Horses have played an important role throughout human history. Horses used in many fields such as war, transportation and agriculture also carried cultural and symbolic meanings. One of these symbolic meanings is the horseshoe. The belief that the horseshoe brings good luck originated from Central Asian Turkish culture and is still adopted by many people today. So where does the belief that the horseshoe brings good luck come from?
The origin and history of the horseshoe
A horseshoe is a piece of metal or plastic that attaches to horses’ feet and protects their feet. However, the horseshoe does not only have this function. The origin and history of the horseshoe is important not only as a protective element, but also as a symbol believed to bring good luck.
The origin of the horseshoe dates back to prehistoric times. With the domestication of horses and the development of equestrian culture, protective elements began to be worn on horses’ feet. It is not known exactly when the first horseshoe was invented, but evidence has been found of it being used in the Asian steppes around 4000 BC. It is believed that the first horseshoe was made of copper, and later, with the discovery of iron, iron began to be used as a material.
Horseshoes have been used for different purposes in different periods of history. In ancient Roman times horseshoes were fastened to the feet of the horses by the armies, which allowed them to move better in battles and to break the enemy’s armor. In the Middle Ages, the use of horseshoes became more widespread and was used not only in warfare, but also in everyday life. Horseshoes were attached to the feet of the horses to protect them against dangerous elements such as slipperiness and sharp stones on the ground.
Later on, the belief arose that horseshoes bring good luck. In many cultures, the symbolic meaning of the horseshoe is linked to survival, wealth and prosperity. For example, among the Central Asian Turks, placing the horseshoe on the horse’s feet was a ritual performed to win the war and to generally bring good luck. The symbolic meaning of the horseshoe remains popular even today and many people still believe that wearing a horseshoe will bring good luck.
Traditional Meanings and Beliefs of Nanal
A horseshoe is a tool that is attached to the feet of horses and has a protective function. However, in many cultures, the horseshoe not only has this function, but also a symbolic meaning that is believed to bring good luck. Although the traditional meanings and beliefs of the horseshoe differ in different cultures, it is generally associated with survival, wealth and prosperity.
Among the Central Asian Turks, the symbolic meaning of the horseshoe is quite strong. Fastening the horseshoe to the horse’s feet was a ritual to be victorious in battle and to bring good luck in general. The symbolic meaning of the horseshoe is a common belief in Central Asia and is still adopted by many people.
In Japanese culture, the symbolic meaning of the horseshoe is also very important. Here the horseshoe is used on small wooden tablets called “ema”, meaning “sacred horse”. These tablets are sold in temples and bought by people and hung in temples to make their wishes come true. Horseshoe is also associated with wealth and prosperity in Japanese culture.
However, in India, the symbolic meaning of the horseshoe is a universal good luck symbol. It is believed that hanging the horseshoe on the door or window of the house will bring abundance and wealth to the house. At the same time, the horseshoe is also used as a symbol of Ganesha, one of the Hindu gods.
In Western culture, the symbolic meaning of the horseshoe is different. Here, horseshoes are associated with horses and equestrian culture and are mostly used by people interested in sports or hobbies. However, there are some beliefs that the horseshoe brings good luck.
How did the belief come about that the horseshoe brings good luck?
When iron was discovered, people believed it was a force sent by God against the devil and wizards. In addition, the “U-shape” has a special meaning in ancient times, namely that it represents abundance, good luck and protective power due to the resemblance of the moon to the crescent moon.
Like the horseshoe, the belief that the number 7 is auspicious is common. Therefore, the horseshoe is powered by seven irons. In addition to all these, one thing should be mentioned, it was believed that witches used the broomstick to fly because they were afraid of horses. For this reason, the horseshoe was also used against mages in history, and when they died, it was nailed to the coffins of old women, who were believed to be wizards, so that they would not come back.
Together with Christianity, the Church has created its own story in the belief that the horseshoe brings good luck, as in many other beliefs. A story from the 10th century. Here’s that story.
Archbishop of the Church of Canterbury, St. Dunstan worked as a blacksmith before becoming a minister, and one day the devil comes to work in disguise. Recognizing the devil at once, who wanted him to wear horseshoes on his horse-shaped feet, St. Dunstan tells him to chain him to the wall so that he can put shoes on his feet, and ties him tightly to the wall. He painfully flashes the shoe and says that if he promises that no believer in God will ever enter his house again, he will set him free. The devil asks how to distinguish those people and shows the blacksmith’s shoe. He says you don’t enter a house with horseshoes on the door.
How to hang a horseshoe?
We can start by saying that the horseshoe is not hung haphazardly on the door. The horseshoe should be just above the door with the ends facing up. The reason for this is the belief that luck does not slip over the edge. At the same time, there are people who hang the horseshoe in their bedroom to prevent nightmares.
Today, the use of horseshoes is seen in every field and has become widespread, as has the evil eye bead. Horseshoes are no longer just hanging on doors and walls. Those who get the horseshoe tattooed on bracelets and necklaces are also in the majority.
Where does the belief that a horseshoe brings good luck come from?
The belief that the horseshoe brings good luck comes from Central Asian Turkish culture. Here, the horseshoe is a tool worn on horses’ feet and is a ritual for victory in battle.
Does it only bring happiness in Turkish culture?
No, the cultures believed to bring good luck are the Central Asian Turks, as well as the Japanese, Indian, and Western cultures.
Is the belief that the horseshoe brings good luck based on a scientific basis?
No, the belief that horseshoes bring good luck is not based on any scientific basis. However, it is a common belief across cultures and many people still believe that wearing horseshoes will bring good luck.
What can we use the shoe for?
The main purpose of the horseshoe is to protect the feet of the horses. However, the horseshoe also has a symbolic meaning and is used by many people in the belief that it brings good luck.
In which cultures is the use of horseshoes more common?
The use of horseshoes is most common in Central Asian Turkish culture. However, the horseshoe is also widely used in Japanese, Indian and Western cultures, where it is believed to bring good luck.