Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Kalvin's Great Escape

Kalvin is a Swedish WB who is living here for a year while he heals from an injury in his foot.  I never remember all the details of the injury so I can't give specifics.  He was imported from Sweden and trained up to Prix St. George by his young owner.  He started showing some mystery signs of lameness.  It would come, it would go.  They finally diagnosed a fracture in the foot - or was it ankle -- a fracture at any rate.  His only hope for recovery to any level of soundness was a year of rest.  He won't ever be the dressage prince of his past career but he might become sound enough for light riding.  We agreed to take Kalvin in and let him board here for his year of rehab.  We were assured by our previous trainer, who we trust, that he was sweet and easy to work with and that the family was wonderful as well.  All that turned out to be true.  We love Kalvin.  He is confined to the paddock where he can be close to the other horses but not engage in any of their silly racing around.  On cold and windy days he has fits of feeling yee-haw and will buck and canter around a bit.  But he mostly walks around and socializes over the divider fence with Jackson.

He loves attention, he loves to be kissed and scratched and to supervise mucking activities in his area.  He's not particularly brave.  He spooks at dogs barking or cars driving by and needs Flash nearby for security.  It amazes me that Katy, his owner, took him down center line in scary dressage courts like the one at the LA Equestrian Center.  Katy comes up to visit Kalvin a few times every week.  They do groundwork in the arena, but just at walk.  He isn't supposed to do more than walk.  Then he gets a bath if the weather is warm.  He adores Katy and she says he is her soul mate.

Sooooo.  This morning I went down in the freezing cold to muck and feed.  It was 28F and my fingers were like ice inside my gloves.  After mucking Kalvin's area, I carefully pulled the muck cart through the mud, out the gate, and secured the chain before he could follow me.  He is always hoping to squeeze out.  Then I tossed everyone their hay, took off/changed blankets and headed to work.  The usual routine.

As I was driving home from work, my cell phone rang.

Brett: I just pulled up and Jackson is racing around the pasture with KALVIN.  Flash is standing in Kalvin's run-in shed watching.  
Me: I'm sure I latched the gate.  I remember Kalvin trying to get past me and I had to whip it shut behind me. Weird.
Brett: I'm parking.  I'll check it out and call you back.

-- 20 minutes later my phone rings again --

Brett: The latch must not have closed all the way in the cold.  It doesn't seem to be catching all the way.  When I got down to the pasture, Flash and Jackson were in Kalvin's paddock.  Kalvin was standing at the back of the turnouts into the barn.  Everyone looked very pleased with the situation.  

Brett got everyone put away in their correct locations and  fed.  Kalvin isn't lame, and he doesn't have any bite marks or scratches.  Phew!  He's been here six months so all the hierarchy stuff had already been worked out over the fence.  That just left one option for the boys -- have fun!  ... and give us a heart attack.


  1. Kalvin must have caught my vibes. He probably enjoyed every second of his jaunt! Glad you and Brett did not have to have heart attacks for real.

  2. Lori - I was laughing as I wrote this post. You ask for Kalvin's story and bam! he creates one. I think he read your comment...

  3. Whew! Glad it was all fun for the boys! Darn cold weather--can't believe it's affecting you down there, too.

  4. Relief that the sweet Kalvin and friends were all ok and just having a good play! How funny!

  5. What a stinker! All the SWBs I've ever known were very, very clever. I wouldn't put it past Kalvin to have opened that gate himself! My Vinny is a Swede, and he's a genius at escaping and just generally causing trouble!

  6. That is too funny~! I bet he was like "suckers!!!!" as he was running around with the boys! I guess he just wanted to have some fun.... :)

  7. Kalvin sounds very sweet. I'm sure glad they only got into adjacent paddocks and not 'out'. I hope he turns out very well after his year off.

  8. Too funny--they do seem way too pleased with themselves when they manage to get out, don't they? :)


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