Q: What is the proper way
to hang a horse shoe ?
A: Yours is a fun question, one
that I think everyone will enjoy. History has shown horseshoes displayed with
the heels both up and down. They can be found on silver coins from 300 BC.,
displayed on banners, and most recently above the door of many homes. More often
than not, horseshoes placed above the door have the heels up and the ground
surface of the shoe facing out. It is said that a horseshoe placed in this
position over the door is good luck for all who are in this home. However, there
are also horseshoes displayed with the heels down. The reasoning here is that
from this shoe (with the heels down) good luck will flow down upon all who come
and go through this doorway.
The tradition of putting a horseshoe over the door to bring good luck and keep
the devil away has long been tradition. The story behind this tradition has many
variations. This is one of them:
Once upon a time, a wise old blacksmith was hard at work making horseshoes. The
sound of the anvil attracted the attention of the devil. He saw that the smith
was making horseshoes, and he thought it would be a good idea to get his own
hoofs shod. So the devil made a deal with the smith and stood to be shod.
The wise blacksmith saw with whom he was dealing, and so he nailed on a red-hot
shoe, driving the nails square into the center of the devil's hoof. The devil
then paid him and left; but the honest blacksmith threw the money into the forge
fire, knowing it would bring him bad luck.
Meanwhile, the devil walked some distance and began to suffer the greatest
torture from the new shoes. The more he danced and pranced and kicked and swore,
the more they hurt him. finally, after he had gone through the most fearful
agony, he tore them off and threw them away.
From that time to this, whenever the devil sees a horseshoe he turns and
runs--anxious to keep out of the way of those torturous devices.
The above story is quoted from Dr. Doug Butler's book, The Principles of
The Village Blacksmith