The Chinese Years of the Horse are
1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954,
1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014 and 2026.


For most of mankind's history, the horse has provided transportation of people and commerce for thousands of years. Even today in various parts of the world, the horse remains a major mode of transportation. This was especially true of the horse in China. Some of the most famous sculptures and paintings of horses in the history of art in the world, are from China.

The Chinese people love the horse for its friendly nature, its strength, its beauty, and its ability to undergo hardship. In Chinese martial arts, one of the first types of training that the student undergoes, is maintaining the "ma bu" (ma is the Chinese word for horse, and bu means step or stance) or horse stance for long periods of time. This stance has the feet wide spread apart, as if riding a large, wide girthed horse. The reason for this is to strengthen the legs and to maintain a strongly balanced posture.


(Editor's Note: While this article was written for the Horse year 2002, the information pertains as well to any Horse Years.)

The Chinese Year of the Horse comes galloping into our lives. Our new steed last arrived on the 12th of February 2002 and in the Chinese year numbering system, this was the Year 4699. Specifically, the year of the Black Horse. The element associated with this year is water, so it is a Water Horse as well. But, the Horse is also associated with the element of Fire, so the combination of this being a water year and the Horse being associated with fire, may create a lot of steam or bring the year to a boiling state.

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The Horse itself is a very Yang creature. Yang gives a tendency toward action, toward the act of rising up, increasing, expansion, and brightness. But the element associated with this year (2002) is one of the most Yin elements, water, and is associated with inaction, sinking, decrease, contraction, and darkness.This Year of the Horse holds out promise to be very unpredictable.

The spirit of the Horse is such that at one moment, they can seem quite content and peaceful, and then in a split second, from the rustle of leaves or a sudden noise, they can be galloping full speed in a mad rush without any apparent plan. These conflicting tendencies will create an inherent, underlying tension and the climate for sudden change without any notice will be there for the whole year.

Another interesting thing is that the month usually associated with the Horse is the month of July. Our current president, George W. Bush, was born on July 6, 1946. He was born in the year of the Dog, and dogs, usually are very compatible (astrologically speaking) with the Horse. Thus, I interpret this as portending that the month of July, 2002, has a strong tendency to bring either something very good politically , or something very tragic for the presidency.

It is interesting that the Year of the Horse follows the Year of the Snake, two animals which, in the real world, do not get along too well. Horses are very easily frightened by snakes and the real world has many examples of riders being injured after being thrown by a horse spooked by a serpent. This juxtaposition of the two animals leaves an uneasy transition around February 11th, the last day of the Year of the Snake. Horses tend to be showy creatures and very much the exhibitionist, the extrovert.

The year following this, will be the Year of the Goat, a generally very introspective animal. Thus, we can expect 2002 to start out with some tension, some possibility of danger around mid February. We believe that in July, we can expect something to happen on one of the two extremes -- either something very good or very bad -- probably in the first half of the month. This will be almost at mid-year in the Chinese calendar. We can expect another event around the first two weeks of December in 2002. But, with the unpredictability of the equine nature, these dates could shift a week or so either way.


People born during the Year of the Horse are usually friendly, easy going, have a lot of friends, cheerful, likeable, and hard working. The Horse is about moving, and thus people born under this sign may tend toward the world of politics. With people's perception that the Horse individual is hardworking, affable, and self motivated, this linkage with politics is a natural one. Furthermore, Horse folks are good with money and can make quick, correct decisions often based on their intuition and the hunches they get. This sixth sense ability to think on their feet, serves them well if they do decide to get into politics at any level.

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Dr. John Raymond Baker, D.C. is a licensed Chiropractic doctor, author, and Chinese martial arts instructor in Austin, Texas. He is currently working on two books, one on alternative cancer treatment methods and an occult murder mystery. You may write to him at P.O. Box 16501, Austin, TX 78761. His primary web site is : and e-mail is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Another great ability of people born in the Year of the Horse is the ability to get in synch with the person they are with, to the point that they seem to be using ESP. This ability to seem to know where you are going before you get there helps them to avoid arguments and to get the person they are dealing with on their wavelength. Again, this is something that comes in great use in the subtle world of politics.

Something that does not come in handy is the fact that people born in the Year of the Horse can have rapid mood changes and can show a flaring temper, and when they do, can seem to be quite the "horse's rear". But, these events can sometimes be soothed over by their sense of levity. People born in the Year of the Horse have a good sense of humor, and rhyming with a horse's whinny, is their sense of whimsy.

Early in life, people born in the Year of the Horse, often feel the need to exert their independence and may leave home early, striking out on their own. Their first twenty to thirty years of life can be quite tumultuous, but things tend to settle down for them after that. Horse people love children, they are drawn to the Arts, both performing arts and graphic arts. Combined with their immense store of energy and vitality, the person born in the Horse year, is all in all, a very attractive person. But there is also the potential for much discord, especially in the younger Horse's life.

Although they have great passion, they also tend to get bored easily with people and situations. Another negative side to Horse natives is that they tend to lose the overall picture of situations and can be easily distracted or sidetracked by little, rather insignificant things. Although Horses are hard working animals, this tendency toward distraction and loss of concentration means that they need some sort of structure that will keep them on track if they are working on long term projects which may have implications or effects on a large scale. Pictures showing a horse rearing on a hill with their mane flowing in the wind and hooves raised defiantly, definitely capture the spirit of the Horse.


The Horse is most compatible with folks born in the Years of the Ram, the Tiger, or the Dog. The next most acceptable combination is with people who are Roosters, Monkeys, or Boars. The one combination to avoid for sure though is the Horse with the Rat. This is definitely a "no go". Birth years of the Rat include 1900, 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, and 1996, 2008. Birth years for those born under the Year of the Horse include 1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014.


The Direction of the Horse is South. The color is orange.

The time of the Horse is from 11 am to 12:59 pm.


The year of the Horse promises to be a year of ups and downs, as we ride the back of the galloping horse. There will be an effort to rebuild the economy and restore a sense of hope and optimism in the people, but unexpected events, combined with developing stories that had their roots in the Year of the Snake, will serve to prevent much progress in these directions.

It is hoped that the vitality, the charm, and humor of the horse, along with its spirit of hard work, will help us to stay the course and ride into the Year of the Goat, triumphant over the adversities and challenges of this coming year. One thing we know, horses have good stamina and are great at jumping the hurdles which are placed in their path.

Gong Hay Fot Choy (greetings of riches) for the Nian Ma (Horse Year).

Read about the year:
Year of the Dragon (2000, 2012)
Year of the Snake (2001, 2013)