How to Draw a Horseshoe

By Yvette Clark

Alongside the four-leaf clover, the horseshoe is the most recognized sign of good luck, dating all the way back to Roman times. The idea that the horseshoe is good luck is based in their shape, as the “U” shape has long been seen as a protective sign. Added to that is the fact that the horseshoe originally made of iron, which was seen as one of the most healing metals. Finally, a horseshoe was traditionally attached to a horse’s hoof with seven nails--a lucky number. Whether you want to design your own tattoo or just create a lucky drawing, a horseshoe only takes minimal drawing skills.

Decide on the orientation of your horseshoe. A lucky horseshoe is usually drawn so the ends point up. Superstition is that this helps hold all the luck inside the horseshoe. However, others believe that a horseshoe with the ends down is best for bringing luck to a home, as all the luck pours out of the horseshoe and into the house.

Draw a “U” shape the basic size and shape you want your horseshoe to be. To make the “U” look like a horseshoe, curve the edges of the “U” slightly in towards each other rather than making them go straight up. You can be creative with your “U” as you design your horseshoe. It can have slight angles it in or it can be curved smoothly.

Create the basic structure of the horseshoe by drawing a line parallel to your first. A real horseshoe is usually the same width all the way around, but you can modify your horseshoe by making it thicker either on the curve of the “U” or on the two ends, if you want a different look.

Make the ends of the horseshoe. Though most horseshoes in use generally just have curved ends, you can make whatever ends look best to you. A classic good luck horseshoe often has small rectangles added to the ends, either centered on the ends of the horseshoe or with the outer edge of the rectangle flush with the outer edge of the horseshoe.

Design the interior of the horseshoe. To give it an authentic appearance, you’ll need to draw holes for the nails. These can be individual rectangular slots, or you can draw a groove and then shade in the nail holes within the groove.

Add any other decoration you want to the horseshoe, or leave it as it is. Your horseshoe can be as plain or as decorative as you like.

About the Author

Yvette Clark has been working as a freelance writer and writing teacher for over 10 years, specializing in animal, nutrition and lifestyle topics. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago.