Horses

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Where is the horse gone? Where the rider?
Where the giver of treasure? ~ The Wanderer

Horses (Equus ferus caballus) are large ungulates, which have had a long relationship with human society. Evidence indicates that horses have been domesticated since around 4000 BC, and throughout history they have played important roles in transportation, agriculture, and war, and are prominent in religion, mythology, and art.

Alphabetized by author or source
A · B · C · D · E · F · G · H · I · J · K · L · M · N · O · P · Q · R · S · T · U · V · W · X · Y · Z · Anon · External links

A[edit]

Will is to grace as the horse is to the rider. ~ Augustine of Hippo

B[edit]

When I
and stallion
blend
the grass gets cropped. ~ John Carder Bush
  • Then I cast loose my buff coat, each halter let fall,
    Shook off both my jack-boots, let go belt and all,
    Stood up in the stirrup, leaned, patted his ear,
    Called my Roland his pet name, my horse without peer;
    Clapped my hands, laughed and sang, any noise bad or good,
    'Til at length into Aix Roland galloped and stood.
  • When I
    and stallion
    blend
    the grass gets cropped.
  • The Cossack prince rubb'd down his horse,
    And made for him a leafy bed,
    And smooth'd his fetlocks and his mane,
    And slack'd his girth, and stripp'd his rein,
    And joy'd to see how well he fed;
    For until now he had the dread
    His wearied courser might refuse
    To browse beneath the midnight dews:
    But he was hardy as his lord,
    And little cared for bed and board;
    But spirited and docile too,
    Whate'er was to be done, would do.

C[edit]

Before the gods that made the gods
Had seen their sunrise pass,
The White Horse of the White Horse Vale
Was cut out of the grass. ~ G. K. Chesterton in The Ballad of the White Horse
He could not be captured,
He could not be bought,
His running was rhythm,
His standing was thought... ~ Eleanor Farjeon
  • Ohé, I cry a loud lament for Kalki! The little silver effigies which his postulants fashion and adore are well enough: but Kalki is a horse of another color.
    • James Branch Cabell, The Silver Stallion : A Comedy of Redemption (1926), the character Horvendille, in Book Six : In the Sylan's House, Ch. XXXIX : One Warden Left Uncircumvented.
  • For the White Horse knew England
    When there was none to know
    ;
    He saw the first oar break or bend,
    He saw heaven fall and the world end,
    O God, how long ago.

    For the end of the world was long ago,
    And all we dwell to-day
    As children of some second birth,
    Like a strange people left on earth
    After a judgment day.

  • Koń jaki jest, każdy widzi.
  • As much as I like horses — they can keep their cheese.
    • Martin Clunes (b. 1961), in an appearance on the Paul O'Grady Show, Channel 4 television (7 October 2009).
  • Gamaun is a dainty steed,
    Strong, black, and of a noble breed,
    Full of fire, and full of bone,
    With all his line of fathers known;
    Fine his nose, his nostrils thin,
    But blown abroad by the pride within;
    His mane is like a river flowing,
    And his eyes like embers glowing
    In the darkness of the night,
    And his pace as swift as light.
    • Barry Cornwall, The Blood Horse, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922),

D[edit]

And only the poet
With wings to his brain
Can mount him and ride him
Without any rein,
The stallion of heaven,
The steed of the skies,
The horse of the singer
Who sings as he flies. ~ Eleanor Farjeon

E[edit]

F[edit]

  • He could not be captured,
    He could not be bought,
    His running was rhythm,
    His standing was thought
    ;
    With one eye on sorrow
    And one eye on mirth,
    He galloped in heaven
    And gambolled on earth.

    And only the poet
    With wings to his brain
    Can mount him and ride him
    Without any rein,
    The stallion of heaven,
    The steed of the skies,
    The horse of the singer
    Who sings as he flies.

    • Eleanor Farjeon, in "Pegasus", St. 3 & 4, from The New Book of Days (1961), p. 181.
  • A horse is dangerous at both ends and uncomfortable in the middle.

