• Kathy Troxler

Luck and Horse Shoes!


I brought home two souveniers from Colorado. One is a darling cermaic horse that I snapped up when Sharon and I visited EquiLine in Falcon. The other, more exciting, was a gift from Gavin. I was glad that I had some extra room in my suitcase to bring both home.

Because we'd just met, there is no way Gavin could have known that I very much enjoy creating art from found objects. I have, in the past used horse shoes to do just that!

Thanks to G, I have this grouping of three to embellish. Of course, I first asked him if he minded if I used this for the basis of a new project, and he's fine with it!

I loved the way the three horse shoes flowed from one to the other! A visual aid that I'm definitely going to use when explaining serpentines...seriously!

First, I needed to decide which way would be "up". I've never actually hung or displayed a horse shoe, but I did seem to remember that there was some kind of significance as to whether the ends pointed up or down...that the horse shoes could bring you good luck, but only if you hang it properly!

To the internet!

Turns out that the idea of horse shoes being lucky is a very old concept, as my very short internet search provided me with all kinds of myths and history about the custom. As it turns out, different parts of the world think differently on the subject of the right way to hang them.

I am most familiar with the concept that the ends of the horse shoe should point upwards so that good luck can't run out. Turns out that's sort of an English/Irish thing. Other parts of the world take a different view. That in order to receive good luck from a horse shoe, the ends must point downwards so the good luck would rain down on you. I think I like the second version. It seems to say that there are endless blessings in life and we just have to be in the right place (or state of mind?) to receive them.

A couple of other tidbits, Italians don't hang the shoe above the door, but beside it so that anyone that goes through the door can touch it for good luck. I like that! Mine is definitely going beside the door! Also, it seems that for the shoe to be "lucky" it has to have been actually worn by a horse...can't just go and buy yourself some luck with a new horse shoe.

And my idea of embellishing horse shoes? Turns out that's not original at all, and that in Mexico there is an actual amulet called the VIRTUOSA HERRADURA, or "Virtuous Horsehoe". Once again, I've learned something new!

I've decided that Gavin's design has everything covered as far as luck! Multiple horse shoes, going both directions, and it was a gift of actual used horse shoes!

And as to my theory on why horse shoes would be considered lucky. Well, anyone that has a horse is luckier than someone that doesn't, right?