Q&A Questions and Answers:
Why is a horse called a plug?
The official answer is, "Origin unknown."
Having said that, I personally believe the term is simply American slang related to the word "plug" - an object used to fill a gap or space. Rather than the common definition of an old, worthless, or over-worked horse, I'd say a "plug" horse is simply an undistinguished utility, or multi-purpose, horse. It is a horse that is "plugged in" to any job where it's needed. In a way, it is the equine equivalent of a human "waddie."
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