A collection of proverbs and quotes about horses, ponies and donkeys.


A cough will stick longer by a horse than a peck of oats.

A flea-bitten horse never tires.

A fly can drive away horses.


A fly, Sir, may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still.

Samuel Johnson

A horse that will not carry a saddle must have no oats.

A man without religion is like a horse without a bridle.

Latin proverb

Asses carry the oats and horses eat them.

Better lose the saddle than the horse.

Competitions are for horse, not artist.

Bela Bartok

Drive the horse with oats, not with curses and oaths.

Flies flock to the lean horse.


Flies go to lean horses.


Flies hunt lean horses.

He has fallen from the donkey, but has found a date.

If two ride a horse, one must ride behind.

When two people work together, one will be the leader and the other will be the follower.

If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.

It is a poor horse that is not worth his oats.

It is not the horse that draws the cart, but the oats.

It was after tea-time; it was pouring with rain, and had been all day; his hood was dripping into his eyes, his cloak was full of water; the pony was tired and stumbled on stones; the others were too grumpy to talk.

The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again
J. R. R. Tolkien

It’s a very proud horse that will not carry his oats.

Many a shabby colt makes a fine horse.

Irish proverb

Scarce as rocking-horse manure.


The zebra told the white horse, "I am white," and told the black horse, "I am actually black".

To dangle a carrot in front of a donkey.

To tempt someone

Trust not a horse’s heel nor a dog’s tooth.

When they started to shoe the Sultan’s horse, the beetle stretched out its leg.


Whenever I hear of the capture of rare beetles, I feel like an old war-horse at the sound of a trumpet.

Charles Darwin

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

You can offer someone an opportunity to do something but you can’t force them to do it.