The public-house sign.
The White Horse.
The standard of the Saxons, and therefore impressed on hop pockets and bags as the ensign of Kent. On Uffington Hill, Berks, there is formed in the chalk an enormous white horse, supposed to have been cut there after the battle in which Ethelred and Alfred defeated the Danes (871). This rude ensign is about 374 feet long, and 1,000 feet above the sea-level. It may be seen twelve miles off.
The galloping white horse.
The device of the house of Hanover.
The rampant white horse.
The device of the house of Savoy, descended from the Saxons.
Horses famous in History and Fable:
(Greek, “red-producer”). One of the horses of the Sun.
(Greek, “fiery”) One of the horses of Hector.
Mahomet's white mule.
The horse of Oliver. The word means “the Spanish traveller.”
Oliver Goldsmith's unfortunate pony.
Sacripant's charger. The word means “little head.”
Once called “Balisarda.” Rogero's or Rugiero's horse. The word means “little head.”
(3 syl.). One of Hector's horses. The word means “cream-coloured.”
A model German coach stallion.
(2 syl.). Siegfried's horse, of marvellous swiftness. The word means “grey-coloured.”
Dr. Syntax's horse, all skin and bone. The word means “grey-coloured.”
The horse of the archangel Gabriel. (Koran.)
(Greek, “one that carries off rapidly.”)
One of the horses of Castor and Pollux.
(4 syl.). One of Neptune's horses. It had only two legs, the hinder quarter being that of a dragon's tail or fish.
A model shire stallion.
The horse of Night, from whose bit fall the “rime-drops” which every night bedew the earth [i.e. frostmane]. (Scandinavian mythology.)
A model Arabian stallion.
The horse of the Roman Emperor Caligula, made priest and consul. It had an ivory manger, and drank wine out of a golden pail. The word means “spurred on.”
(1 syl.). Robert Burns's mare.
The white horse of Prince Gautama of India (Budda).
The water-horse of fairy mythology. The word means “of the colour of kelp or sea-weed.”
A model French coach stallion, 1342.
(Greek, “the bright one”). One of the horses of Diomed.
(Greek, “shining like a lamp”). One of the steeds of the Sun at noon.
King Arthur's mare. The word means “the curveter.”
A model Suffolk stallion, 1415.
A model thoroughbred stallion.
The white stallion which Napoleon rode at Waterloo. Its remains are now in the Museum of the United Services, London. It is represented in Vernet's picture of Napoleon Crossing the Alps. Wellington's horse was called Copenhagen.
Matchless of Londesborough.
A model hackney stallion.
(See Black Saladin.
Banks's famous horse. Its shoes were of silver, and one of its exploits was to mount the steeple of St. Paul's.
Sir Charles Napier's mare. It died at the age of 35.
The steed of Dr. Dove of Doncaster. (Southey.)
One of the horses of Pluto.
The charger of Roderick, last of the Goths, noted for its speed and symmetry. (Southey.)
Pale Horse (The)
on which Death rides. (Rev. vi. 8.)
A model trotting stallion.
Sir Tristram's charger. (Hist. of Prince Arthur, ii. 68.)
The winged horse of Apollo and the Muses. (Greek, “born near the pege or source of the ocean.”) Perseus rode him when he rescued Andromeda.
(Greek, “the shining one”). One of the steeds of Aurora.
The horse of Heraclios. The word means “stallion.”
(Greek, “the burning or blazing one”).
One of the horses of the Noon-day Sun
The horse of Hiero, of Syracuse, that won the Olympic prize for single horses in the seventy-third Olympiad. It means “intelligent.”
(3 syl.). One of the horses of Hector. The word means “swift-foot.”
A model Belgian stallion.
One of the horses of the Noon-day Sun.
(Greek, “fiery hot.”)
Argali'a's horse in Orlando Innamorato, and Astolpho's horse in Orlando Furioso. Its dam was Fire, its sire Wind; it fed on unearthly food. The word means a horse with a “dark tail but with some white hairs.”
“Rabicano (adj.), que se applica al caballo que tiene algunas cerdas
blaneas in la cola.”
