We have an entire series of blog posts in which we recommend using idioms to enliven presentations. This time we explore a particularly intriguing idiom: dark horse. A dark horse describes a person whose experience and abilities are unknown, but who could unexpectedly succeed. The horse, of course, connects this idiom most often to races.
But, why is the horse dark? Perhaps in recognition of the old trick used by dishonest horse trainers to disguise a winning horse by dying it an unrecognizable dark color to improve its betting odds. Or perhaps, again referring to horse racing, because a dark horse it harder to see and thus it is more difficult to predict its possibilities for success.
How would you use the dark horse idiom in a presentation? Certainly it would have to be to celebrate an unforeseen achievement, a crowd pleasing win from the back of the pack, a startling triumph for any company, product or idea. Use the dark horse idiom for a new and unusual way to give yourself a pat on the back for pulling off an upset or suddenly appearing among a group of well-known and more predictable winners.
I love Lucia’s dark horse with its sharply erect ears and sly, sidelong look. He knows something that we don’t, doesn’t he? Perhaps that he is a winner!
I was out at a beautiful garden with one of my photography groups. As I was leaving, after a very satisfying photo shoot, I noticed a horse show jumping event near by. Of course, I had to check it out and I was pleasantly rewarded for my curiosity. I experienced another satisfying photo shoot. Horses are magnificent subjects. They are beautiful, majestic, soulful-looking creatures. Just being around them was a delight. In an attempt to capture this, I was compelled to make a close-up of this horse. Yes, a stunning guy.
Meanwhile back to the idiom
I didn’t have a photo of a black horse for our post, but I thought this dark brown horse with a black mane was close enough to make our point.
By the way
You may be wondering, ‘what’s with the knitted cap covering his ears and forehead’. I asked my friend, Amy Gredler, my go-to person for all things horsey. She thought it was to keep flies off of his ears. Flies can make a horse nutty. Well, I’m with him. Flies can make me nutty, too.
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