change horses in midstream

(redirected from changed horses in midstream)

change horses in midstream

1. To choose a new leader during a period of upheaval or uncertainty. The prime minister has been at the helm throughout the crisis. I just don't think we should change horses in midstream.
2. To make major changes to a situation or course of action that is already underway. We're about to close on the house, and my husband suddenly wants to change horses in midstream and look at another property!
See also: change, horse, midstream

change horses in midstream

 and change horses in the middle of the stream
Fig. to make major changes in an activity that has already begun; to choose someone or something else after it is too late. (Alludes to someone trying to move from one horse to another while crossing a stream.) I'm already baking a cherry pie. I can't bake an apple pie. It's too late to change horses in the middle of the stream. The house is half-built. It's too late to hire a different architect. You can't change horses in midstream. Jane: I've written a rough draft of my research paper, but the topic doesn't interest me as much as I thought. Maybe I ought to pick a different one. Jill: Don't change horses in midstream.
See also: change, horse, midstream