Friday, March 27, 2009

On his high horse

We all know the power, speed and beauty of the horse made him a creature of legend. We are told that once there were seven men who competed for the throne of Persia. They agreed that the man whose horse neighed first should become king. The horse of Darius was the first to do so. The crown was given to him. He became one of the most famous of Persia’s ancient kings.

For a long time only upper classes had horses. Some of high rank rode on big, heavy horses in the king’s parade. This gave birth to the expression “to ride the high horse”, meaning trying to show that one is above others, too good for them. And to tell one “to get off his high horse” means that he is no better than others and should stop acting as if he were. The expression “to look a gift horse in the mouth” is used to describe a man who has the poor taste to examine a gift to see if anything is wrong with it.