mary

    I don’t care if they say their brains are the size of walnuts. Horses are very very smart. I am pretty sure he’s off the charts on the intelligence scale. I just love watching his “wheels” turn. I bet if you weren’t watching he would have finished the job, he just didn’t want to give away his secret “thumbs”.

    Reply
    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      He has the dryest sense of humor of any horse I’ve ever met. He is fully aware of how smart he is. And no, I never get sleep, even after putting a new clip on the gate. I bolt upright at 2 am, certain Bella and Alice are also awake: chasing Hudson and Dinero.

      I have a secret fear he’ll learn how to turn off the hot wire. We’d be doomed!

      Reply
  3. Marissa

    Those videos are PRICELESS! I heart Hudson. So clever (especially the part where he pretends not to know how to manage knots when you’re around).

    Also: be careful! I used to groom for a grand prix horse who SOMEHOW figured out how to undo panic snaps. Our crossties had panic snaps on them, and one day I left him unattended to answer the phone, and he came up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder a few moments later: “HI! I got bored over there. Watcha doin’???” I loved that horse. My first day on the job, they warned me not to leave tack on him on the crossties, because he was mouthy. I assumed this meant don’t leave him wearing a bridle under his halter or a standing martingale with the end dangling. NOPE. I came around the corner and he was twisted like a pretzel, the stirrup hanging out of one side of his mouth, gnawing away on the stirrup leather. Never a dull moment.

    Reply
    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      NOooooooooo….
      I mean, thank you, for letting me know it’s possible for a horse to learn to undo panic snaps. 😉

      OMGosh, I had that exact same lesson, when told “be careful not to leave horse alone in X ties tacked up. I didn’t leave him alone. I was talking to trainer, holding him by the reins for owner. His head was slightly behind me. When I turned around, he’d chewed through an entire rein, without moving his head enough for either of us to notice he was up to something! Owner was less than understanding – actually understandable, since she’d probably gone through a dozen sets of reins herself – and I was out $150 for a new set of reins. I feel better knowing I’m not the only one that’s had this happen!

      Reply
  4. Winter

    Wow. That’s some amazing focus. I think you should give him an opportunity to do more with this skill – perhaps he could paint? Have you seen the horse that paints? He does look like he’s having fun, splattering his rider with tempera paints.

    Reply
  5. heccateisis

    Too funny. We took Jigs and a few other barn mates to shop for saddles. While we were inside looking, My Jigs untied CJ, the naughty pony, beside him. While we were oh and ah ing over the new saddles, someone came up and asked, is that your horse walking down the driveway?

    I swear Jigs just wanted to get the naughty pony in trouble.

    Good trick.

    Reply

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