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Horses

  • Charles loathed horses; which he held to be animals of an invincible stupidity, uncontrolled imagination, and faulty deduction.

  • I was thrown off ignominiously ... I'm so stiff at this moment that if one wrote letters with one's legs, I couldn't write this.

    • Virginia Woolf,
    • 1913, in Nigel Nicolson and Joanne Trautmann, eds., The Letters of Virginia Woolf: Volume II: 1912-1922 ()
  • People on horses look better than they are. People in cars look worse than they are.

  • Wonderful things, horses. Never know what they will do, or won't do.

  • No better story than a horse race has ever been written. It takes less time than the telling of it, is as irreversible as a meteor's plunge, as inevitable as death, and you can't ever know the outcome in advance.

  • Whenever I doubt the existence of God or the Goddess, I look at horses. Only God could have made a horse.

  • ... he was small, dark, closed in that attitude of terrible resignation I recognized from my own childhood, and I knew that resignation to be the only defense, the only immunity in a world where children are often the martyrs.

  • ... anybody can win with the best horse. What makes you good is if you can take the second- or third-best horse and win.

    • Vicky Aragon,
    • in Thomas Meagher, The Gigantic Book of Horse Wisdom ()
  • Our three horses are as unlike as three persons. Perhaps more so, since they don't read, listen to radio or TV ... They don't try to talk like Flicka, walk like Trigger, or eat like Silver.

  • A woman never looks better than on horseback.

  • I often dreamt I was a horse, and I know exactly what it feels like to be one. I even know what it feels like to be able to twitch the skin on my shoulder and shudder away a fly.

  • Horses make a landscape look more beautiful.

  • When properly trained and cared for, the horse has about him an aristocratic air that is unmatched by any other animal, domesticated or wild.

  • When you got a hoss, you got a hoss. You know what you got. He's goin' to act like a hoss. But when you got a mule, why, you can't never tell. All of a sudden one of these days, he's like as not to turn into a Congressman.

  • [On horses:] ... they are more beautiful than anything in the world, kinetic sculptures, perfect form in motion.

  • Horses have made civilization possible.

  • Fascination with horses predated every other single thing I knew. Before I was a mother, before I was a writer, before I knew the facts of life, before I was a schoolgirl, before I learned to read, I wanted a horse.

  • A horse herd was, in its very essence, the manifestation of the expression 'It's always something.'

  • You know why this is the most valuable horse in the world? ... She defines the bottom. Every element of conformation that you wouldn't want in a horse, she possesses. Once a student has looked her over, has really concentrated on her, really seen her, he knows what he doesn't want to find in any horse he might ever buy in the future.

  • The horse, like Cary Grant, lends romance to any venture.

  • [On Lord Hugh Cecil:] I saw him riding in the Row, clinging to his horse like a string of onions.

  • What is it about humans that makes some wish they were part horse? ... Perhaps the answer lies in the nature of the horse, so extraordinarily other than our own. We can say that about all our companion animals, but only the horse, among our companions, is not a predator. Horses are the eaten, not the eaters.

    • Susan F. Boucher,
    • "Partnering Pegasus," in Linda Hogan, Deena Metzger, and Brenda Peterson, eds., Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals ()
  • There are old riders and bold riders, but no old bold riders.

  • I never ride horseback now because my sympathy with the under-dog is too keen. After we have a gone a few blocks, I always dismount and say to the horse: 'We'll walk it together, old dear.'

  • Come to the stable. Come to where the horses are, and the sweet, grainy, pungent smells.

  • ... I'd kiss his glossy neck, stroke his mane and say 'Darling, darling!' for he was a staid horse who allowed intimacies.

  • I know two things about the horse / And one of them is rather coarse.

