Iacs, oh Iacs, what is the matter with you?
He is presenting with very uncharacteristic behaviour.
When we are out on a trek, Klaengur will dung on the side of the road, and Iacs stops dead, refuses to move forward and paws the ground.
He does this with different riders. He exhibits no signs of pain, is relaxed but just saying “won’t”. If he is turned round, he is very happy to go home and if you turn him 360 degrees, he will keep going and even enjoy a canter up his favourite track.
Iacs is 20 years old. He was castrated as a youngster with no complications. He is not a dominant horse in the herd – a glass half-full kinda guy.
So what is going on?
Daisy and I took him into the school and we tested his back, asked him to step through a tight circle on both reins and there was no reaction. All was fine.
Daisy then tacked him up and rode him round the school on both reins. No bother.
He went along in a long low relaxed frame of mind.
She then tried him bareback to see if there was any difference.
There wasn’t. Iacs’ ears are pricked forward and he happily walked, trotted and cantered on each rein.
We tried his other saddle (for the wider fit, sir) and he was slightly faster so perhaps his saddle was pinching.
To be honest, we are none the wiser. The only thing I can think of is that Iacs has no shoes on at the moment so perhaps he is footy.
But why would he stop dead and start pawing another gelding’s dung? What is he saying?
A Norwegian animal behaviourist came over today and we explained the situation. She wondered whether he had learned this behaviour and now it was stuck his pea-like brain.