You have probably heard that horseshoes are lucky, but how much do you really know about the legend and its history? Whether you have a horse of your own or just like to throw some horseshoes around the backyard, learning about the history of the lucky horseshoe can make things more fun.
The Origins of the Legend
The exact origins of the lucky horseshoe legend are shrouded in mystery, but it probably dates back quite some time. Many years ago, iron was thought to have almost mystical properties. You probably remember the alchemists and their attempts to turn iron and other base metals into gold.
The fact that the creation of iron horseshoes combined two sacred elements also played a role in the belief that these objects help fortuitous powers. Creating a horseshoe combined the element of earth, namely iron in its raw form, and fire, in the form of the forge. That combination was thought to have magical powers, and the legend of the lucky horseshoe was born.
Why Are Horseshoes Lucky?
The growing importance of the horse in transportation, combat and everyday life helped make the horseshoe an even bigger symbol of luck. The blacksmith was a trusted member of society, and everyone from farmers and laborers to kings and queens relied on their skills.
It was only fitting that the objects that protected these valuable horses would take on an air of luck and good fortune. Knights could not ride into battle without properly shod horses, and that made the horseshoe a lucky object indeed.
The Proper Way to Use Horseshoes for Luck
The horseshoe may be a lucky object, but there are clear rules about its use. You have probably heard the one about displaying horseshoes with the ends pointing up. If you are getting ready to create a horseshoe display, you will want to make sure the horseshoes are facing up.
Legend has it that hanging or otherwise displaying a horseshoe upside down will allow the luck to run out. There is no hard and fast evidence that this is true, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
If you own your own horse, you will probably go through lots of horseshoes over the course of a year. That gives you plenty of opportunities to test out the lucky horseshoe legend and display these powerful objects. You can use horseshoes as bookends, keeping your favorite books safe and secure. Just be sure the ends are pointing up so your reading will be both lucky and enjoyable.
You can also use your old horseshoes to make key racks or coat racks. If you are the crafty type, you can make these lucky objects yourself. If not, there are plenty of crafters who would be happy to take on the task. If you prefer, you can simply hang a few painted horseshoes on the wall and enjoy good luck all year long.
The legend of the lucky horseshoe dates back thousands of years, but it is still going strong today. Whether you are a happy horse owner or just a lover of legend, hanging a few lucky horseshoes around your house couldn't hurt.