Whether you are a cowboy or cowgirl or simply just looking for a tattoo to bring you some luck, horseshoe tattoos make for excellent designs. Although you may think them simple, many horseshoe tattoos can be very intricate, working actual horses into the designs in unique and fun ways. That does not mean that all of your horseshoe tattoo ideas need to be over-the-top. If you want a minimalist tattoo, we have some examples of what that can look like as well!
The history of the horseshoe for good luck is rather murky but we do know that it has been a symbol of luck for hundreds of years. One potential explanation is that horseshoes are forged by blacksmiths, and that trade has been seen as a lucky one for a very long time. Whatever the reason, horseshoes have been woven into our culture as a symbol of the cowboy lifestyle. Common practice is to hang them so they are “open to catching luck” which means they look like the letter U. The other way is considered bad luck! Let’s take a look at some great horseshoe tattoo ideas to give you some ink inspiration!
Florals Make Every Tattoo Better
We kick this list off with a design that is full of vibrant colors. This one has a rose in the center and is flanked by some pretty purple flowers on either side. This horseshoe tattoo has been completed in a neo-traditional style that uses motifs of classic tattooing while also appealing to folks today.
Keep It Weird, Folks
Next up, a very strange, almost creepy horseshoe tattoo features a mysterious eye on the shoe. Some lovely botanical elements and little mushroom caps help bring this design even more to life. If you want to go all black with your design, it also has its virtues.
The Best of Both Worlds
Part Americana and part good luck tattoo, we find a pair of gorgeous cowgirl boots decorated with a thrilling snake and botanical design. The horseshoe tattoo here is pointed up which is ideal!
Micro Horseshoe Tattoo
We have seen some pretty large pieces so far but that’s not the only way to go! Micro tattoos are a huge trend today and they feature the teeniest designs. And, sometimes, the smallest tattoos make the biggest impact. Black and red ink are always a perfect pair. If you want to go smaller, something similar could be best for you.
A Floral Memorial Design
Horseshoe tattoos can also be excellent memorial tattoos for loved ones who had an interest in horses or even throwing horseshoes for fun. This one says, “I love dad,” and is made from colorful flowers. What a fabulous tattoo that will bring warmth and fond memories.
A Classic Take But With Wheat
A hand holding a horseshoe as you find in the above example was very popular decades ago. If you would like to celebrate the history of tattooing, you should consider something similar. We love the inclusion of wheat here which clearly is meaningful to the person who requested it. You can do the same with all kinds of different things.
If the black ink is calling, you can really lean into it with a dark horseshoe tattoo. More black ink translates to bolder designs that offer plenty of drama. For something that’s very impactful, you might try something similar.
On the other hand, if a color (like red) is calling you, ask your artist to incorporate as much as possible into your design to make a real statement. Sure, you’ve seen some horseshoe tattoos with roses but none have consisted of a lot of a single color as this one does!
A Desert Scene
Celebrate the beautiful deserts of the west with a horseshoe tattoo that incorporates cacti and other imagery from them. We thought this one was a great example that shows how you can use a horseshoe to frame a little scene.
A Trio for Mama
Wow! This portrait of three horses feels so evocative and full of action. As you can see, this is another memorial tattoo, this one for a “Mama.” What a stunning tribute.
All About Luck
A shamrock, some dice, and a horseshoe make it clear that this horseshoe tattoo is concerned with one thing and one thing only. If you’re a gambler, something similar would be a worthy option for you.
Simplicity Is Bliss
Just bold, steady lines make up this very simple tattoo. It is really hard for artists to get lines like this. The star, to us, seems like a real nightmare. But, if you are after a simple yet playful design, you could try something close to this.
Kawaii Horseshoe Tattoo
We are big fans of kawaii in general and that’s absolutely the case for tattoos. This horseshoe tattoo has to be one of the cutest on the list thanks to that unicorn that is draped over the shoe. Have fun with your ideas and your tattoo artist can help realize them for you.
Where Eagles Dare
We’re talking about some seriously sharp lines in this horseshoe tattoo that features an eagle inside. It’s a fun addition to this genre of tattoo and we have another shoe to show you that also features another bird.
A beautifully golden sunset rests inside this horseshoe tattoo that contrasts all of that orange with plenty of cool blues and purples. We live for a balanced design and this one is just beyond harmonious. Bravo!
In this fine line tattoo, we’re treated to a horseshoe and some botanicals along with some curious decorative elements like a gem and a dotted circle. This is a tiny tattoo! It’s not easy to pack all of that detail in such a small amount of real estate. What a winner!
“Make your own luck” is a common adage but we have never seen it as a theme for a tattoo like this. We find two hands forging a horseshoe in this design. It’s one of the most unique horseshoe tattoos on this list.
With a Classic Swallow
As promised, here is another horseshoe tattoo with a bird. We find a classic swallow here accompanying the show. Swallows have long been considered good luck as tattoos. English sailors would get them hundreds of years ago to help protect them on their journies.
Slightly psychedelic, this horseshoe tattoo holds a melting eye. We have no idea what is going on here but we shared it with you to encourage you to lean into your weirder ideas. The more unique and singular the better for tattooing, we say.
