Year of the Horse: Chinese Zodiac Meaning and Years

Written by Kristin Hitchcock
Updated: May 24, 2023
© Alice-astro | CC BY-SA – License / Original
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Year of the Horse: Chinese Zodiac Meaning infographic
Year of the Horse: Chinese Zodiac Meaning Infographic

Out of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs, the Horse is the seventh. In mythology, the order of the zodiac signs was determined by the order the animals arrived at the Jade Emperor. The Horse had to go through a graveyard but was fearful of the dead inside. Therefore, the Horse hesitated for a long time, eventually leading it to arrive seventh at the party, despite being a relatively fast animal.

The Horse is part of the Earthly Branch, along with the rabbit. Each Horse year is also modulated by an element, which affects precisely how the zodiac sign is expressed.

The Chinese zodiac goes through all 12 signs before starting back over at the beginning. However, the Chinese year doesn’t align with the gregorian calendar, which most western countries use. Therefore, you have to be cautious with years and dates.

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Dates for the Year of the Horse

1906January 25, 1906 – February 12, 1907
1918February 11, 1918 – January 31, 1919
1930January 30, 1930 – February 16, 1931
1942February 15, 1942 – February 4, 1943
1954February 3, 1954 – January 23, 1955
1966January 21, 1966 – February 8, 1967
1978February 7, 1978 – January 27, 1979
1990January 27, 1990 – February 14, 1991
2002February 12, 2002 – January 31, 2003
2014January 31, 2014 – February 18, 2015
2026February 17, 2026 – February 5, 2027

Horse Characteristics and Personality

Horses are very energetic with a lot of energy. They tend to be very athletic, though they can also be studious. They believe in going after what they want and have the energy to see their goals through. However, they tend to go after whatever they think will send them happiness — not fame or wealth.

Often, Horses expect everyone else to move at the same speed they do. When others don’t, they can become irritated. They don’t usually understand that their energy levels are much higher than average.

Horses tend to jump quickly from one thing to the next, which can include their emotions. They may be happy one minute and angry the next. Often, they are described as having short tempers, but they also forgive and forget quickly.

Horses aren’t known for their ability to slow down. Therefore, they can be blind to their faults due to a lack of introspection. This lack of introspection may also lead to them not knowing what would make them happy, causing them to jump quickly from one thing to the next.

This zodiac sign values freedom and can become highly agitated if they feel someone is getting in the way of their freedom. They tend to be independent, as well. Often, they mature a bit slower than others, making them challenging to parent.

Elements of the Horse

Horse signs are fantastic workers but can become bored with simple, routine jobs.

©Annabell Gsoedl/

On top of zodiac signs, Chinese astrology also assigns an element each year. These elements change how the astrology sign is expressed. In some cases, the element has a huge impact.

Wood Horses tend to be extra sentimental, which can lead to irritability. However, they may also have plenty of insightfulness and imagination, which can lead to many exciting projects.

Earth Horses are kind-hearted and optimistic. They have a strong sense of duty and try to help everyone. Their endless giving can get them in trouble, though. It may also give them a sense of superiority, leading to righteous behaviors.

Fire Horses are lively and overflowing with energy. They’re even more energetic than other Horses, making it impossible to slow down. They are often intelligent and quite good with people, too. However, they usually have difficulty changing direction, leading to stubbornness.

Gold Horses are more rational than others, which helps temper their energetic nature slightly. They’re calm and kind, allowing them to help others readily. Often, they’re popular with their peers for this reason.

Water Horses tend to be extremely reliable and people-oriented. They’re very charming and tend to have many friends. They also make excellent friends; they’re reliable and easy to get along with. They tend to be more flexible than others of their zodiac signs.

Horse Relationship Compatibility

The Horse and Goat signs get along best. The Goat remains highly reliable, which can help counteract the Horse’s craziness. The goat is also tender enough to understand the Horse’s needs, even if it can’t express them easily.

The Tiger also gets along with the Horse well, as they are willing to put in the extra effort the Horse calls for. The Dog and Horse also make great partners — romantically and at work.

However, the Horse and Rat don’t get along. Their personalities clash too much. The Oxen doesn’t communicate well enough to get along with the Horse, which requires plenty of communication. Horses also don’t get along with themselves. While they may start well initially, they eventually tend to run off in different directions.

Horse Careers

The Horse is a fantastic worker but can become bored with simple, routine jobs. Therefore, they do best with work that requires them to keep moving quickly. Anything that needs quick action allows them to succeed. Journalism and sales are great examples of these jobs. Horses can put in the work necessary, and their fellow employees may wonder when they sleep.

Horses are great at adapting to new environments and people. They work well as politicians and executives for this reason. The Horse can quickly change direction as needed and then run at full speed in the new direction.

With that said, their constantly changing attitudes can make them jump jobs too often. They may find it hard to pick one job and stick with it. They require freedom, as well. Therefore, they tend to dislike jobs that make them feel trapped.

Horse Health

Horses don’t know how to slow down. This strategy can be complex on their body. Without rest, they may develop a range of health issues. They may also turn towards unhealthy habits to keep going even when tired. Furthermore, Horses often don’t want to stop to go to the doctor, either. Therefore, they may allow health problems to pile up on each other.

To solve these problems, Horses need to learn how to rest. While it may feel unproductive, it can help the Horse be more productive in the long run. Ignoring minor symptoms should be avoided, even if it means not going to work.

Often, Horses are naturally healthy. However, they can make themselves ill by pilling too many all-nighters. Sticking to a routine can be helpful, they may have difficulty sticking to one.

Lucky Things for Horse

Some things are lucky for the Horse, while others are not. If you were born during the year of the Horse, it can be helpful to learn what things you should avoid and which may be lucky.

The numbers two, three, and seven are lucky for the Horse. The colors green and yellow are also fortunate, as are the flowers calla lily and jasmine. East, west, and Southwest are also lucky.

Unlucky things should be avoided. These unlucky items include the numbers one, five, and six. Blue and white are also unlucky. North and northwest are also unlucky.

Having a Relationship with Horse Signs

If someone in your life is a Horse, then getting along with them may be easy. Often, these individuals are easygoing and pleasant. Their clever attitude also makes them a hit at parties, where they can get along with everyone. Their philosophy also allows them to put practically anyone at ease instantly. Trusting them is easy, as they put everything in the open.

With that said, their erratic behavior can get on many people’s nerves. They’re fun to have at parties, but living with them is challenging. They often aren’t good at “adulting.” Often, they will interpret any attempt at correction as you imposing on their freedoms, which is sure to end in a fight.

Therefore, the best way forward is to get used to their erratic nature and embrace it. They love adventures, so send them on errands that allow them to do something different.

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