Butter-Stealing Witches and 9 Other Bizarre Superstitions about Horses

People have been interacting with and caring for horses for thousands of years — and over the millennia, some pretty odd beliefs came into being! Horse-keeping practices have evolved over time, but these superstitions and myths continue to be passed down from one generation of horse lovers to the next. If you choose to adopt a horse, keep these 10 silly myths in mind for a laugh when you go to throw out your horse’s old shoes or braid his or her mane.

  1. It’s well known that horseshoes are a symbol of good fortune, but did you know that the way a shoe points supposedly has a lot to do with how lucky they are? Old superstitions say that if you have a horseshoe in your home, make sure the open end is pointing upward to avoid having your luck fall out of the bottom of the shoe.
  2. Speaking of horseshoes, if your adopted #RightHorse is getting a new pair — don’t throw out the old ones! People used to believe that putting one of a horse’s old shoes in a butter churn would keep butter-thieving witches away.
  3. There are a lot of superstitions around horses and colors. In many countries it’s considered bad luck to wear or have anything green around horses.
  4. Among cowboys and the Western disciplines, green isn’t an issue — but keep your horses far away from yellow, which is believed to be unlucky and indicate cowardice!
  5. If you’ve got a cowboy hat on your head, make sure it tips upward for luck. And no matter what you do, don’t ever set your cowboy hat on a bed! It’s a commonly held superstition that a hat set on the bed invites bad luck to enter your home.
  6. If you choose to compete with your adopted horse, avoid wearing new clothes and using new gear — some believe it’s unlucky. Following that wisdom, make sure to bring your new boots to the barn several times before the big show day.
  7. If you find yourself dreaming of horses, there may be something to it. There’s a belief among horse people that a gray horse appearing three nights in a row is an omen of death. Alternatively, a black horse popping into your dreamscape signifies that a wedding might be in your future.
  8. If you’re braiding your horse’s mane, make sure you make an even number — an older superstition, that you’ll still see observed today, dictates that an odd number of braids invites bad luck.
  9. It’s considered bad luck to change a horse’s name, and even though it’s clearly just a superstition, many people to this day refuse to do it.
  10. If during morning feeding or a barn visit, you happen to find your adopted equine with knots and twists in his mane or tail, an old superstition says pixies may have visited and ridden him during the night!

Of course, the best way to bring good luck into your home is to adopt a horse of your own! Visit our horse-listing platform, myrighthorse.org, to browse hundreds of adoptable horses nationwide.

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