Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By The Epoch Times - China
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

Searching for an Excellent Horse According to Drawings

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

A traditional Chinese painting of a running horse by painter Xu Beihong (1895-1953).

“Seeking an excellent horse according to drawings” is a Chinese idiom that means “using a hackneyed method” or “lacking originality, initiative, or imagination in handling affairs.”

The idiom comes from a story about a man named Sun Yang who lived in China during the Spring and Autumn Period (770–476 B.C.) and who was said to have an outstanding ability to appraise and understand horses.

Almost at a glance, Sun Yang could recognize the type of horse, its strengths and weaknesses, and any special characteristics. He was known to be able to select horses of extraordinary stamina—ones that could run a thousand miles a day.

People referred to Sun Yang as Bo Le, the deity in charge of heavenly steeds.

Based on his expert knowledge and experience of appraising horses, Sun Yang wrote a book called “The Art and Principles of Appraising Horses.” He included drawings of horses and explained the characteristics of the “thousand-mile horse” in his book.

Sun Yang looked at the toad and did not know whether to laugh or cry.

Sun Yang had a son who was much better at reading books than applying knowledge in practical matters. His son read the book and thought it was very easy to identify excellent horses.

Sun Yang’s son took the book and tried to look for a fine horse. However, he could not find any based on the pictures, so he tried to look based on the characteristics of fine horses described in the book.

In the end, he found a toad that had some of the characteristics associated with the “thousand-mile horse” written in his father’s book.

He happily brought the toad home and said to his father, “Father, I found a thousand-mile horse, only its hoofs are a bit poor.”

Sun Yang looked at the toad and did not know whether to laugh or cry. With a sense of humour, he said, “It is too bad that this horse likes to jump too much and cannot be used to pull a cart.”

He then said with a sigh, “This is truly what one would call ‘searching for an excellent horse according to drawings.’”

Through this story, the saying “searching for excellent horse according to drawings” came to mean doing things in a worn-out, old way rather than being flexible and adaptable.

The saying is also used to refer to using existing information as clues to find something or to dig more deeply into a matter.

The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 19 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation.

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)

Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen!

Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.

Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%! (See Video).

Report abuse


    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Load more ...




    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.