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HORSE SENSE


I like horses okay, but I am not a horse-person. But for much of history, horses were crucial. As a result, we have developed a lot of idioms involving horses.


"Many terms and phrases in the English language harken back to a time not so long ago when horses were of extreme importance. Phrases like 'stubborn as a mule,' 'beating a dead horse,' 'horseplay,' 'horsing around' and 'horse laugh' are self-evident and require no explanation. Other phrases have origins obscured in the past. Some, like the humorous reference to an automobile as a horseless carriage, have survived longer than many would have anticipated. Although we rarely stop to look at their literal meanings, many of these linguistic phrases embody useful information about equine behavior or the care and treatment of horses. Everyone is acquainted with the sayings 'You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink,' which was cited as a proverb as early as 1546, and 'That's a horse of a different color,' which probably originated in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night in 1601...


"'Good old horse sense' most likely refers to the accumulation of knowledge about horses acquired by humans, not to the intelligence of horses. In order to buy, care for, train, handle, breed and work with horses, one must know a great deal about them." [www.carnegiemuseums.com]


Horse sense means sense about practical and everyday things. The Book of Proverbs can help us develop that sense, although without the horse!

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