G[edit]

My horse is the gallows. ~ Mr. Wednesday to Shadow in American Gods by Neil Gaiman

H[edit]

I'm a dark horse
Running on a dark race course. ~ George Harrison
Morgan! — She ain't nothing else, and I've got the papers to prove it. ~ Bret Harte
Whose soldiers touched contemptuously, the clusters of flowers on the Parijata tree, in the Nandana Gardens (of Indra's Heaven), which had been caressed by the contact of Saci's hair. ~ Hayagrivavadha
  • Morgan! — She ain't nothing else, and I've got the papers to prove it.
    Sired by Chippewa Chief, and twelve hundred dollars won't buy her.
    • Bret Harte, Chiquita, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922).
  • Whose soldiers touched contemptuously
    the clusters of flowers on the Parijata tree
    In the Nandana Gardens (of Indra's Heaven),
    which had been caressed by the contact of Saci's hair.
    • Quote by Ruyyaka of the Hayagrivavadha, evoking the conquest of heaven by Hayagriva, a horse-headed incarnation of Vishnu, Indian Kāvya Literature: The early medieval period: Śūdraka to Viśākhadatta (1997) by Anthony Kennedy Warder, p. 96.

I[edit]

J[edit]

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
  • Childhood living is easy to do
    The things you wanted, I bought them for you
    Graceless lady, you know who I am
    You know I can't let you slide through my hands
    Wild horses couldn't drag me away
    Wild, wild horses, couldn't drag me away.
  • I know I've dreamed you, a sin and a lie
    I have my freedom but I don't have much time
    Faith has been broken, tears must be cried
    Let's do some living, after we die
    Wild horses couldn't drag me away
    Wild, wild horses, we'll ride them some day…
  • Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder? Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible. He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword. The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield. He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet. He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
  •  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
    And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
    And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.
    And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
     And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
    • Book of Revelation, 19:11-21 (KJV)
    • Variant translation:
    • I saw heaven opened, and look! a white horse. And the one seated on it is called Faithful and True, and he judges and carries on war in righteousness. His eyes are a fiery flame, and on his head are many diadems. He has a name written that no one knows but he himself, and he is clothed with an outer garment stained with blood, and he is called by the name The Word of God. Also, the armies in heaven were following him on white horses, and they were clothed in white, clean, fine linen. And out of his mouth protrudes a sharp, long sword with which to strike the nations, and he will shepherd them with a rod of iron. Moreover, he treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his outer garment, yes, on his thigh, he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
      I saw also an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice and said to all the birds that fly in midheaven: “Come here, be gathered together to the great evening meal of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of military commanders and the flesh of strong men and the flesh of horses and of those seated on them, and the flesh of all, of freemen as well as of slaves and of small ones and great.” And I saw the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the one seated on the horse and against his army. And the wild beast was caught, and along with it the false prophet that performed in front of it the signs with which he misled those who received the mark of the wild beast and those who worship its image. While still alive, they both were hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulfur. But the rest were killed off with the long sword that proceeded out of the mouth of the one seated on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.

K[edit]

  • And there stood a watchman on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, I see a company. And Joram said, Take an horseman, and send to meet them, and let him say, Is it peace?
    So there went one on horseback to meet him, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu said, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me. And the watchman told, saying, The messenger came to them, but he cometh not again.
     Then he sent out a second on horseback, which came to them, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu answered, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me.
    And the watchman told, saying, He came even unto them, and cometh not again: and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously.

L[edit]

Once there was an old man who lived in a tiny village. Although poor, he was envied by all, for he owned a beautiful white horse. ~ Max Lucado
  • Once there was an old man who lived in a tiny village. Although poor, he was envied by all, for he owned a beautiful white horse. Even the king coveted his treasure. A horse like this had never been seen before — such was its splendor, its majesty, its strength.
  • All I know is that the stable is empty, and the horse is gone. The rest I don’t know. Whether it be a curse or a blessing, I can’t say. All we can see is a fragment. Who can say what will come next?
    • Max Lucado, in "The Old Man and the White Horse" in In the Eye of the Storm (1991).

M[edit]

N[edit]

O[edit]

P[edit]

Baby do you dare to do this?
Cause I’m coming at you like a dark horse. ~ Katy Perry
  • Villain, a horse — Villain, I say, give me a horse to fly,
    To swim the river, villain, and to fly.
    • George Peele, Battle of Alcazar, Act V, line 104. (1588–9).

