I found our horse, Kavort, lying dead in his paddock today. This came as a complete shock to my whole family.
We knew he was quite old; up in his 30's. But he was in good health, and living happily in retirement on my parent's peaceful farm in North Carolina with his pasturemates.
I entered the paddock to put his rain sheet on him, as the day is cool, and a light rain was falling. He seemed to be sleeping on a pile of old hay next to their hay bale they were eating on.
"Kavort," I called.
"Kavort!" I called louder.
Then I knew.
There is no evidence that he struggled, was in pain, or was under any stress. He was just lying there - peaceful.
For that, I am grateful; as I have begun to dread watghing horses get old, and die in pain and misery. If I could choose a way for my horses to go, this would be it.
Me riding Cavort in his first show.
Kavrot was TB/Arab out of an Arab mare. My sister Noelle always joked that it made him "Arab-Anglo" instead of Anglo Arab. I first met Cavrot when I was 14. (This gives you an idea of how aged he was.) I was helping out at a Therapeutic Riding center, and he was being donated. I went with the barn owner to pick him and another horse up. The girl donating him cried bitterly when we loaded him onto the trailer. But she had gotten a new horse, and her mother couldn't afford to keep more than one horse at the boarding barn. I rode Kavort in many dressage lessons in my teen years. I kept him one summer on our farm and tried to train him for therapy work; but he was too high spirited, and very few people were able to handle him. He threw me on more than one occasion, when he was tired of work. A few years later, he was sold to another worker at the center, and I didn't see Kavort for many years. I let it go - thinking he was gone forever.
Years later I got a strange call. It was from the girl who had bought him. She was moving to the South West, and wanted me to take Kavort and keep him until she could find a place to move him there. I agreed.
My little sister Noelle was outgrowing her welsh cross pony, Teaberry, and needed a new mount for shows. It all worked out perfect; we brought Kavort home.
I rode Kavort for a few weeks and worked out all his "kinks", schooled him intensively, and then Noelle began showing him the next season. Kavort cleaned up in the shows; excelling primarily in Jumping.
Three months after bringing him home, I got another call from his owner: She was getting married, no longer wanted the horse, and asked me to sell him for her. That is when my parents decided to buy him for my sister.
Noelle and Cavort in a NC State Championship show
Noelle won a High Point award in her age division at one show series we attended; and the same year, competed in a NC State Championship show with him. They didn't place, as it was one of those HUGE shows with 40 people per class; but just being there was a thrill for us.
Kavort liked to ride backward in the trailer: he would load up just fine, facing forward, and then turn around so he could look out the back of the trailer.
He hated to be alone. He hated to be stalled. He was such a fireball for being a 14 hand horse - I'll never forget the time he was getting all worked up after a schooling session with my sister. As she slipped his bridle off, and was trying to slip his halter on, he threw up his head, escaped out of the barn area, galloped down the paved street to the pasture gate, and in a huge leap, jumped the gate - which was mounted on a gatepost that put it at 5 1/2 feet tall. We were all blown away.
Noelle got very busy with High School and quit riding in shows when she was 16; at which point I gave Kavrot one year off from shows, and then put him into my lesson program.
He did that about 1 year or so, and has been in 100% retirement for the past 2 years; happily enjoying doing nothing.
Cavort's story is one of those that makes me believe that certain horses are "meant" to be with certain people.
He could be such a pain in the neck; but he was our special, very own pain in the neck; and we loved him for all his endearing little kooky ways.
Goodbye, Kavort. We will miss you. Thanks for all those wonderful memories and experiences. You will be in our hearts forever.