change horses in midstream, don't(redirected from swap horses)
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.