The Quotable Horse Archive

"Anything forced and misunderstood can never be beautiful. And to quote the words of Simon: If a dancer was forced to dance by whip and spikes, he would be no more beautiful than a horse trained under similar conditions."    ~Xenophon, 400 B.C.

"The Horse: Friendship without envy, Beauty without vanity, Nobility without conceit, A willing partner, yet no slave."    ~Author Unknown
'Did you ever see an unhappy horse? Did you ever see bird that had the blues? One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses.'
~Dale Carnegie

"It excites me that no matter how much machinery replaces the horse, the work it can do is still measured in horsepower.....even in this space age. And although a riding horse often weighs half a ton, and a big drafter a full ton, either can be led about by a piece of string if he has been wisely trained. This to me is a constant source of wonder, and challenge."
~ Marguerite Henry

"A horse can lend its rider the speed and strength he or she lacks ... but the rider who is wise remembers it is no more than a loan."

~ P. Brown

"'I see nothing unusual,' replied the king. 'True, the mane is a handsome one. Yes, he is twice the size of the horses we keep here in the stables. His form is handsome. His eyes are bright -' 'That is not all,' interrupted the traveler. 'You have only to climb on his back and wish yourself anywhere in the world - and, no matter how far the distance, in a flash of time too short to count you will find yourself there. It is this, Your Highness, that makes my horse so wonderful.'"

~ The Arabian Knights

To err is human, to whinny, equine.
~Cheryl Farner
Heaven is high and earth wide.  If you ride three feet higher above the ground than other men, you will know what that means.
~Rudolf C. Binding
There are only two classes in good society in England: the equestrian classes and the neurotic classes.
~George Bernard Shaw

You need to get inside their head and understand them. If you use force on animals bred for hundreds of years to be war horses, they will wage war with you. You can't own them. You can befriend them. Loving these horses -- if it's in your heart, you will never lose the passion.

~Chen Kedar, "Arabian Knights"

Had I but known about breathing in my youth, how much simpler my competitive riding life would have been.

~Victor Hugo-Vidal, in Showing for Beginners

Horses change lives. They give our young people confidence and self esteem. They provide peace and tranquility to troubled souls- they give us hope!
~Toni Robinson

A pony is a childhood dream, A horse is an adulthood treasure.
~Rebecca Carroll

He was so learned that he could name a horse in nine languages....so ignorant that he bought a cow to ride on.

~Benjamin Franklin

Yet if man, of the the Creator planed,

His noblest work is reckoned,

Of the works of His hand, by sea or land,

The horse may at least rank second.

~Adam Lindsay Gordon, "Hippodromania"

I smell her still, I see her still, I hear the way she used to move about at night. What horse is ever so old as to forget his dam?

~John Hawkes, Sweet William

Cast a cold eye

On life, on death.

Horesman, pass by!

~William Butler Yeats, "Under Ben Bulben"

A horse is a vain thing for safety.

~Psalms 33:17

Women who ride, as a rule, ride better than men. They, the women, have always been instructed; whereas men have usually come to ride without any instruction. They are put upon ponies when they are all boys, and put themselves upon horses when they become hobbledehoys: and thus they obtain the power of sticking on to the animal while he gallops and jumps, and then while he kicks and shies; and, so progressing, they achieve an amount of horsemanship which answers the purposes of life. But they do not acquire the art of riding with exactness, as women do, and rarely have such hands as a woman has on a horse's mouth.

The consequence of this is that women fall less often than men, and the field is not often thrown into the horror which would arise were a lady known to be in a ditch with a horse lying on her.

~Anthony Trollope, Hunting Sketches

A short life in the saddle, Lord!

Not a long life by the fire.

~Louise Imogen Guiney, "The Knight Errant"

The horse, the horse! The symbol of surging potency and power of movement, of action, in man.

~D.H. Lawrence, Apocalypse

Four things are greater than all things are -

Women and Horses and Power and War.

~Rudyard Kipling, "The Ballad of the King's Jest"

I give you horses for your games in May

And all of them well trained unto the course,

Each docile, swift, erect, a goodly horse;

With armour on their chests, and bells at play

Between their brows, and pennons fair and gay

Fine nets, and housings meet for warriors

Emblazoned with the shields ye claim for yours,

Gules, argent, or, all dizzy at noon day.

~Attributed to Folgore Di San Gimignano

They say princes learn no art truly, but the art of horsemanship. The reason is, the brave beast is no flatterer. He will throw a prince as soon as his groom.. ~Ben Jonson, Explorata
A horse that can count to ten is a remarkable horse, not a remarkable mathematician. ~Samuel Johnson, quoted in  The Life Of Samuel Johnson, by James Boswell.

...But why discourse

Upon the Virtues of the Horse?

They are too numerous to tell

Save when you have a Horse to Sell.

~Josh Billings

Are you - poor, sick old ere your time -

Nearer one whit your own sublime

Than we who have never turned a rhyme?

Sing, riding's a joy!

For me, I ride.

~ Robert Browning, "The Last Ride Together"

The kites of olden times, as well as the swans, had the privilege of song, But having heard the neigh of the horse, they were so enchanted with the sound, that they tried to imitate it; and, in trying to neigh, they forgot how to sing.

