change horses in midstream, don't

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Don't change horses in midstream.

1. Proverb Do not try to choose or back a different political figure for an election after the decision has already been made or the position filled. Many people are dissatisfied with the senator's performance but will likely carry his party's support through to the next election—don't change horses in midstream, as the saying goes.
2. Proverb By extension, do not make major changes to a situation or course of action that is already underway. I'm really not confident in the strength of my essay, but I guess I just have to see this one through at this point. Like they say, don't change horses in midstream.
See also: change, horse

change horses in midstream, don't

Also, don't swap horses in midstream. It's unwise to alter methods or choose new leaders during a crisis, as in I don't hold with getting a new manager right now-let's not swap horses in midstream. This expression was popularized (although not originated) by Abraham Lincoln in a speech in 1864 when he discovered that the National Union League was supporting him for a second term as President.
See also: change, horse
References in periodicals archive ?
"He was brilliant the Festival over hurdles last year and It is becoming more fashionable to swap horses round.
Lincoln advised us 'not to swap horses in midstream.' Good advice now as then.
There is a long way to go in the competition yet in terms of the individual event but I certainly wouldn't want to swap horses.
The bad apples of this world will always latch on to such innovations, just as in a different era, highway robbers were happy to swap horses for cars.
They seem to swap partners as often as they swap horses. If they were built like Daniel Craig then you could understand it, but these men have the physical presence of garden gnomes.
Haverfordwest-based trainer Peter Bowen said: 'It took us five-and-a-half hours to get up here last night and now we will go on to Folkestone - we will swap horses, picking up our runner there, Cresswell Quay and dropping off Battle Warning at the Severn Bridge so to speak.'