With January behind us, resolutions wobbly but still largely in place and that juicer we bought now out of warranty, today we welcome another fresh start. Today is both the Lunar New Year and Chinese New Year’s Day, marking the shift into the Year of the Horse. So to celebrate, we looked back over all our favourite equine loves, and voted (unanimously) for our favourite: the marvellously named maned Oregon Wonder Horse, Loved by Head of PR at A Number of Names* Annoushka Giltsoff.
"Today the wooden horse takes over from the water snake, representing a move from a more contemplative time into a mood of potential success and dynamism"
The Chinese calendar is made up of a 12-year-cycle of animals – including rats, pigs, monkeys and dragons – who interact with the five elements: wood, metal, fire, water and earth. Today the wooden horse takes over from the water snake, representing a move from a more contemplative time into a mood of potential success and dynamism, with the potential for both prosperity and conflict. However, those born in the year of the horse should beware, as Chinese superstition states that in your zodiac year you will offend Tai Sui, the god of age, and will experience bad luck for the whole year. To counter this, horses should wear something red that was given to them by another person, and compound this with sprigs of jasmine – their lucky flower – preferably in groups of three – their lucky number.
So, to usher a new equine era, we celebrate the 19ft mane of the Oregon Wonder Horse, and discover the pony-mad past of our Lover.
Why did you Love the Oregon Wonder Horse?
I have a real affinity with horses having grown up with them (often neglecting early friendships in favour of mucking out stables and fiddling with my tack box, not very sociable on reflection). The Oregon Wonder Horse reminded me so much for those Barbie ponies you get that have the extra long golden manes. I got one for Christmas once and spent forever fashioning it different hair styles.
Where would you keep him if you owned him?
I would build him a really lovely rainbow coloured wooden dasha with some donkeys for extra company. Donkeys are a firm favourite too.
What would you wear to ride him?
The plains of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. I would kit him out with one of these beautiful Mongolian saddles. No better place for such a wild looking horse.
What's your favourite memory of horses?
Riding the horses up to the fields at the end of the day without a saddle, quite an adrenalin rush for a pre-teen!
What's the most extreme hairstyle you've ever had?
Growing up close to Glastonbury meant there were so many alternative lifestyle shops selling cheap tubs of ineffective hair dye. I think the worst I ever managed was going pink or blue on occasion over the summer holidays.
What is your Chinese New Year animal and how do you think you differ/are similar to it?
Um, a rat? Not too sure, but according to Google, other rats include Alexander the Great, Notorious B.I.G and Prince Harry if that says anything?
What are you looking forward to about 2014?
Hopefully getting all those things done I promised I would do before turning 30!
What was the last thing you bought?
A fried breakfast at Bewley's in Dublin.