Wait, I’m Not Superstitious, Or Am I?

It’s Friday the 13th, and tonight is a full moon. There are few things that raise more superstition than these two occurances, but paired together they might heighten even a skeptic’s wariness.

Although many people, myself included, pay little to no attention to common superstitions and wives tales, such as not walking under a ladder, or my favorite, not stepping on a crack or I’ll…well, you get the picture.

The complication is my hobby. 

One common cowboy superstition is to never compete with change in your pocket, lest that be all you leave with.

Though I may not automatically assume someone is thinking of me when my nose itches, I do find it much harder to remove old cowboy superstitions from the back of my mind. 

For example, our horse Sonny. His name is the human equivalent to John. It’s so common that I still sometimes cringe when someone asks his name when we first meet. I take pride in another of our gelding’s name, Goose. He’s my wingman. It’s still somewhat common, but at least it fits! Sonny, on the other hand, would be much more suited to Oscar, or even Cookie Monster for his grumpy demeanor and inkling to eat everything in sight. But, do you think that there is any chance that I’d ever re-name him, despite his lack of sunny personality? That’s a big negative. A new barn name would be bad luck.

Or how about this one: yellow in the arena? No way! Not ever. What about a hat on the bed? You can guarantee that I’m fully prepared to take it outside and stomp that bad luck right out of it before it’s next wear. And, you can bet that every horseshoe that I’ve ever hung up for decoration, or otherwise, is toe-side down, so the luck doesn’t run out.

I guess you could say that I am selectively superstitious, as are most people.

My justification is this. As horsemen, we spend so much time pouring over our horses – micromanaging every detail of their training, nutrition, health, and recovery; putting countless hours into preparation, whether that be in the saddle, in the tack room with a scrub brush, or behind a horsemanship or training video – that I don’t want to do anything to compromise that hard work.

Even if it means emptying my pockets of change before I enter the arena, just in case.

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