  • In his rhapsody on the subject of rodeos he [the author] said nothing about the unspeakably cruel bucking-straps often used on rodeo horses. This strap crosses the most sensitive area of the male beast's groin and is then cinched as tightly as possible. The extreme pain which results drives even the most gentle horse to buck, kick, and otherwise perform in a manner satisfying to the onlookers. ... At least the onlookers should know what is giving them such a thrilling afternoon. It would be even more thrilled if the horse's rider were also forced to wear a bucking-strap, just as strategically placed and as tightly cinched. That would make it a more sporting contest, and I doubt that it would be the horse that gave up first.

  • The horse world is populated by two kinds of people: those who love horses, and those who exploit horses and the people who love them.

  • A horse to one who loves him is a cure for many ills.

  • Horses' personalities were even more vivid in our minds than the personalities of our human associates. The mounted stranger yielded first place in interest to the horse he bestrode. A year later we might have forgotten the color of the man's eyes, but never the set of the ears on his horse's head.

  • Horses are predictably unpredictable. They are said to be rather stupid, but, in fact, they are, like most animals, quite intelligent in the ways that they need to be intelligent.

  • A horse, if he happens to have a contemptuous disposition, can sneer very effectively.

  • ... I still subscribe to the minority view that all horses are offensive weapons and not to be trusted a yard.

  • The extension of power offered by a pony, the ease and speed of movement, the tapping of unsuspected courage, the satisfaction of collaboration with another creature and of controlling it in order to improve the collaboration, the joy of fussing over it — of loving it — these, from the age of about eight to sixteen were the most completely realised delights of my life.

  • A racehorse is an animal that can take several thousand people for a ride at the same time.

  • I had imagined, of course, a My Friend Flicka scenario: My horse would see me in the distance, wiggle his ears in eager anticipation, whinny with pleasure, canter up to my side, and nuzzle my breeches for sugar or carrots. What I got instead was a wildly anxious, frequently lame, and not terribly bright creature who was terrified of snakes, people, lizards, dogs, and other horses — in short, terrified of anything that he might reasonably be expected to encounter in life — thus causing him to rear up on his hind legs and bolt madly about in completely random directions.

  • I decided early in graduate school that I needed to do something about my moods. It quickly came down to a choice between seeing a psychiatrist or buying a horse. Since almost everyone I knew was seeing a psychiatrist, and since I had absolute belief that I should be able to handle my own problems, I naturally bought a horse. Not just any horse, but an unrelentingly stubborn and blindingly neurotic one, a sort of equine Woody Allen, but without the entertainment value.

  • All I have learned about horses is that they are beautiful overrated creatures and are all born quite insane ...

  • When I breathe down my nose to say how do you do to a horse, it can hear that breath at anything up to twenty yards, for horses have the most acute sense of hearing.

  • When Allah created the horse, he said to the wind, 'I will that a creature proceed from thee. Condense thyself.' And the wind condensed itself, and the result was the horse.

  • Timothy said he had tried riding and it had toned up his muscles, but on the whole he considered it a crude sport. 'Regarding it from the viewpoint of the horse, I mean.'

  • A good horse is the best company in the world.

  • I dreamed horse and lived horse and expected, if necessary, to marry a horse; for all practical purposes I was a horse.

    • Alice B. Sheldon,
    • 1972, in Julie Phillips, James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon ()
  • Give me the handling of a horse for twenty minutes, and I'll tell you what sort of a groom he has had.

  • There cannot be many people who can go through life without regretting sooner or later a lack of knowledge about horses.

  • There is no greater pleasure in the world than riding a good horse.

  • ... the horse will always do right if he understands. This is very remarkable. It is true neither of human beings nor of dogs.

  • In the partnership between ourselves and the horse there must be one ruling spirit, and that one must be the rider.

  • Eager as fire though the last goal is won, / These wilding creatures gentled to the rein, / These little brothers of the wind and the sun.

  • I am able to hold on and trust an animal five times my size with my life. Strength is not a physical measure, because no matter how 'strong' you are, you cannot out-muscle a horse. True strength is a quiet determination.

    • Cara,
    • in Kate T. Parker, Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves ()