All the pretty horses

All the pretty horses

a With the Year of the Horse just days away, Mabel Sieh shares her top picks of all things equine

The Year of the Horse

So this year we say goodbye to the "Snake" as we welcome the "Horse", the seventh sign of the Chinese Zodiac. The horse is described as enthusiastic, independent and impulsive.

People born under this sign are known to be adventurous extroverts. They are natural performers who look to gain attention and admirers. They can be loyal friends and potential lifelong companions, though they are slow to commit. With trust and freedom, they always return to their "stable".

The best celebrity born in the Year of the Horse

I vote for John Travolta. Born in 1954, the American actor has been Hollywood staple since his box office successes with Saturday Night Fever and Grease.

He is an all-round talent who can act, dance and sing. He was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar for Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction. He's also won a Golden Globe award for his performance in Get Shorty.

The best horsemeat dishes

Horsemeat is making a comeback in French cuisine. Parisian chefs have been offering it as a trendy and healthy alternative to beef, pork and lamb - the meat is relatively low in fat and high in iron. Also, horses eat a very healthy, natural diet, so their meat is supposed to be easier for our digestive system to process.

In France, horse meat is often served as a classic entrecôte steak with fried potatoes.

The best horses for selfies

The horse statues at Elements mall at Kowloon Station make amazing additions to any selfie. Some are blinged up, others feature floral patterns, and there's a 7-metre high horse's head made up of 18,888 miniature horse sculptures.

The best movie with horses

There are many movies about horses, but I love The Horse Whisperer best. It focuses on the recovery of a teenager named Grace (Scarlett Johansson) and her horse Pilgrim after a major accident.

The film starts with Grace and her friend, Judith, riding their horses Pilgrim and Gulliver on an icy slope one morning. Both horses fall, dragging the girls onto a road, where they are hit by a truck. Judith and her horse are killed while Grace is left with a partially amputated leg.

The tragedy leaves Grace withdrawn and bitter while Pilgrim becomes an uncontrollable beast. That's when the horse whisperer Tom Booker (Robert Redford) comes in. Gradually, Tom helps both the girl and the horse recover from their trauma. The story is uplifting, celebrating the connection between man and animal.

The best horse-related Chinese saying

In Chinese, there is a saying: , or, "when a man loses his horse, it may not be a bad thing". It means that when something bad happens, it may not actually be that bad, and some good may come of it.

The saying comes from the book Huainanzi - Lessons of the Human World, which tells the story of an old man who had lost his horse. People tried to comfort him, but he said: "This may be a blessing in disguise, who knows?" Some time later, the horse came back to him and brought along another, better horse. What he said had become true.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
All the pretty horses

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