I think most would agree that horses are extremely smart, some would think they are smarter than most humans. They keep things simple & can accomplish more in 5 minutes that we can in a lifetime. We have several ways in which we can learn something, horses generally have 2 ways: Watching & doing.
Case in point: Cookie & the hay shelter. Every time I fix it so she can't get into it, she does. Each time I add an element to block her efforts, she figures out out to either get around it or undo it. I think it's safe to assume that even if I were to build a solid door to put across there, she'd figure out how to open that door. Now mind you, she's on a feeding schedule of 3 times a day, so she's not getting into the hay shelter because she's starving. She gets into the hay shelter because she can. She has figured out how to move her hay manger, push the poles down & open the cattle panel to gain access into the hay shelter all without destroying anything. Now, I've had horses untie themselves & open gate latches, but this is phenomenal! She's very observant, inquisitive & a very Smart Cookie! Frustrates me at first, but all I can do is laugh & smile about it.
This time, after I fed her, I put it all back & actually tied her manger to the cattle panel & other workbench. Given about a week, I'm guessing she'll figure out how to untie that rope & get into the hay manger again.
I asked her if this was the thanks I got for making a window in her run in shelter so she could see out of the back of it. lol!
Now if I could only get her to poop in one spot, THAT would be amazing!
Most of the time, you see, hear or read about folks who teach their horses tricks & stuff. I will admit some of those things are pretty darn awesome! I guess I inadvertenly taught Cookie how to get into the hay shelter by her watching me every time I did it. Now if she could just pick up the stuff I WANT her to learn without much effort Wooooweee look out world! :D