Equestrian Expressions in Everyday English

Credit : Scoopdyga

Thursday 02 February - 11h50 | Ian Clayton

Equestrian Expressions in Everyday English

Our colleagues at the French GrandPrix-Replay web site recently published a primer on the meaning of equestrian expressions 'en français.' And while some of them translate directly into English, such as ‘faire du plat’ (flatwork, riding and exercising on flat, even surfaces), others, such as ‘couper le fromage’ (cut the cheese) are obviously less successful. 

 - Equestrian Expressions in Everyday English

We wanted to explore the same idea. But rather than translating this time, then, it seems easier to go straight to the linguistic source...

The Long Riders Guild Academic Foundation and the Society of the Military Horse have assembled a list of equestrian terms and expressions used in everyday English. And over the next couple of days, we will highlight some of these expressions, starting with today’s first ten, courtesy of the Guild and Society. Perhaps you know some others?

1) Also ran. (Started but did not win).

2) Back in the saddle. (To resume one’s duty).

3) Getting a leg up. (Originally meant to assist someone in mounting. Today it implies helping someone start a project, or gaining an advantage or head start).

4) On his high horse. (To act in an arrogant manner).

5) Put out to pasture. (Retired).

6) Putting someone through their paces. (When a horse dealer was offering a horse for sale, a rider would demonstrate how the horse could do the various paces, i.e. walk, trot, canter or pace. The term implies that a possible candidate is being tested for basic knowledge).

7) Sending in the cavalry. (A last minute rescue).

8) Shoo-in. (A racing term designating a known favorite).

9) Spurred into action. (Forced to take action).

10) Unbridled. (Uncontrollable).

Further reading...