high horse (n.)

originally (late 14c.) "fine, tall horse; war horse, charger" (high steed is from c. 1300), also, like high hall, used in the sense "status symbol;" figurative sense of "airs, easily wounded dignity" in mount (one's) high horse "affect airs of superiority" is from 1782 (Addison has to ride the great horse in the same sense, 1716). Compare French monter sur ses grands chevaux. "The simile is common to most languages" [Farmer].