EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) – A hungry El Dorado County horse got himself into quite the mess after he walked up the stairs of a barn to get some holiday dinner.

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Crikey the horse weighs almost 1,000 pounds, but he was able to unhook a latch and climb all the way up a staircase, all for a bite of food.

“We were joking that maybe he was looking for Santa Claus, but I think he just wanted to eat some more hay,” said Julia Swain, Crikey’s owner.

Crikey, 4, went where no horse has ever gone before: up a flight of narrow stairs to the hay loft above his barn.

“He’s very inquisitive and he’s not afraid of anything,” said Swain.

He got stuck in the loft for three days.

“He spent most of his time right there, looking down at us,” said Swain.

Swain couldn’t coax him down. It ended up taking a vet, Sac Metro Fire, and a roofing company to rescue Crikey.

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“But it took hours to just plan it, weigh all the options, try to figure out the safest and best way to do it,” said Swain.

The roofing company raised the bed of their scissor truck up to the door where they load hay while rescue crews tranquilized Crikey and secured him with some rope.

“They just pulled him out this door,” said Swain. “And they just slid him out that way and lowered the scissor truck down.”

The process was tedious and dangerous, but Crikey was calm and cooperative.

“I have seen horses in distressed situations before that have just absolutely gone crazy and have made things very dangerous and difficult, and he was just a prince,” said Swain

Crikey is doing just fine now and he’s still nibbling on everything in sight.

“Luckily everything turned out OK, but with this endless supply of hay, Crikey could have overeaten and died,” said Swain.

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Crikey’s owners have now installed a lock on the barn staircase door so this will hopefully never happen again.