Hold Your Horses

Meaning of Idiom ‘Hold Your (or one’s) Horses’

Hold your horses is one of the most common English idioms. When we say “hold your horses” to someone we are telling them to slow down and wait. Usually, the idiom is applied to someone who is over-excited and is rushing ahead before it is sensible to begin. As well, it is often said to someone who is being impatient.

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The usual expression is “hold your horses” but the idiom can be used in the third person as in “she needs to hold her horses; we’re not ready yet.”

Examples Of Use

“Woah, hold your horses! You can’t apply a second coat of paint until the first one dries.”

“Hold your horses,” said Mike to Maria. “I know you want to get on the road but I still have to do a few things around the house.”


Used since the 1840’s, this idiom alludes to a making horses keep still by holding the reins.

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