Good Luck Horseshoe

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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 Horseshoeing.


Geronimo Bayard
The Village Blacksmith
Oakland, Oregon

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This entire web site is copyright protected.  1996-2001 Geronimo & Mary Bayard,  2001-2008 Mary Fitzpatrick
All rights reserved. Contact Mary for reproduction information & permission.