‘Hold your horses’ is a popular idiom. It means wait and think before you go ahead and do something.
We say 'Hold your horses' when someone is rushing into something. We want them to wait a moment, to be careful and patient before acting.
These two conversations in which someone is told to hold their horses. What's going on? In the first conversation, Candy and her brother Jake are in a phone shop. In the second Max is talking to his girlfriend Jane about something that happened at work today.
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Candy: It would be a waste of money to splash out on an all-singing, all-dancing smart phone, because Dad wouldn't use half the features. We need a good-quality, basic model.
Jake: Well, we've got plenty to choose from. I think we should get one with a big screen. Dad likes to read the news on his phone.
Candy: We don’t have to worry about the phone’s camera quality because he’s got that fancy professional one he always takes out.
Jake: But he does like to listen to the radio while he’s out and about. He never watches movies or videos or anything like that. Even at home, he prefers the radio!
Candy: True. Maybe we should get the ‘Star 66’. Frank has got one and thinks it’s great. He’s not into apps and complicated functions, and that’s why he got it. We should get this phone for Dad. We won’t find a better one.
Jake: Hold your horses! Kathy has this model as well, and she told me the other day that they’re about to bring out a new version at the end of the month. If you think this is the right phone for Dad, we should wait. We’ll get more for our money if we wait for the new model. We don’t have to buy the phone today.
Candy: And they might reduce the price of this model when the new one comes out. Right, I’ll go and check with the assistant if what you have heard is true. Wait here a minute.
Max: The boss is going to be shocked when I tell him. I can't wait to see the look on his face.
Jane: Doesn't he know you've been looking for a new job for quite some time?
Max: I did tell him we were getting married at the end of the year in the hope that he might raise my salary a bit.
Jane: No chance! No boss will give someone more money just because they're getting married.
Max: Well, the hint didn't work. So I knew I would have to move to get a better salary. So when Toby rang me the other night and offered me a job with his new company, I jumped at the chance. I said 'yes' immediately. He wants me to start next month.
Jane: Hold your horses! Who is this Toby? What details do you have about his company and what sort of job did he offer you?
Max: Toby used to work in our office. He left a year ago to set up his own company. Some sort of merchandising. I'm not sure what. He says he needs someone like me, but didn't give me any details of what the job would be. He just promised to make my salary ten per cent more than I'm getting now. I'm going to the boss tomorrow morning to hand in my notice.
Jane: Hold your horses! Just hold your horses! You are going to walk out of a good job to work for another company you know nothing about and don't even know what the job will be!
Max: Don't worry! Toby's a sound bloke. He wouldn't make an offer that wouldn’t be good for me. It will all turn out for the best, you'll see.