lock the barn door after the horse has bolted

(redirected from lock the stable door after the horse is stolen)

lock the barn door after the horse has bolted

To try to prevent or rectify a problem after the damage has already been done. My father quit smoking after he was diagnosed with lung cancer, but I'm afraid he's locking the barn door after the horse has bolted.
See also: after, barn, bolt, door, horse, lock

lock the barn door after the horse has bolted

Also, lock the stable door after the horse is stolen. Take precautions after damage has occurred. For example, After the burglary they installed an alarm system, but it's locking the barn door, or Deciding to negotiate now after they've been fired-that's a matter of locking the stable door after the horse is stolen . These expressions of action that is useless because it comes too late have long been proverbs in many languages and first appeared in English in the mid-1300s.
See also: after, barn, bolt, door, horse, lock