So the next day after I'd made the post about my barn ghost, Saffron escaped. I was in the bathroom and heard Gwyn whinny.
One of the perks of having your animals on your own property is you get to know their habits and behaviors. You KNOW when something is out of the normal range. Gwyn whinnying only happened at ONE time, when she hears our sliding doors screeeeeech open at dinner time or if Saffron is not with her.
Saffron was not with her. I look outside from the bathroom window in time to see Saffron merrily trotting her way up the neighbor's driveway to go find some grass. I grab the baby, toss warm clothes on her and go grab my carrier so we can go catch a donkey, while Kaylee frantically tries to get her warm stuff on so she can come with me. Thankfully Eric got home as we were heading out of the house and I tossed him (not literally!) the baby and went running to grab a halter and leadrope from the barn as well as some treats for bribing.
Much musing was had. We set up the Nest Cam to face the barn, thinking we had an intruder, but now we were wondering, was there a spot where they could escape. I thought it was the gap by the water tank and stuck in a couple of poles to make it more difficult. I also turned the electric on the fence back on.
The next morning, we're getting ready to leave and the donkey is out AGAIN. I rush to again get the kids ready to go outside so I can catch her and hope that it won't make me late for work.
That day, while at work, I get a text from the neighbor and from Eric, who is monitoring the nest cam from his phone.
Neighbor: Your donkey is in our yard.
Eric: I saw how she got out. Donkey has escaped. I'm going home to get her back in.
The neighbors I originally suspected of my windy day ghost texted me right away when something went awry, so I'm betting it was not them who caused the strange goings on. They helped get Saffron back in and that was right when Eric got home and she promptly went to her little spot to try and get out AGAIN. He tossed some sticks in the way and put together a temporary lower fence line.
That super smart donkey found the ONE spot where the slope of the land made the lowest strand of electrobraid decently far up off the ground. She walks up to it, gets on her knees and scootches underneath it. Her super thick winter coat probably shields her from the zap.
You can watch it for yourself:
Now, this still doesn't solve my 'who locked Saffron in' and 'how did Gwyn get out' conundrums, but it's a start. My working theory is one of our OTHER neighbors saw Saffron escaped, got her back in and locked her up (using the pine pellets as a grain lure not realizing they weren't grain).
Or Gwyn just fucking jumped because we have plenty of previous experience of her doing that because she can.
Gwyn says, "WHY DOES SHE GET TO BE OUT!?"
My original suspected escape route, later proven to be wrong.
Kaylee helps lure Saffron.
Actual escape point with anti-donkey additions
My ghost had to have undone BOTH of these carabiner clips and then latched the bottom stall door.
The ghost also unbuckled my macguyvered old kid stirrup leathers.
And if a horse was let out, they reclipped the gate.
Anti donkey measures. Gwyn is too wide for this space.
The door is broken and won't stay latched with even a slight breeze unless I do this. This was undone on ghost day.
Anti Donkey measures
The black t-post is a temporary one until we put more stakes on the current fence posts. That bottom line is what we added. The top three are original.