Get back in the saddle

Get back in the saddle is an idiom. An idiom is a commonly used word, group of words, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech like an often-used metaphor have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom, which may use slang words or other parts of speech, is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions and idiomatic language such as hit the sack, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, silver lining, back to the drawing board, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, face the music, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, because they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. English phrases that are idioms should not be taken literally. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker; it is helpful to maintain a list of phrases, common expressions, colloquial terms, and popular expressions to memorize that are used figuratively or idiomatically. We will examine the meaning of the idiom get back in the saddle, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

To get back in the saddle means to return to something after an absence; to make another attempt after suffering a failure; to return to something that is familiar. The expression get back in the saddle came into use in the 1800s. The image is of someone, such as a jockey or cowboy, who has fallen off a horse and must get back in the saddle to resume riding the horse. Common wisdom dictates that someone who falls off a horse must immediately return to the saddle in order to conquer the horse’s temperament and one’s fears. Related phrases are gets back on the horse, got back on the horse, getting back on the horse.


Armed with a rekindled desire to get back in the saddle and set forth on a new adventure, plans for a third instalment of the Long Way series quickly fell into place. (The Herald Scotland)

She said: “I think it was that sign that I was ready to get back in the saddle and it’s been such a good job to do. (The Glasgow Evening Times)

“We’re excited to get back in the saddle again,” said William “Biff” Genda, whose property has hosted nearly 500 weddings since he purchased Rosemont in 2009. (The Winchester Star)

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