King’s Life Guard horse is irritated and bored (stomping)

This is an apt little video today because Queen Elizabeth II has recently passed aged 96, and tomorrow is her funeral and the entire news media in Britain has reported her passing and the events thereafter extensively while drowning out almost all other news. And this is the right response. The queue to see her lying in state is on average around 14 hours long. At one stage it took 24 hours to get from the end to the beginning. The citizens of Britain want to say their farewell and everyone who saw her lying in state at Westminster Hall were deeply moved awed. Her crown dazzled in the bright lights.

And so, I was looking around for some videos about horses because the Queen fell in love with horses when she was a young girl when she touched a horse’s neck and loved them all her life and was even riding a horse at the age of 95 without a helmet. She used to ride around Windsor great Park and loved it.

She was a horse and dog person which is the tendency of the upper crust. There is only one person within the extended family, which is quite a large group of people, who likes and who owns a cat, and her name is Princess Michael of Kent who is wife of the first cousin of the Queen as I recall (wrong? Please correct me).

Anyway, this is a video of a horse employed by the King’s Life Guard which is the regiment used for ceremonial duties on Horse Guards Parade. The horse is stomping his right, front foreleg and shaking his head. The video maker asks why this is and the answer actually is the way it looks.

King's Life Guard horse is bored and irritated
King’s Life Guard horse is bored and irritated

To me, it looks like the horse is irritated, to put it in the vernacular, pissed off with what they’re doing. It seems to me that he’s pissed off with the bridle and bit (the headgear) and all the paraphernalia hanging around his head. And it appears to me that he’s probably pissed off with standing still for as long as he is told to do so. I don’t know how long that is, but it might be as long as 30 minutes or even an hour.

Woman touches reins of Queen’s Guard horse and is yelled at

And therefore, he stomps to signal his objection to what he is being asked to do. This seems to me to be a bit unusual because these horses would have been selected and trained to put up with this kind of duty and you wonder how the soldier on the horse’s back deals with it.

One commenter on TikTok said the following:

“His bit is either to tight & is rubbing on his tongue & it’s annoying him or because he’s bored of his rider”

Sometimes horses stomp like this because there is something irritating them on their legs such as a wasp or a horsefly, or other insects. Another reason why a horse might stomp their feet is to get attention or because they become impatient which is linked boredom.

There may be no particular reason for it, or the reason might not be apparent, but I have to say that judging by the video the reason is what it seems like and as stated above.

Some more articles on horses.

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