The Literary Horse

The English language is filled with expressions that have come from our relationships and experiences with horses.  We’ll be featuring some of these here and in future blogs.

  1.  When something is “all balled up,” it is….
    1. confused or bungled
    2. tied up in a ball
    3. in the trash can

If you said it means confused or bungled, you’re right!  The explanation is obvious to anyone who has tried to ride a shod horse through snow.  You probably know that each step through the white stuff packs the horse’s hooves with more and more ice until, finally, you and your steed are literally ice skating on balls of packed snow. 

Now, imagine that you are back in the 1800s driving a carriage pulled by a team of horses.  That’s four horses and sixteen shod hooves, each with a ball of ice getting larger and larger.  They’re slipping, sliding, falling, getting tangled in harness and confusion reigns.  Ah, the joys of living in Florida in winter!


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