Today Cartman almost gave me a heart attack! I was performing the evening ritual of bringing him and Dazzby into the barn from the paddock. Due to the current regimine of Scratches eradication (foot washing and drying of both horses), I stuck Cartman in his stall with his halter and rope still attatched and ran over to grab Dazzby and placed her in the stall next door to Cartman.
As I was walking back over to Cartman's stall I noticed he was messing with the stall door. Before I could reach him he hooked the bottom of the rope halter over the bolt that latches the door shut. This is a swinging stall door that will go either direction, into or out of the stall. He than pulled the door backwards and was hooked, basically pulling himself into the door.
He started to thrash and I thought, this is it, he's going to break his neck right here. Then he froze, still pulled tight against the door.
By this time I had a closer look at how he was caught, I could easily slip that loop back off the bolt if he would pull his head forward. I was too scared that if I tried to get him to move he would either pull back again, or might even pull my fingers into the halter as I tried to slip the loop free.
I ran over to the feed room and grabbed my old kitchen knife that I use to cut hay bales open with.
He was still frozen and was looking at me with a very scared eye as I slipped the knife under the halter and cut it free.
A small cut on his muzzle and some severe ruffled hair on his poll area are the only visible marks on him, but he was standing there shaking his head for a minute or so.
As luck would have it, my horse chiro called to schedule an appointment for Dazzby this evening, so he will be checking out Cartman's head and neck for any problems on Saturday morning.
I will definately get a leatherman into my saddle pack and make sure I have a good knife easily accesible in both areas of the barn from now on.
Edited to add: I might also go back to leather halters, I've been using the rope halter on him because he tend to get a little "heavy" on the lead rope. Perhaps a nice rolled leather halter would work.