PRIOR TO World War II my dad had a country grocery store in the community of Bokhoma (a combination of two Choctaw words meaning: Red River) in the southeast corner of Oklahoma. Even though the effects of the Great Depression was not completely over my dad had a thriving business. He bought us kids a horse, which was supposed to be a good kid pony. Now an adult could pretty well retain control of that horse. Most every time one of us young people tried to ride Cricket she would act up by racing back to the barn. It was all we could do to hold on for dear life. Evidently Cricket wanted only to roam freely in the pasture. That ornery critter knew she could take control of the situation and soon be back in the pasture.
Some think the expression: “Good old common horse sense” originated by someone placing emphasis upon horses being smart animals. One illustration in this respect is that a horse knows his way back home when its rider doesn’t. Supposedly a drunk could get on his horse and end up safely home. Indeed some horses are pretty intelligent animals.
THERE SEEMS to be more evidence that the phrase, “horse sense” is not referring to the intelligence of horses, but rather unto horse traders and those who trained those beautiful animals. The saying, “Good old common horse sense” has become a figure of speech meaning good judgments and common sense.
We need more people in all areas of our society who have “good old common hoss sense.”
Dub Mowery is a Gospel preacher in the Church of Christ. Presently he serves as full time evangelist for the Pittsburg Church of Christ. A native of Southeast Oklahoma, he is the author of Colloquial Sayings & Expressions (Morris Publishing, 2008)