Bringing Horses Into the Classroom

Well, I wish I could honestly bring a horse into an actual classroom. Actually… Maybe I don’t. Someone would have to clean up after it, and I muck plenty of stalls as it is. Plus everyone would try to pet it at once and scare the daylights out of it. IRRELEVANT.

So as y’all know, I’m a Writing and Linguistics student at the greatest university in America (Hail Southern!), and this semester is my first––and probably last––linguistics class. It is fascinating stuff, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not quite my cup of tea. Maybe I would appreciate it more if it wasn’t at 9:30 in the morning? Not a morning person unless it’s involving horses. Let’s be real.

“Dafuq is dis ish? Linguistics empirical study?!”

Our term project was quite open ended, and I decided to make it about ponies! I’m doing an empirical study on the history of equestrianese and how it has impacted history and continues to impact it today. I’ve already gotten some great information, so I’ll be very excited to pass it all along to y’all when I finish the project. It’s due in April, so you won’t have to wait too long! It’ll be full of technical terms, so I’ll also post the crowd-pleasing video in addition to the paper.

Think about it like this: how would society have developed if it weren’t for the horse? We would have taken a lot longer to have trade between cultures. Wars would have been completely different. America would have taken much longer to colonize. I could go on. Obviously, horses are important––but we already knew that!

Pony games were pretty intense when participants had no boots or shoes to wear!

I’m still fleshing it out a bit, as I’m just getting my teeth into the meat of the study. It’s absolutely wonderful! I’m getting down into Xenophon, so like I’m taking it way back. What’s been really fun is that I’m applying it all to modern times through the use of horse idioms.

This picture is relevant, I swear. (Because I strongly dislike Katy Perry.)

Here’s where you lovely people come in:

want to help a starving college student out? Send me a video, post it to Instagram, what have you, of you telling me what these idioms mean. Or send me your pony pictures and dressage pictures and such. Just… Pony stuff that I have permission to use. Don’t worry, I’ll credit each of y’all in the paper and the video for your participation! Just let me know if you’d like to help me out! I would be eternally grateful.

Pick your favorite(s) and tell me about them!

  • Chomping at the bit
  • Horse as a euphemism for heroin
  • Horsing around
  • Get off your high horse
  • Hoofing it
  • I’m so hungry I could eat a horse
  • Horse of a different color
  • Hold your horses
  • Dark horse
  • Beat a dead horse
  • Stubborn as a mule
  • By shank’s mare
  • Dog and pony show
  • Put someone out to pasture
  • Put the cart before the horse
  • I piaffe’d it! (Steven Colbert quote)


If I get ten readers to help me on this project, I will do Training Level A on foot. Seriously. No lie. I’ll have it filmed and everything.

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