abuse one`s horse


Senior Member
In this excerpt from D.H. Lawrence's sons and lovers the boys are brushing horses and singing while they burst into sneeze, Lawrence says they began to abuse their horse, what does it mean? do they have a bad behavior with the horse or what?

@At times they both broke off to sneeze, and first one, then the other, abused his horse.@
Thanks in advance for your help
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    In this book, "abuse" is used several times with this meaning (from the WRD at the top of the page):
    to speak insultingly or harshly to or about: to abuse someone over the telephone.
    I think they blame the sneezing on the horse so say something like "God damn horse!"
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