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10 Cowboy Superstitions Still Practiced Today

10 Cowboy Superstitions Still Practiced Today

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For thousands of years, people all around the world have believed in myths, legends, and superstitions. Cowboys are no exception to this, as they have some superstitions of their very own.

Many cowboy superstitions center around luck and keeping evil spirits away. While some of these superstitions don’t seem too far stretched, others are rather odd. Though many people don’t pay any mind to them today, there are still some old-school cowboys that hold them to heart.

1. Don’t Compete With Change in Your Pocket

When competing at a rodeo, don’t compete with change in your pocket. If you do, that is all you might win at the rodeo.

So if you are superstitious, be sure to empty out your pockets before your next rodeo. If your pockets are empty, then you will have a better chance of winning big.

2. Don’t Place Your Cowboy Hat on a Bed

Cowboy hats are an important part of a cowboy’s everyday attire. However, putting a cowboy hat on a bed can bring you bad luck.

At best, placing your hat on the bed will bring misfortunes, at worst it will bring injury or death to you or a loved one. There are a couple of reasons behind this popular cowboy superstition.

One theory is that your hair contains evil spirits and by placing your hat on the bed, the evil spirits will spill out. This theory comes from static electricity that would occur from taking a hat off in a warm, dry environment. Many people at the time didn’t know what static was so they thought it was evil spirits.

Another theory behind this superstition comes from the fact that hats would be laid on the deceased casket at funerals. Placing a hat on the bed has the same connotation as placing a hat on a casket, which results in inviting evil spirits.

There is also a practical reason behind this tradition too. Since cowboys didn’t regularly bathe in the old west, they often had head lice. By placing a hat on the bed, the lice were able to spread even more.

3. Don’t Wear Yellow

For those competing at rodeos or in western divisions, wearing yellow is bad luck. Those who are superstitious say that is particularly bad luck to wear yellow in a competition.

For cowboys, the color yellow is associated with cowardice, so it is an unlucky color to wear in a rodeo. In addition, some believe it is unlucky to use new tack in a rodeo as well.

4. Hang a Horseshoe in Your Home

Horseshoes have long been associated with good luck. Hanging a horseshoe in your home is said to bring good fortune to all who enter.

However, it is only good luck if you hang a horseshoe so the open side faces up. An upside-down horseshoe indicates all your luck has fallen out.

5. Knots In a Horse’s Mane Means They Were Visited By Fairies

Many horses will get knots and twists in their mane. An old superstition goes that if horses have knots or twist in their manes, fairies came to visit them.

As the legend goes, fairies seek out horses at night to ride. They make knots and twist in a horse’s mane to use as stirrups and reins. The fairies ride the horses all throughout the night, but return them by morning with knotty manes.

6. Don’t Throw Away Old Horseshoes

This superstition is rather bizarre. This old belief goes that you aren’t supposed to throw out old horseshoes, as you can use them to ward off evil witches.

However, it is not just any evil witch you will ward off with horseshoes. People would use horseshoes to keep butter-stealing witches away. Yes, you read that right, butter-stealing witches.

By placing the old horseshoes in a butter churn, it keeps the evil witches from taking away your scrumptious homemade butter. So, best save old horseshoes and not risk your butter getting stolen, that is if you are concerned about thieving witches.

Also read: 7 Horseshoe Superstitions Still Practiced Today

7. Don’t Change a Horse’s Name

To old-fashioned cowboys, it is considered bad luck to change a horse’s name. Some horse owners today still believe in this superstition.

Some people think it is alright to change a horse’s barn name, but not their registered name. Others think that you should not make any name changes to a horse.

8. Eat a Hot Dog Before Competition

Before you saddle up for your next rodeo, be sure to eat a hot dog. Eating a hot dog before a rodeo event can bring you good luck.

However, be sure to avoid eating chicken before competing. As some say “you are what you eat”, so you don’t want to be a chicken in the riding ring.

9. Wear Two Different Color Socks in the Competition Arena

For good luck in the show ring, wear two different color socks. So, no need to worry about finding a matching pair, as it will be better luck if you don’t.

10. Always Shave Before a Rodeo

Before you hit the rodeo ring, you will want to shave off your facial hair if you are superstitious. Shaving before a rodeo will bring you good luck.

The reason men believe that it is lucky to shave before a rodeo is that it is said to impress Lady Luck. So if your want Lady Luck to be on your good side, shave off that stubble and she will work in your favor.

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