You all know what a horse is right? If not, I’ll tell you…

A horse is a hooved farm animal with a hair-like tail and mane. They are used for riding, racing and to pull heavy loads.

horse idioms and sayings

Here’s a list of idioms about horses.

  • as stubborn as a mule
    meaning – an extremely obstinate/stubborn person
    example – Dean won’t come out; he’s made up his mind. He’s as stubborn as a mule.
  • back the wrong horse
    meaning – make the wrong decision/support the losing side
    example – I lost £2000 this morning on the stock market. I backed the wrong horse.
  • clothes horse
    meaning – an indoor frame to hang wet clothes on
    example – I hate having no garden. I prefer a washing line than a clothes horse.
  • dark horse
    meaning – an unknown competitor or a person who keeps their talents secret
    example – The dark horse, Duke Runalot beat the favourites to win the race.
  • don’t look a gift horse in the mouth
    meaning – don’t be ungrateful, graciously accept gifts
    example – I know you shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, but I really can’t accept £500.
  • eat like a horse
    meaning – eat a lot
    example – I need to increase my son’s rent. He eats like a horse.
  • flog a dead horse
    meaning – continue to focus on something that isn’t going to be a success
    example – Stop flogging a dead horse. Ciara doesn’t want to be with you, stop pestering her.
  • get off one’s high horse
    meaning – stop acting like you are better than others
    example – My sister needs to get off her high horse. She can’t lecture me about skiving school.
  • hold your horses
    meaning – wait and be patient before doing something
    example – Hold your horses. I need to read the contract in detail before I sign anything.
  • one trick pony
    meaning – someone who is skilled/successful in one area
    example – Reed is more than just a one trick pony; he can score and defend.
  • one-horse town
    meaning – a small boring town
    example – I left the one-horse town I was born in and moved to a big city.
  • put the cart before the horse
    meaning – do things in the wrong order
    example – They are spending money before they’ve earned it. They’re putting the cart before the horse.
  • straight from the horse’s mouth
    meaning – hear something from the source/most reliable person
    example – I don’t believe you. I need to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth.
  • two-horse race
    meaning – a competition where there are only two teams/candidates with a chance of winning
    example – The election is turning into a two-horse race.
  • wild horses wouldn’t…
    meaning – nothing would stop you from doing something
    example – I’ll stay at the rave until the end. Wild horses wouldn’t drag me away.

horse idioms and sayings with pictures

Click on the pictures below to learn some common idioms and expressions with horses. Each idiom includes the meaning and a real-life picture example.

common english idioms - animal idioms - horse expressions and sayings
horse phrases - as stubborn as a mule
horse sayings - back the wrong horse
horse phrases - clothes horse
horse idioms - dark horse
horse idioms - don’t look a gift horse in the mouth
horse sayings - eat like a horse
horse sayings - flog a dead horse
horse idioms - get off one’s high horse
horse idioms - hold your horses
horse idioms - one trick pony
horse phrases - one-horse town
horse idioms - straight from the horse's mouth
horse idioms - two-horse race
horse idioms - wild horses wouldn’t…

You can download a table of horse idioms and sayings below.

If you’ve enjoyed this page, don’t forget to check out some more animal idioms by clicking on the links below.