In early 1996 the monster taught herself a new trick that she loved, but caused alot of problems for me and almost all of the stable area. Just about this time Garth Brooks put out the song Beaches of Cheyenne which helped us create a title for Shy's latest stunt.
One morning, I arrive at the stable, and feed and water both Hobo and Shy then drive over to my work at the vet clinic. About an hour later I get a call from the stable manager " I think you forgot to turn off the water faucet in front of your mule's pen. The water was running when I went down to check on something. I turned it off for you so you don't need to come back and turn it off" I'm now thinking "Ok I'm pretty sure that I turned it off." After lunch that day I get another call from the stables. "Did you come back and turn the water on during your lunch?" I replied "No, why?". The response was "Your water was running again." At that point we were thinking it was a human culprit. With more that 50 privately owned horses and 25 B Troop 4th Cavalry horses, there were people coming in and out of the private stables almost all day long. But after several more days of having a water faucet turned on I decided to cover that water faucet with a tall metal trash can. That seemed to stop the water leaking for a while. We thought we had the problem solved. Unfortunately, Shy turned her attention to the water hose. I came down to feed one evening and saw Shy with a 3-4 foot length of water hose in her mouth. She was at the back of the pen away from the water faucet where the hose was not supposed to reach! She had chewed off this chunk of hose to play with. Hobo was on the far side of his stall next door watching her carefully. Shy was waving that section of hose around like a whip. Maybe she thought it was a great tool for swatting flies?
The problem with covering the water faucet is that it hides when the water gets turned. So the next time the water got turned on, it flooded about half the private stalls and everyone though we had a broken water pipe. We finally traced it back to Monster's stall and the covered water faucet.
The Monster had learned to use her lips to turn on the water faucet, After we covered it with the trash can, she learned to spin the trash can with her nose until the ribs of the trash can would catch the handle of the faucet and turn it on. In order to stop the monster from continuing to to turn on the water faucet, We had to duct tape the handle down tight and then to keep her from eating the tape, we had to put the trash can back over it to cover it. Now she could turn the trash can all day long but never flood the stable again.
At least she hasn't learned to open gates yet. Oh Yea that will be another issue in the "Monster chronicles", but first there is the issue about her learning to untie herself and go wandering.