The favourite horse of King Richard II.
When Bolingbroke rode on Roan Barbary, That horse that thou so often hast bestrid.
Lord Cardigan's thoroughbred chestnut, with white stockings on the near hind and fore feet. It carried him through the Balaclava Charge.
The favourite palfrey of Mary Queen of Scots.
Don Quixote's horse, all skin and bone. The word means “formerly a hack.”
The palfrey of Madame Châtelet of Cirey, the lady with whom Voltaire resided for ten years.
A model Cleveland bay stallion.
(See Black Saladin.
The favourite black horse of Charles VIII. of France; so called from the Duke of Savoy who gave it him. It had but one eye, and “was mean in stature.”
The Persian Bucephalos, fleeter than the wind. It was the charger of Chosroes II of Persia.
The steed which draws the car of day. The word means “shining mane.” (Scandinavian mythology.)
Odin's grey horse, which had eight legs and could traverse either land or sea. The horse typifies the wind which blows over land and water from eight principal points.
The horse of William III., which stumbled by catching his foot in a mole-heap. This accident ultimately caused the king's death.
Sorrel, like Savoy, was blind of one eye, and “mean of stature.”
King Arthur's horse. The word means “the foaming one.”
The horse immolated by Xerxes before he invaded Greece. Named from the river Strymon, in Thrace, from which vicinity it came.
The favourite charger of the Earl of Essex.
The horse of Ogier the Dane.
The grey horse of Admiral Guarinos, one of the French knights taken at Roncesvalles.
The famous steed of Orlando, called in French romance Veillantif, Orlando being called Roland. The word means “the little vigilant one.”
The favourite horse of King Richard III.
“Saddle White Surrey for the field to-morrow.”
A model Orloff stallion.
One of the horses of Achilles, who announced to the hero his approaching death when unjustly chidden by him. Its sire was Zephyros, and dam Podarge (q.v.). The word means “chestnut-coloured.”
(See Hunters And Runners.)
O'Donohue's white horse.
Those waves which come on a windy day, crested with foam. The spirit of the hero reappears every May-day, and is seen gliding, to sweet but unearthly music, over the lakes of Killarney, on his favourite white horse. It is preceded by groups of young men and maidens, who fling spring-flowers in his path. (Derrick's Letters.)
T. Moore has a poem on the subject in his Irish Melodies, No. vi.; it is entitled O'Donohue's Mistress, and refers to a tradition that a young and beautiful girl became enamoured of the visionary chieftain, and threw herself into the lake that he might carry her off for his bride.
In Phrase and Proverb:
A dark horse.
A horse whose merits as a racer are not known to the general public.
Flogging the dead horse.
Riding the wooden horse.
A military punishment now discontinued. It was a flogging-stool.
I will win the horse or lose the saddle.
Neck or nothing; double or quits. Milton makes Satan say, “Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.”
“Aut ter sex, aut tres tesserae.” (See Ter Sex.)
“Au Caesar, aut nullus.”
“Tout ou rien.”
“Je veux risquer le tout pour le tout.”
They cannot draw (or) horses together.
They cannot agree together. The French say, “Nos chiens ne chassent pas ensemble.”
'Tis a Trojan horse
(Latin proverb). A deception, a concealed danger. Thus Cicero says, “Intus, intus, inquam, est equus Trojanus” (Pro Murena, 78). It was Epeos who made the Trojan horse.
'Tis a good horse that never stumbles.
Everyone has his faults. Every black has its white, and every sweet its sour.
Latin: “Quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus.”
“Humanum est errare.”
French: “Il n'y a bon cheval qui ne bronche,”or “Il n'est si bon cheval qui ne bronche.”
To get upon one's high horse.
To give oneself airs. (See High Horse.)
To set the cart before the horse.
When the horse (or) is stolen, lock the stable door.
The French say: “Apres la mort, le medicine. ” Somewhat similar is: “After beef, mustard.”
Working on the dead horse.
Coarse, acrid or pungent, inferior of its kind, rough. “Hoarse” is the Anglo-Saxon has.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894