Moral: The desire for imaginary benefits often involves the loss of present blessings.

~Aesop's Fables, The Kites and the Swans

Such horses are

The jewels of the horseman's hands and thighs,

They go by the word and hardly need the rein.

They bred such horses in Virginia then,

Horses that were remembered after death

And buried not so far from Christian ground

That if their sleeping riders should arise

They could not witch them from the earth again

And ride a printless course along the grass

With the old manage and light ease of hand.

~ Stephen Vincent Benet

When God created the horse He said to the magnificent creature: I have made thee as no other. All the treasures of the earth lie between thy eyes. Thou shalt carry my friend upon they back. Thy saddle shall be the seat of prayers to me. And thou fly without wings, and conquer without any sword. Oh, horse. ~The Koran

At one time the Horse had the plain entirely to himself. Then a Stag intruded into his domain and shared his pasture. The Horse, desiring to revenge himself on the stranger, asked a man if he were willing to help him in punishing the Stag. The man replied that if the Horse would receive a bit in his mouth and agree to carry him, he would contrive effective weapons against the Stag.

The Horse consented and allowed the man to mount him. From that hour he found that instead of obtaining revenge on the Stag, he had enslaved himself to the service of man.

~Aesops' Fables, The Horse and the Stag

I on my horse, and Love on me, doth try
Our horsemanships, while by strange work I prove
A horseman to my horse, a horse to Love,
And now man's wrongs in me, poor beast! decry.
The reins wherewith my rider doth me tie
Are humbled thoughts, which bit of reverence move,
Curb'd-in with fear, but with gilt bosse above
Of hope, which makes it seem fair to the eye:
The wand is will; thou, Fancy, saddle art,
Girt fast by Memory; and while I spur
My horse, he spurs with sharp desire my heart.
He sits me fast however I do stir,
And now hath made me to his hand so right,
That in the manage myself take delight.

~Sir Philip Sidney, "Astrophel and Stella," Sonnet IL

A horse's behavior will be in direct proportion to the number of people watching you ride him. ~Cooky Mclung
People ought to quit worrying so much about whispering to their horses and just start listening to them. ~Greg Darnall
I look at the beauty of my lil' mustang stud and think that is how I would love to be if I were a horse. Free, graceful, beautiful, and not a care in the world. And all eyes are on me when I display my beauty. ~Athena T. Wilder
Look back at man's struggle for freedom.
Trace our present day's strength to its source,
And you'll find that man's pathway to glory
Is strewn with the bones of a horse.
~Unknown
Lived in his saddle, loved the chase, the course, and always, ere he mounted, kiss'd his horse. ~William Cowper

God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses. ~Robert Browning

The nature of the horse remains unchanged, whether it carries the saddle of the prince, or whether it draws the cart of the wagoner. The noble ones accept the yoke, they serve, but will never be slaves, for to themselves they can never be traitors. ~H. H. Isenbart
A horse can lend its rider the speed and strength he or she lacks ... but the rider who is wise remembers it is no more than a loan. ~ P. Brown
The horse, the noblest, bravest, proudest, most courageous, and certainly the most perverse and infuriating animal that humans ever domesticated. ~ Anne McCaffrey
The horse is a creature who sacrifices his own being to exist through the will of another...he is the noblest conquest of man. ~Buffon
Where ever man has left his footprint in his long ascent from barbarism to civilization, we will find the hoofprint of a horse beside it. ~John Trotwood Moore
Horses and dogs have been man's most intimate and faithful companions since the dawn of history, but the horse has certainly been the most useful. In sport, agriculture, transport and warfare, the horse has contributed more to human pleasure, ambition and progress than any other animal. ~Prince Philip
To err is human, to forgive, Equine. ~Unknown
That some people are happy to live their lives around horses is almost as baffling as the fact that horses are happy to live their lives around humans. ~Unknown
A horse should be treated like a gentleman. ~Leland Stanford
One white foot - buy him;
Two white feet - try him;
Three white feet - look well about him;
Four white feet - go without him.
~Old English Rhyme
The sunshine's golden gleam is thrown,
On sorrel, chestnut, bay and roan. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
A good horse is never a bad color. ~Anonymous
The kick of a quiet horse strikes strong. ~ Armenian Proverb
A kingdom without horses was not a kingdom, and a king without horses was not a king. ~Stan Steiner
"To many, the words love, hope, and dreams are synonymous with horses." ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
"The horse is an archetypal symbol which will always find ways to stir up deep and moving ancestral memories in every human being." ~Paul Mellon
"There is something about jumping a horse over a fence, something that makes you feel good. Perhaps it is the risk, the gamble. In any event it's a thing I need." ~William Faulkner
"It is the very difficult horses that have the most to give you." ~Lendon Gray
Only when you see through the eyes of the horse, can you lead the dance of the mind. ~Pete Spates
The Horse. Man's noblest companion. ~ Unknown
He is my silent teacher ... guiding me to understanding. ~Carole Hudgens
Of all animals kept for the recreation of mankind the horse is alone capable of exciting a passion that shall be absolutely hopeless. ~Bret Harte
Horses lend us the wings we lack. ~ Unknown
A nail may save the horseshoe, the horseshoe may save the horse, the horse may save the rider, and the rider may save the kingdom. ~Turkish Proverb
Behold, he cometh up as clouds,
And his chariots are as the whirlwind;
His horses are swifter than eagles--
Woe unto us. We are undone.
~ Jeremiah 4:13
Horses see in black and white, and riders ride in grey. ~ Cindy Ishoy
Horses lend us the wings we lack. ~ Unknown

