Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

Horses, and their place on Proverbia

Horses, real or imagined, seem to figure prominently in our rich tapestry of sayings. Here’s a few off the top of my head….

“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”

I guess this is really saying, you can have the most perfect plan, put everything in place, offer every incentive, but if the other guy doesn’t want to co-operate, it’s not going to happen!

“Its no use shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted”

Pretty self-explanatory, meaning, its no use trying damage limitation after the damage is done! (also covered in “it’s no use crying over spilt milk)

“Get down off your high horse”

Being on one’s high horse means to assume a superior position, real or imagined. To exhort someone to dismount is to give them a reality check!

“Rare as rocking horse sh**”

I’m not sure if it qualifies as a saying as such, but certainly, in music circles, it is bandied about with great gusto, as in “I haven’t got a chance to get tickets for the one-off Led Zeppelin show, they’re rare as rocking horse sh**, which, I’m sure you’ll all agree, is extremely rare, being as they’re usually made out of wood. More likely to find shavings…

Kev Moore


February 5, 2008 - Posted by | animals, culture, fun, humor, life, Music, nature, random, writing | , , ,


  1. Hahaha.. these are great!
    Is horse sh* really rare?? I see piles of it everywhere.. might start selling it then… tee hee!

    the only I’ve heard before is ”get off your high horse” and use that one myself.

    Comment by supersizeme | February 5, 2008

  2. Oh.. now I get it.. ROCKING horse shit..


    Comment by supersizeme | February 5, 2008

  3. @Supe
    Where do you see piles of it? Are you living in a farm?

    I know the one with high horses too, we have the same in French.

    There is another great one about horses in English:
    “Beware of a woman before, of a horse behind, of a cart sideways, of a priest every way.”
    In French it’s almost the same, but the woman is a bull and the horse is a donkey. No cart though…
    And in German the woman is a bull too, but the rest is like in English (without cart)!
    Does that mean that the English women are quite scary?

    Comment by Miki | February 5, 2008

  4. Don’t worry Supe, I didn’t get it at once either! These musicians are much too clever for me.

    Comment by Miki | February 5, 2008

  5. Rare as rocking horse…

    I had not heard that one but I like it. Can’t wait to slip into a conversation.

    My mother used to say, “just pick the white out of that chicken shit.” I don’t think that qualifies as a proverb; only an expression of her irritation.

    Comment by wrjones | February 6, 2008

  6. Bill, I like your Mother’s style.
    Of course, I forgot the one linked to a great Stones song “Wild horses wouldn’t drag me away” Which , when you come to think about it, is patently obvious; its the broken-in ones that drag you away, when you’ve fallen off and got your foot stuck in the stirrups….

    Comment by kevmoore | February 6, 2008

  7. I like all this horse talk and I like very much horses (and books with horses: there are some very good! like the Dick Francis – one of your contrymen, Kev!- novels…) Even if I show some irritation in my blog post, recently, because so many of the hits on the blog resulted from`horse`and `Horses` searches… A bit of a mystery here…

    Comment by iondanu | February 6, 2008

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