Friday, May 25, 2012


Here is a saying that was once very common on Ocracoke. I still hear it now and then, but not very often.

"They don't set horses."

I wonder if any of our readers know what it means. Leave a comment if you do.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a list of a few traditional Ocracoke Island recipes. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous9:59 AM

    That the horses are not tied or fenced in.

  2. They don't RIDE horses?

  3. Anonymous1:09 PM

    It means they don't get along. This phrase is in common use in my family from eastern NC!-- Susan

  4. Anonymous8:18 AM

    Susan is right. that's exactly what it means. but then again any group of people or region can change the meaning of whatever they want.

    I know some people that call alzheimers desease 'OLD TIMERS DESEASE'.

    To that group of people and region it makes perfect sense.

    Anyway, your right Susan I've heard that phrase all over the country.

  5. Yes, Susan is correct. I don't know the origin of the expression. Maybe some of our readers do.

  6. Anonymous12:06 PM

    My thought is that when horses are (were) drawing a carriage together, they had to be matched, or "set". If they are not able to move together in rhythm, then the ride would be uncomfortable for everybody, if possible at all. So people who "set horses" are unable to pull together. If I ever find out for sure, will let you know (reference librarian disease :-).--

  7. Anonymous2:32 PM

    Guess I was wrong ... I was going to guess it meant finding something in an unlikely spot!


  8. Anonymous1:07 AM

    Susan got it right.

  9. Anonymous2:28 PM

    We use it all the time but don't know the orgin. Makes sense what someone replied about setting horses for an easy ride. I'm going with that. LOL

  10. Anonymous10:47 PM

    in horse racing whilest training if the horse doesn't listen to the riders commands you send it with another horse and rider it takes the edge off/learns how/what is asked ..together their called a "set"

  11. Yes, Susan gave the best meaning. I still use the phrase but I'm afraid my family is not very familiar with it and may think I don't know how to reference things properly. But I KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!


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