If you are going to teach a horse something and have a good relationship, you don't make him learn it - you let him learn it. ~ Ray Hunt

It's better to want the horse you don't have than to have the horse you don't want. ~ Rick Meyer
A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient horse walks in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you. ~ Anonymous
Dog lovers hate to clean out kennels. Horse lovers like cleaning stables. ~Monica Dickens
Whoever said a horse was dumb, was dumb. ~ Will Rogers
I can always tell which is the front end of a horse, but beyond that, my art is not above the ordinary. ~Mark Twain
If your horse says no, you either asked the wrong question, or asked the question wrong. ~Pat Parelli
All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day. ~Author Unknown
In riding a horse, we borrow freedom. ~Helen Thomson
People on horses look better than they are.  People in cars look worse than they are.  ~Author Unknown

Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.   ~Dale Carnegie

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but it seems like the horses have it all.         - Cowboy Saying

Imagination is a good horse to carry you over the ground - not a flying carpet to set you free from improbability.  -Robertson Davies, The Manticore

When your horse has reached his potential, leave it. It's such a nice feeling when you and your horses are still friends.   -Dr. Reiner Klimke, Olympic Gold Medalist from Germany

You cannot train a horse with shouts and expect it to obey a whisper.    -Dagobert D. Runes

No matter how hungry he may be, [the cowman] takes care of his horse before looking after his own comfort.    -Ramon Adams, The Cowboy's Code of Ethics

"They say that princes learn no art truly, but the art of horsemanship. The reason is, the brave beast is no flatterer. He will throw a prince as soon as his groom."   -Ben Johnson

"Far back, far back in our dark soul the horse prances ... The horse, the horse! The symbol of surging potency and power of movement, of action ..."    -D.H. Lawrence  

"there's nothin' in life that's worth doin', if it cain't be done from a horse...."   -Red Steagall

A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of a wicked man are cruel.  -Proverbs 12:10 

No hour of life is lost that is spent riding a horse.  -Winston Churchill

Half the failures of this world arise from pulling in one's horse as he is leaping.  -Augustus Hare

Practice sharpens, but overschooling blunts the edge. If your horse isn't doing right, the first place to look is yourself.  -Joe Heim, quoted in Cutting, One Run At A Time by Barbra Schulte 

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.   -Sir Winston Churchill

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.  -Anonymous  

The knowledge of the nature of a horse is one of the first foundations of the art if riding it, and every horseman must make it his principal study.    -Francois Robichon de la Gueriniere  

It's a lot like nuts and bolts - if the rider's nuts, the horse bolts!   -The Horse Whisperer

Soon I shall go to sleep, in hopes of seeing him again. His intelligent soft eyes, his elegant head. His soft heart, and his four legs. For my horse is a dream, a dream of the making.   -Lindsay Turcotte  

Horses change lives. They give our young people confidence and self esteem. They provide peace and tranquility to troubled souls- they give us hope!   -Toni Robinson

A pony is a childhood dream, a horse is an adulthood pleasure.  -Rebecca Carroll

The riding of young horses is an excellent nerve tonic.  -Geoffrey Brooke

The breath of heaven is that which blows between the horse's ears.  -Arabian Proverb 

The speed of a runaway horse counts for nothing.  -Anonymous

I heard a neigh, O, such a brisk and melodious neigh it was. My heart leaped with the sound.    -Nathaniel Hawthorne

I pray that gentle hands may guide my feet; I ask for kind commands from voices sweet; At night a stable warm with scented hay, Where, safe from every harm, I'll sleep till day.     -Anonymous, "A Pony's Prayer   

Certain comic effects can be achieved by a brand-new rider, especially a man who dresses like a fashion model and rides like a tailor.      -C.J.J. Mullen 

A horse already knows how to be a horse; the rider has to learn how to become a rider. A horse without a rider is still a horse; a rider without a horse is no longer a rider.    -Anonymous

When I hear somebody talk about a horse or cow being stupid, I figure it's a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them.           -Tom Dorance

Horses are not tamed by whips or blows. The strength of ten men is not so strong as a single strike of the hoof; the experience of ten men is not enough, for this is the unexpected, the unpredictable.    -Beryl Markham, "The Splendid Outcast"

While there are many things you can fake through in this life, pretending that you know horses when you don't isn't one of them.      -Cooky McClung

Love means attention, which means looking after the things we love. We call it stable management.       -George H. Morris

Gypsy gold does not clink and glitter. It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark.   -Gypsy Saying

Those who look down eventually get there.  -Kip Rosenthal

*Information from The Quotable Horse Lover, by Steven D. Price