Q. This is the Year of the Horse! What does that mean?
In my book, THE YEAR OF THE RAT, there is the story of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac, which tells of the great race of the animals to win the the honor of a year named after them. The winning animals had their own characteristics as you can tell by how they they competed.
The Snake is 6th animal on the Chinese Zodiac and the Horse is the 7th. The Snake was a fairly good swimmer and was not worried about crossing the river on the day of the great race. However, after swimming about half way, the Snake became very tired and worried that he might not make it. Instead of panicking, however, he looked up and saw the Horse's legs swimming above him. With a sudden insight, the snake wrapped himself around the Horse's ankle and hitched a ride the rest of the way.
Now, the Horse did not know the Snake had done this. So when the Horse reached the shore, the Snake slithered off--startling the Horse, causing the Horse to jump back. That is why the Snake is before the Horse.
So what does that tell us about the Year of the Horse? The Horse is friendly, helpful and kind to others ( as he helped the Snake out of a bad situation). However, the Horse can be easily excitable and upset--sometimes to his own disadvantage. So, the Year of the Horse is when we must try to be kind and helpful to others and to try not to get let things upset us (especially small things) as our emotions may lead us to unfortunate decisions!
Here's wishing all of us a fortunate and prosperous Year of the Horse!