Equine Quotes, Proverbs & Fables

Quotes from Xenophon, 400 B.C.
one of the greatest horseman that ever lived

...A horse is a thing of such beauty...
None will tire of looking at him
As long as he displays himself in his splendor


He bounds from the earth with
the very exuberance of his spirit.

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.-

I think that if I become a horseman,
I shall be a man on wings.

-Xenophon, 400 B.C.-

The one best precept-
the golden rule in dealing with a horse
-is never to approach him angrily.
Anger is so deviod of forethought
that it will often drive a man to do things
which in a calmer mood he will regret.

    - Xenophon -

If one induces the horse to assume that carriage which it would adopt of its own accord when displaying its beauty,
then one directs the horse to appear joyous and magnificent, proud and remarkable for having been ridden.

  ~ Xenophon ~

Xenophon: The Father of Classical Equitation

A Greek named Xenophon (430-ca 335 B.C.) wrote the first fully preserved manual on the riding
horse. It is entitled "The Art of Horsemanship. " Xenophon was a horseman for his entire life, first
as a cavalryman and then as a country gentleman on an estate given to him by the King of Sparta.
Xenophon differs from other ancient writers on the horse in that he urges his reader to know the
horse's "psyche," its mentality. He knew that an animal which had confidence in the understanding
and good will of its rider would more effectively respond to the commands of the rider. Xenophon
encouraged a mutual respect between man and horse.

My Nephew, age 4, upon waking up last Christmas ran out to look under the tree,
then sadly muttered under his breath, " Ask a pretend Santa for a horse and get a pretend horse."

This year in early December he was overheard saying,
"I'm not asking a pretend Santa for a horse this year, I'm going to find a real Santa!"

A. Olsen

Arabian Quotes

"An inborn love of the horse is instinctive, quite
unreasoning, and one cannot recall any beginning of
what seems to have always been there, together with a
craving for perfection in the object of interest."

~Lady Ann Blunt~

"The spirt of the Arab is like the wind;
Try as you might, you cannot capture it,
but, if one can be still enough,
it will enter your heart and capture your soul."


"Abd-el-Kader, when at the hight of his power,
pittilessly punished with death
every believer convicted of having sold a horse to a Christian."

"What is in the pedigree will come out; nothing else can."
~ Wm. States Jacobs ~

By reason of his elegance, he resembles an image painted in a palace,
though he is as majestic as the palace itself.
....Emir Abd-el-Kadir

For more Equine quotes and poetry check out my Arabian Page.

Andalusian Quotes

"...This most noble beast is the most beautiful,
the swiftest and of the highest courage of domestic animals.
His long mane and tail adorn and beautify him.
He is of a fiery temperament,
but good tempered, obedient, docile and well- mannered."

~ Pedro Garcia Conde, 1685 ~

...he did not feel the ground under his feet
...he thrust himself into the capriole,
rose high in the air...forelegs and hindlegs horizontal.
He soared above the ground, his head high in jubilation. Conquering!

  ~ Felix Salten ~

...only ask,
and he will weave a spell to light the dark recesses of your being,
spinning around you a web of sweet delights.
He will be your children's playmate; a child himself, he'll do no harm.
He'll pardon like no other your omissions, errors, thoughtless handling.
His back, a throne of feathers, will bear you smoothly at the trot and gallop.
He'll go where others dare not. He'll stand firm where others flee in terror.
You'll discover that the piroutte is easy, that a rein back can go on forever,
that you need not be a great rider to perform airs above the ground.
At the spur's light touch he'll take flight with the wind,
bearing you safly through the air laden with long forgotten fragrance.
With him, the distant mountians will be clearer, brighter the light of the stars,
the trilling of the nightingale more joyful, sweeter the gurgling of the streams.
And at last you'll understand why he was e'er the chosen one of kings.

    - Juan Llamas of the Spanish horse {Andalusian}

In riding a horse,
we borrow freedom.

~ Helen Thompson, 1943 ~

Fierce as the fire and fleet as the wind...
  ~ A.L. Gordon ~

President Ronald Reagan riding El Alamein

When you are on a great horse, you have the best seat you will ever have.
  ~ Sir Winston Churchill ~

"About the head of a truly great horse there is an air of freedom unconquerable.
The eyes seem to look on heights beyond our gaze.
It is the look of a spirit that can soar....."

~ John Taintor Foote ~


He has galloped through young girl's dreams,
added richness to grown women's lives,
and served men in war and strife.

  ~ Toni Robinson ~

There are times when you can trust a horse,
times when you can't, and times when you have to.

~ Unknown ~

To learn all that a horse could teach,
was a world of knowledge, but only a beginning...
Look into a horses eye and you instantly know if you can trust him.

  ~ Mary O'Hara ~

You become responsible forever for what you have tamed. (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

He flung himself on his horses and rode off madly in all directions.
    - Stephen Butler Leacock -

Far back, far back in our dark soul the horse prances.
    - D. H. Lawrence -

I used to have money, now I have horses.
Most of Us~

The horse stopped with a jerk, and the jerk fell off
    ~ Jim Culleton ~

Raise your horse as a son, ride him as an enemy.
Arabian Proverb -

The devil doesn't dare entering in a camp guarded by an arabian horse.
Arabian Proverb -

The horses of hope gallop,
but the asses of experience go slowly.

    - Russian Proverb -

What the colt learns in youth he continues in old age.
    - French Proverb -

Care, and not fine stables, makes a good horse.
    - Danish Proverb -

If a man treats his wife like a thoroughbred, she'll never grow into an old nag!

Riding is for those people who see not a horse but a spirit next to them.

One who believes that he has mastered the art of horsemanship, has not yet begun to understand the horse.

Do not underestimate a horses pride, or he will dent yours.

When you give a lesson in meanness to a critter or a person,
don't be surprised if they learn their lesson.

What more can the solitary spirit ask for
But a horse in the wilderness?

General Robert E. Lee
The following is a note written by Lee to Markie Williams (Mrs. Lee's cousin)
who wished to paint a portrait of Lee's horse, "Traveller":

"If I was an artist like you, I would draw a true picture of Traveller; representing his fine proportions, muscular
figure, deep chest, short back, strong haunches, flat legs, small head, broad forehead, delicate ears, quick eye,
small feet, and black mane and tail. Such a picture would inspire a poet, whose genius could then depict his worth,
and describe his endurance of toil, hunger, thirst, heat and cold; and the dangers and suffering through which he
has passed. He could dilate upon his sagacity and affection, and his invarible response to every wish of his rider.
He might even imagine his thoughts through the long night-marches and days of the battle through which
he has passed. But I am no artist Markie, and can therefore only say he is a Confederate grey."

The Discontented Horse

"Father Zeus," said the horse, "I am the most
useful animal in the world. Everybody tells me so.
But you could make me still more useful."
"How?" asked Zeus.
"If my legs were longer and thinner," answered
the horse, "I could run faster. A long round neck
would be more graceful. And would it not be better
if the saddle grew on my back?"
In a moment there stood a camel. "Here," said
Zeus, "is just what you mean. Shall I change you?"
The horse, who had never before seen a camel,
thought it a very ugly beast, and shook his head.
"Go home this time," said Zeus, "and be content
with the gifts that have been given to you."

This fable is from a language work book from 1914



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