In 1983, the Lucky Charms cereal brand added its first new lucky shape since it was released in 1964. Now, along with green clovers, pink hearts, orange stars, and yellow moons, the world included the luckiest charm next to the clovers themselves: a purple horseshoe. Here at horseOlogy, we know horseshoes are lucky, but how did they get that way? In the spirit of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and a little Irish luck, let’s look at the lore of the lucky horseshoe.
A Brief History of St. Patrick
The celebration of St. Patrick in the U.S. has come a long way from its Irish roots. Starting as the feast day of the patron saint of Ireland, it was initially a Catholic observance that was transported with Irish immigrants. St. Patrick was believed to be born in Britain and kidnapped and enslaved in Ireland. He escaped but returned and is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. Today, we celebrate with a pint of Guinness, corned beef dinners, and wearing green.
How Did Horseshoes Get Lucky?
So, what does any of this have to do with horses? As horseOlogy is the study of all things horses, that also means some of the lore around our symbols. Let’s take a look at where this one came from!
There are many tales of where the luck of the horseshoe comes from. It has been tied to Chaldean legends of the crescent moon symbol of their goddess as a way to ward off the evil eye. Another story connects it to St. Dunstan, the patron saint of Blacksmiths. The legend goes that the blacksmith nailed a shoe to the devil’s cloven hoof, and when the devil experienced great pain, he agreed never to cross a threshold with a horseshoe over the entrance.
How to Keep a Lucky Horseshoe
The first rule of keeping a lucky horseshoe is always hanging it with the ends pointing upward. The reason is that the horseshoe will collect luck above the door for the household. If you turn the horseshoe upside down, the good luck will fall out, and the house will have bad luck. Horseshoes can be used or new or even decorated in colors you love.
Celebrating the Luck of the Irish in Ocala
How can you celebrate the Luck of the Irish and all the lucky horseshoes in Ocala? This Friday, March 17th, the World Equestrian Center is hosting the St. Patrick’s Day Block Party. Show up between 5 to 10 pm wearing a bit o’ green and enjoy a pint of Guinness and a full menu of Irish favorites. Tickets and IDs are required. Learn more here.
Do you need a little luck in your life?