Today is Friday the 13th, which always seems even spookier during the month of October. That makes this the perfect time to talk about superstitions. In the past, there were plenty of things in the world that hadn’t been explained by science yet, so superstitions were a way for people to feel like they had some sort of control in a world they didn’t fully understand. In many instances, luck and magic were attributed to something random for many generations.
So in honor of Friday the 13th, here are 13 popular horse superstitions, some of which are still believed today.
#1 – Too many white feet or legs was considered bad.
White hooves were thought to be weaker than dark hooves, leading to many different rhymes discouraging people from keeping horse with too many white feet or legs:
If you have a horse with four white legs, Keep him not a day;
If you have a horse with three white legs, Send him far away;
If you have a horse with two white legs, Send him to a friend;
If you have a horse with one white leg, Keep him to his end.
One white foot, buy a horse;
Two white feet, try a horse;
Three white feet, look well about him;
Four white feet, do without him.
#2 – Renaming your horse is considered unlucky.
#3 – Black horses were considered lucky by the Spanish and the Hungarians and unlucky by Bedouins and the French.
#4 – The Bedouin and Romanians considered dun and buckskin horses to be bad luck.
#5 – White horses in dreams were meaningful.
If somebody dreamt about a white horse 3 nights in a row, that meant an elderly person was about to die. 3 white colts in a dream, on the other hand, meant a young person was about to die.
#6 – Placing a shoe from a 2-year-old filly in your butter churn was said to prevent witches from stealing your butter.
#7 – It’s still said that one should never wear anything new while hunting or competing.
But that could just be to prevent wardrobe malfunctions.
#8 – Green is considered an unlucky color.
#9 – When a horse was found in its field in the morning sweaty and with a tangled mane and tail, it was said to have been ridden by pixies in the night.
#10 – Some say horse brasses ward off evil –
But they may just be a hold over from when they would be used to protect war horses during battle.
#11 – Unless you’re with your lover, seeing only 1 white horse is bad luck.
Seeing 2 white horses together brings good luck.
#12 – If a horse neighs outside your door, it means your family is going to get sick.
Maybe it just means it’s the middle ages during the plague when many people had horses.
#13 – Horseshoes have varying powers around the world.
In Lancashire, horseshoes were said to be able to prevent or destroy witchcraft. In Scotland, throwing a horseshoe over your left shoulder would provide good luck for the next month. It was considered good luck to take a horseshoe to sea. And many cultures believed that horseshoes could chase away evil spirits. Bridegrooms would carry a horseshoe in their pocket to prevent bad luck. And while many places say you should hang a horseshoe points up to prevent the good luck from spilling out the ends, some places do hang their horseshoes point down in order to shower people with good luck as they enter the room.