Business English with a horsey twist.

Ever wondered how horse-related phrases could relate to the business world?

Well, wonder no more!

Just like skilled equestrians, navigating the terrain of entrepreneurship and professional life requires finesse, patience, and sometimes, a bit of horse sense. As an ESL teacher I understand the importance of blending fun with practicality in language learning. So, let's saddle up and explore the world of business English through the lens of equine idioms.

Essential Business Tips with a horsey twist 

In the wild world of business, we often need to gear up for challenges just like getting ready to ride a horse. Before rushing into decisions, take a breath, check things out, and hold your horses.

When it's time to get serious, rein in the horsing around and saddle up for hard work.

It's important to stay humble and listen to others' ideas. So, get off your high horse and join the team.

In business, it's not just about facts and figures. Having a good gut feeling or horse sense can be just as important. Trust your instincts!

And when things start getting crazy, remember to rein in your excitement. Stay on track and keep things in check.

Lastly, giving yourself and others a little freedom to do things their own way can lead to great ideas and results. So, give them a little free rein and see what happens.


Saddle up /sádəl ə́p/, /ˈsædəl ʌp/  

To prepare to ride a horse. It’s often used metaphorically to mean preparing for a task or adventure.


  1. We have a big presentation tomorrow, so let's saddle up and prepare the slides.
  2. We need to saddle up and get this project finished by the end of the week.
  3. We've identified a gap in our product line; now it's time to saddle up and brainstorm ideas for new product development.

Hold your horses /hə́wld jóː hóːsɪz/ , /həʊld jɔː ˈhɔːsɪz/

An idiom meaning to be patient or wait.

  1. Hold your horses! We need to review the financial projections before making any decisions.
  2. Before we rush into this decision, let's take a moment to assess all the implications. Hold your horses, we need to ensure we're making the right move. 
  3. Hold your horses! Let me finish explaining before you interrupt.

Horsing around /hóːsɪŋ əráwnd/, /hɔːsɪŋ əˈraʊnd/

Acting silly or behaving playfully, often in a physical manner.


  1. This is a professional meeting, so there's no time for horsing around. Let's focus on the agenda. 
  2. We can't afford to waste time horsing around in meetings. We must stay focused and address the key issues.
  3. The interns were horsing around in the office, disrupting the workflow and distracting other employees.

Get off your high horse /gɛ́t ɔ́f jóː hɑ́j hóːs/, /get ɒf jɔː haɪ hɔːs/

An idiom meaning to stop acting superior or arrogant.


  1. She needs to get off her high horse and listen to other people's opinions.
  2. The manager needs to get off his high horse and recognise the valuable contributions of his team members.
  3. Instead of micromanaging every detail, the supervisor should get off his high horse and trust his team to deliver results.

Horse sense /hóːs sɛ́ns/, /hɔːs sens/ 

Practical wisdom or common sense.


  1. Having horse sense in business means being able to make practical decisions based on experience and intuition rather than solely relying on data.
  2. He might not have a fancy education, but he's got a lot of horse sense.
  3. Developing your horse sense in business requires a combination of practical experience, observation, and willingness to learn from both successes and failures.

Rein in /rɛ́jn ɪ́n/,/reɪn ɪn/ 

To control or limit something, often used metaphorically.


  1. We need to rein in our expenses to stay within the budget for this quarter.
  2. In response to customer feedback, the company is taking steps to rein in its product development cycle and prioritise features with the highest demand. 
  3. As the project scope expands, it's essential to rein in any unnecessary features to ensure timely delivery and avoid scope creep. 

Free rain /frɪ́j rɛ́jn/, /friː reɪn/

Free rain means giving someone total freedom or control.


  1. Our company's flexible work policy gives employees free rein to manage their schedules and work remotely when needed.
  2. The project manager was given free rein to lead the initiative, empowering them to make critical decisions and drive results.


Hope these tips help you navigate the business world with confidence. Happy riding:)

Thanks, Magda 

Are there any other horse-related words or expressions you're familiar with? Feel free to share them!

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