Horses have always had a close relationship with man.
They used to be the main vehicle of transport, help to pull and drag carriages along no matter how overweight the passengers were, provide critical logistics support in war, and even have their own races!
It’s no coincidence that an important specification of cars these days is horsepower. Heck, the power of engines are measured in horsepower.
It is no wonder that the horse is held in high regards in various countries across various cultures.
After all it’s the seventh zodiac sign in Chinese metaphysics.
In ancient China, fine horses were championed for their energetic muscular raw power. As the idiom goes, 龙马精神 (long ma jing shen) which means vigor and energy of a dragon and horse.
In the old days when war was a commonplace, only the best warriors ride on horses so that their talents on the battlefield can be enhanced with the power and speed of horses.
And only the best among the best were bestowed the finest of horse breeds as a mark of greatness.
Classic writings suggest that during the Tang dynasty, Emperor TaiZong kept 6 super horses in his personal collection. They were so revered for the roles they played in assisting the emperor in battlefields that statues of the 6 steeds were carved out of stone to accompany his tomb.
During the Song dynasty the practice of sending a tribute horse as gifts from the vanquished to the conquerors bares strong symbolism. It was a mark of respect and compliance to the victors of war.
The Greek legend of the trojan horse was also based on such tribute horses.
In early studies of the I-Ching, the dragon is represented male while the horse represented female. Later, the horse represented male while the cow represented female.
Legend of the horse
Horses with amazing stamina are commonly portrayed in Chinese movies and TV shows. And once in a while the 千里馬 (qian li ma) referring to a horse capable of galloping a thousand li (1 li is about one-third of a mile in those days), makes an appearance.
This legendary horse came about in the story of a common man named Bo Le (伯樂) who had the gift of selecting fine horses. One a leisure walk in the meadows, he came across a horse that’s dragging a cart filled with bags of salt, presumably belonging to a merchant. He immediately recognized that this was a special horse and felt sorrow at witnessing such a fine horse being used this way. He took over the horse and it become the horse that could run a thousand li. The term bo le xiang ma (伯樂相馬) was also coined to refer to evaluating horses.
A famous painting of the portrait of 8 steeds is said to be a representation of hardworking people. And it’s thought to be inspired by King Mu of the Zhou dynasty (周穆王) who was supposed to have lived in 10th century BC. This painting which is called ba jun tu (八骏图) is so famous that various artists have created their own versions of the 8 horses in art.
Even today, people still go out to specifically purchase this painting of the 8 horses for feng shui. Business people especially, love to hang them as decorative items in their offices and meeting rooms.
When a monkey is depicted sitting on the back of a stallion, it symbolizes the good wishes for one to attain success as a government official.
When depicted together with the swallow, it represents a quick rise in status and achievement.
When a messenger is riding a horse, it signifies the important role of horses in the delivery of good news.
It’s also associated with the chi lin which represents the Chinese unicorn.
In Buddhism, a white horse symbolizes loyalty and purity.
In Tibetan culture, the windhorse is a powerful symbol of success. It is a reference to the steed that King Gesar rode. The color of the wind horse is said to be red. But can sometimes also be depicted in white or gold.
As the tribute horse is a sign of victory over others, it is commonly used as a display artifact in the office when one is facing stiff competition in his line of work both internally and externally.
In this way, it sort of works like the victory banner.
Horse placement in feng shui can also sometimes be based on the relationship between the zodiacs.
For example, the zodiacs of horse, snake and goat are seen as allies due to their seasonal combination when put together. So the horse can be place in any of the directions of south, southeast or southwest respectively. While this can seem like an over-generalization, this is a placement practice that has basis and is often suggested by some very high profile feng shui masters.
But there is really only one area of the horse that is ideal for the display and placement of horse paintings and figurines.
This is because we are calling for recognition luck and the horse zodiac stands at direct south according to the 24 mountains.
While it can also be placed in other spaces of a home, the feng shui impact is peanuts compared to being located at the south.
Ideally, the south would house the living room or any common areas as horses are never good for bedrooms.
Many people like to display horse sculptures in a rearing position as it can look majestic and fierce. This is not a good posture of the horse to have at home as it represents aggression. Residents harmed by it can suffer accidents and bad health.
The same can be said of horses depicted to be running in full flow.
Take note that when they are not depicted with wealth items like gold coins, they can be orientated to face outside the house. But with wealth items, they should be positioned to “enter” into the house.
The best posture of horses is to have them standing relaxed.
For artwork, a feng shui horse painting direction can be one that depicts it in a directions into the house. Not out of the house.
A variation of the tribute horse is the precious horse.
This is a horse that is laden with precious objects all over it’s saddle and body. They both play the same role in feng shui.