frighten the horses

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frighten the horses

To cause dismay or distress. While we're staying with your grandparents, please don't say anything to frighten the horses.
See also: frighten, horse

frighten the horses

cause consternation or dismay; shock.
1996 Independent No matter the inadvertent hurt or crass provocation or outright insult, bite your tongue, be pleasant, be polite, don't frighten the horses.
See also: frighten, horse
References in classic literature ?
The officer uttered something so like a roar that it frightened the horses.
That it happened this way--that your nephew met him at a coffeehouse, fell upon him with the most demneble ferocity, followed him to his cab, swore he would ride home with him, if he rode upon the horse's back or hooked himself on to the horse's tail; smashed his countenance, which is a demd fine countenance in its natural state; frightened the horse, pitched out Sir Mulberry and himself, and--'
The trickiest bit would be Trump's first few months in office, because he has definitely frightened the horses internationally and they are getting ready to bolt.
To see the thick black smoke and flames was terrifying, so you can only imagine how frightened the horses were.
It might not have frightened the horses in the street, nor 21st century motorists in traffic jams.
Lord Conrad Black, formerly of The Daily Telegraph, on whose parent board sat Margaret Thatcher, Henry Kissinger, the Prince of Darkness Richard Perle, so rightwing he even frightened the horses of Ronald Reagan's White House, accused me of taking money illegally.
Only floodlit Kempton and Wolverhampton could have taken the fixture, which starts at around 4pm, but each is in an urban area, and Arena was not prepared to repeat last year's nightmare experience at Wolverhampton, when fireworks frightened the horses.
The noise of the bike frightened the horses, and a 20-year-old woman riding a four-year-old mare was forced to dismount.
We saw them dancing cheek to cheek but the cameras did not show them between the sheets, although the sight of them cuddling would hardly have frightened the horses.
She had cut the mufflers off, so at first the noise frightened the horses.
Interviewed by the racing team's smouldering new celeb magnet Craig Doyle, the three men, who form half the sextet, performed an acappella version of their song Nu Flow - minus a few lyrics that might have frightened the horses.
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