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Thousand-mile Horses

Han, Yu (768-824 CE)

   Only through a horse expert may we recognize which horses are thousand-mile horses. There are many thousand-mile horses, but there are very few horse experts. Therefore, although there are many great horses, most of them are left in the hands of slaves and uneducated people. Indeed, these great horses end up dying in stables with other common horses. They are never able to show their potential. A thousand-mile horse may eat a lot. A stable boy may not understand that a great horse needs considerable amount of feed to run a thousand miles. Even though these horses have great potential, when they are hungry, they do not have enough strength to show their real talent. That is, when these horses are hungry, they cannot compete with well-fed horses. Not to mention run a thousand miles. A stable boy fails to train them according to their nature or feed them according to their need. He does not understand their neighing either. When he faces a thousand-mile horse with a whip in hand, he would say, "There are no fine horses in this world." Are there truly no fine horses? No. It is the stable boy that cannot recognize great horses.