Beating a Dead Horse?

Posted by Bruce Kahl on March 23, 2000

In Reply to: Flogging a Dead Horse posted by Barney on March 23, 2000

: Meaning and origin - I've had a suggestion that the origin is Naval. Does anybody know?

Could it be "beating a dead horse"??
If so, the phrase describes a futile situation.
For instance, I think I am beating a dead horse when I try to coax my teenage children to give up smoking.