Q[edit]

R[edit]

You know, everyone thinks we got this broken down horse and fixed him, but we didn't. He fixed us. Every one of us. And I guess in a way, we fixed each other, too. ~ Gary Ross, Seabiscuit
  • You know, everyone thinks we got this broken down horse and fixed him, but we didn't. He fixed us. Every one of us. And I guess in a way, we fixed each other, too.

S[edit]

When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk. He trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ~ Dauphin from Henry V by William Shakespeare
He doth nothing but talk of his horse. ~ William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
  • What a long night is this! I will not change my horse with any that treads but on four pasterns. Ca, ha! He bounds from the earth, as if his entrails were hairs; le cheval volant, the Pegasus, qui a les narines de feu! When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk. He trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes.
  • He is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him, but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts him. He is indeed a horse, and all other jades you may call beasts.
  • Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful neighs,
    Piercing the night's dull ear.
  • He's mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse's health, a boy's love, or a whore's oath.
  • And Duncan's horses,—a thing most strange and certain,—
    Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race,
    Turn'd wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out,
    Contending 'gainst obedience, as they would make
    War with mankind.
  • A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!
    • William Shakespeare, Richard III (c. 1591), Act V, scene 4, line 7. Taken from an old play, The True Tragedy of Richard the Third (1594). In Shakespeare Society Reprint, p. 64.
  • Round-hoof'd, short-jointed, fetlocks shag and long,
    Broad breast, full eye, small head and nostril wide,
    High crest, short ears, straight legs and passing strong,
    Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock, tender hide:
    Look, what a horse should have he did not lack,
    Save a proud rider on so proud a back.
  • I saw them go; one horse was blind,
    The tails of both hung down behind,
    Their shoes were on their feet.
    • Horace and James Smith, Rejected Addresses, The Baby's Debut, a parody of William Wordsworth
  • There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse.

T[edit]

Where now the horse and the rider? ~ J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
    Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?

U[edit]

V[edit]

Do not trust the horse, Trojans. Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts.~ Virgil
  • Equo ne credite, Teucri
    Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentis
    • Do not trust the horse, Trojans. Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts.
  • Quadrupedumque putrem cursu quatit ungula campum.
    • And the hoof of the horses shakes the crumbling field as they run.
      • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), XI. 875; cited as an example of onomatopœia.
  • Ardua cervix,
    Argumtumque caput, brevis alvos, obesaque terga,
    Luxuriatque toris animosum pectus.
    • His neck is high and erect, his head replete with intelligence, his belly short, his back full, and his proud chest swells with hard muscle.
    • Virgil, Georgics (c. 29 BC), III. 79.

W[edit]

The horse is God's gift to mankind. ~ Arabian proverb
  • Where is the horse gone? Where the rider?
    Where the giver of treasure?
    Where are the seats at the feast?
    Where are the revels in the hall?
    Alas for the bright cup!
    Alas for the mailed warrior!
    Alas for the splendour of the prince!
    How that time has passed away,
    dark under the cover of night,
    as if it had never been!
    • The Wanderer an Old English poem, of unknown origin and date.

X[edit]

Y[edit]

Z[edit]

Anonymous[edit]

Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse. Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword, O, Horse! ~ Bedouin legend
The wagon rests in winter, the sleigh in summer, the horse never. ~ Yiddish proverb
  • The horse is God's gift to mankind.
    • Arabian proverb, Beyond the Rainbow Bridge: A Thoughtful Guide for Coping with the Loss of a Horse, p. 84.
  • The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears.
    • Arabian proverb, Oxford Treasury of Sayings and Quotations, p. 19.
  • Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse. Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword, O, Horse!
    • Bedouin legend, as quoted in Mr. Darcy Takes the Plunge (2010) by J. Marie Croft.
  • Good people get cheated, just as good horses get ridden.
    • Chinese proverb, The Gigantic Book of Horse Wisdom, p. 375.
  • Keep five yards from a carriage, ten yards from a horse, and a hundred yards from an elephant; but the distance one should keep from a wicked man cannot be measured.
    • Indian proverb, The Little Red Book of Horse Wisdom, p. 71.
  • A horse is worth more than riches.
    • Spanish proverb, The Gigantic Book of Horse Wisdom, p. 375.
  • The wagon rests in winter, the sleigh in summer, the horse never.
    • Yiddish proverb, The Complete Horse, p. 15.

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