Shut the stable door after the horse has bolted


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Shut the stable door after the horse has bolted.

 and Lock the stable door after the horse is stolen.
Prov. To try to prevent something that has already happened; to act too late. When Ray heard that the bank had failed, he tried to withdraw his money, but there was no money to withdraw. He was shutting the stable door after the horse had bolted. Jenny has stopped smoking since the doctor told her that her lungs were in bad shape, but I'm afraid she's locking the stable door after the horse is stolen.
See also: after, bolt, door, horse, shut, stable

shut (or lock) the stable door after the horse has bolted

try to avoid or prevent something bad or unwelcome when it is already too late to do so. proverb
This saying dates back to medieval times. Until the late 19th century it was used in the form shut the stable door after the steed is stolen .
See also: after, bolt, door, horse, shut, stable

shut/lock/close the stable door after the horse has ˈbolted

(British English) (American English shut, etc. the barn door after the horse has eˈscaped) take action to prevent something bad from happening after it has already happened: Last week all their silver was stolen; this week they’re putting in a burglar alarm! That’s really shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.