Back in the Saddle – Idiom, Origin & Meaning

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

What does “get back in the saddle” mean, and are you even using it correctly? The saying itself is self-explanatory, but let’s take a deeper look at its roots and proper usage so you can be sure to use it correctly in speech and writing.

The Meaning of Back in the Saddle Phrase

Back in the Saddle Idiom Origin Meaning

“Back in the saddle” is something you’d say to describe someone who’s made some sort of return to a situation or activity they were previously involved in and probably gave up on.

A few years ago, I took a break from writing to focus on my mental health and a few other things. I wasn’t even sure I’d return to the publishing world, but I eventually did. I slipped back in with fresh new ideas and wrote a ton of books. That’s “back in the saddle” in a nutshell.

Is Back in the Saddle an Idiom?

Absolutely! It’s a common phrase used all over the world, and “back in the saddle” is also considered an idiom in the English language because it doesn’t have a literal meaning; you’re not actually hopping back in the saddle of a horse.

Origin of the Phrase Back in the Saddle

Even though it’s considered an idiomatic expression, “back in the saddle” is still related to the act of horseback riding. In the 1700s, if a cowboy or jockey fell off his horse, he would need to get “back in the saddle” to continue working or racing. Over time, the phrase became a simple metaphor to describe returning to a project or situation.

Back in the Saddle Synonyms

“Back in the saddle” might not always fit within the vibe or context you’re using, so having some quick synonyms on hand can be helpful! Try replacing the phrase with any of these.

  • Return to form
  • Resume normal activities
  • Get back on track
  • Riding again
  • Back on top
  • Back in the game
  • Return to the grind

Back in the Saddle Examples in a Sentence

Back in the Saddle Idiom Origin Meaning 1

As I always say around here, context is everything. So here are some full sentences using the phrase “back in the saddle” to give you a nice, clear idea.

  • I’m sad to say it, but after a long vacation, it’s time to get back in the saddle and return to work.
  • The soccer player recovered from his broken leg and is now back in the saddle, playing his first game since the incident.
  • After any setback, it’s always important to dust yourself off and get back in the saddle, or you’ll always regret it.
  • Yes, our business faced some challenges recently, but with a new plan in place, we’re excited to get back in the saddle and turn things around.
  • I took a break from the hectic publishing world to work on my mental health, but now I’m ready to get back in the saddle and write books!
  • My son was discouraged and gave up on his YouTube channel after bullies made fun of him, but now he’s ready to get back in the saddle and make more fun videos!

Always Get Back in the Saddle

And there you go! “Back in the saddle” is an idiomatic expression that can have both an informal and formal connotation. It just depends on how you choose to use it. When it comes down to it, you can use the phrase to express the idea of returning to something, whether it’s a TV show, project, or career.