Ruhaka was the chaplain of the Bodhisatta, born as king of Bārāṇasī. The king gave him a horse with rich trappings, and when he rode him everyone was lost in admiration. Ruhaka’s wife was a foolish old woman who, on hearing of the people’s praise, declared that their excitement was due, not to the qualities of the animal, but to its trappings, and that if Ruhaka would go out wearing the horse’s trapping, he would be similarly applauded. Ruhaka agreed to the suggestion, and suffered great humiliation; he went home in anger, determined to punish his wife, but she had escaped, and sought the king’s protection. The king persuaded Ruhaka to forgive her because “All womankind is full of faults.” (J.iii.113 f).
The occasion for the story is given in the Indriya Jātaka (No.423). (q.v).