According to Chinese Astrology, the Year of the Horse (one of 12 signs of the Zodiac) begins today and will end on 18th February 2015. I have to say I’m rather excited about this for a number of reasons:
a) born in 1954 my birthday falls under the sign of the horse;
b) one of the occupations in my portfolio working life is as a ‘horse whisperer’ – working with people and their horses to improve communication and performance (seewww.clocktowerstud.co.uk for more details);
c) I spend a lot of my life with my own horses and ponies; riding, training, and generally ‘hanging out’. Horses have been a passion since I could first walk and talk;
d) hopefully we will see plenty of references in the media to the horse this year;
e) Chinese astrologers are recommending that people born under the sign of the horse who will be 60 during the year should have a big party ‘to balance the luck’. Well, I’m all for that, given that I was too ill on my 50th to get out of bed, let alone go party!
What characteristics are people born in The Year of the Horse supposed to possess? Let’s consider the positive ones first: they will be ‘sanguine, sharp-minded, dress fashionably, gifted with a silver tongue and have acute insight . . .engaged in intellectual activities and sports’ (1). In my case these are all true of course! And the negative ones? Well, never mind about those . . .
I hope that The Year of the Horse will see lots of focus on horses and how they have inspired authors throughout history. ‘Black Beauty’, ‘War Horse’, ‘The Horse Whisperer’, ‘Don Quixote’ and ‘The Black Stallion’ are a few of the much read and loved books that come to mind. Let’s hope there will be more this year.
And very importantly, more attention given to the plight of the horse in modern society. There is still far too much cruelty – too many people lack true understanding of the horse’s needs and wants. Let us never forget that the essential nature of the horse is as a herd animal, running free. That he can be our loyal companion is our privilege, not our right.
Meanwhile, I’d better start thinking about that 60th Birthday Party of mine – November 22nd is not that far away!
(1) Lau, T and Lau,L. (2011) The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes. London:Souvenir Press