How about some gems in that horseshoe tattoo? Along with botanicals, another way to beautify your tattoo is to add some gems inside the shoe to make it really sparkle. This is modest, but we think it would also be fun to go all out with the gems to make it almost look like a crown.
A Touch of Sparkle
We’re delivering more sparkle with this tattoo that contains little dots to give the illusion of light being reflected. You can make anything sparkle more if you put your mind to it. So, if you are after a cute horseshoe tattoo, consider doing the same.
Unlucky horseshoe tattoos are popular. Some come right out and say it as is evident in this example while others use the number 13 to make the point. We want good luck but if you want to tempt fate, go right ahead!
We think this charm bracelet with a horseshoe tattoo that looks like a little piece of jewelry is really playful and fun. If you are after something small, maybe a scheme like this could work out well for you.
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Well, these horseshoes are meant for the folks out there who are all about the American, cowgirl theme. They are not positioned in the right way for good luck but aren’t they something to behold? With gorgeous colors that really feel balanced, we are treated to both a cowgirl character and a handsome horse here. How fun!
We loved the way color was applied to this horseshoe tattoo that is very saturated with color but in the most interesting way. Skin peeks through in a number of places to help offer contrast next to the vividly colored inks. For a horseshoe tattoo that will turn heads, try something similar!
There you go! Whether you love horses or like the idea of a lucky tattoo, horseshoe tattoos are excellent options for a number of folks. if you liked these horseshoe tattoos and would like even more ideas for your lucky tattoo, keep reading for even more fresh ideas!
A Trusty Horseshoe
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to lucky tattoo subject matter. Time-tested symbols and designs will serve you well. This classic horseshoe tattoo is a winner. If you love the history of tattooing and old-school design, this could be the direction to go in.
A Rabbit’s Foot
This neotraditional lucky rabbit’s foot is almost too realistic for comfort. While we do like ornamentation, please don’t go chopping off cute little bunny’s feet, please. For thousands of years in countries across the globe, a rabbit’s foot was considered a talisman of good luck. It’s so weird. We suppose a lucky tattoo is better than the real thing.
This excellent lucky tattoo of a hand with its fingers crossed is rather magical. We love the addition of flower stems to help warm the design up. It’s done in such a unique style that gives the entire look some texture. We love offbeat tattoos and this one certainly looks it to us.
The Maneki-Neko is a common Japanese figurine that is often believed to bring good luck to the owner. The design depicts a cat, traditionally a calico Japanese Bobtail, with a paw raised in a Japanese beckoning gesture. This one has a horseshoe for added luck.
Have a Second Look
Here’s another lucky tattoo featuring the cat and it is big on kawaii. We think this one is the cat’s meow but you get to decide on which direction to take your design. You really can’t go wrong with one of these precious cats.
Well, you can get pretty creative with your lucky tattoo placement and this is the perfect example. Here, we find two complementary scenes. A fish with the word “good” above it and a wave with the word “luck” over it. It’s a refreshing nautical theme that we think many other folks could find attractive.
It seems like the fortune-teller sees luck in this individual’s future. They shared the image with the following quote: “Witches listen to the secrets of the Earth, work in harmony with the powers of the moon, and understand the longings of the human soul.”
What did we tell you? The rabbits need their cute little paws, okay? Make your own luck don’t take a sweet one’s away. We love the old-school lettering here along with with the touches of pink and green inks. They contrast which offers more visual interest and appeal.
The four-leaf clover is an ancient Irish symbol for luck. The four leaves stand for faith, love, hope, and luck. Feel free to go full-on green, but we liked this minimal design as well. Delicate lines make for a dreamy lucky tattoo with a clover such as this.
A Lucky Bug
A ladybug is a bringer of good luck and prosperity. If one lands on you, you’re in for some very good stuff. This elaborate ladybug design is a masterpiece of a lucky tattoo and a big commitment for both the person sitting for the tattoo and the artist to complete. You cannot deny this bug’s beauty.
Better Than None At All
We beg to differ, but fine. We always love a good stick and poke style design and these dice check all those boxes. If you’d like your lucky tattoo to have an edge consider getting this hand-poked style of tattoo and tell the artist the rougher the better.
Now, now! A little bit of luck is good, but is this too much? If you’re going to get a leprechaun half sleeve, make sure you absolutely adore the design first. This one is just wild to us but we appreciate the originality and the dedication here. For any lucky tattoo, make sure it is all your own.
Make That Wish
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of snapping a wishbone with someone, you know that the person with the larger piece gets reaped a good fortune. This adorable wishbone tattoo would be a great choice. While being superstitious about a bone from a chicken carcass is weird, this is one of our favorite lucky tattoos.
You’re On a Roll
We’ve got another set of dice because they’re oh so nice! And, this example is a bit cleaner. These are popular lucky tattoos for people who enjoy gambling and want to win every single game. So, if you need some good fortune for a good game, you know what to do.
Here, we find another example of a fingers-crossed tattoo, but with the inclusion of a rose and a banner that reads “Make [your] own luck.” This lucky tattoo is an interesting, traditional-style design we haven’t seen before! Despite having traditional motifs this design reads as fresh and current.
This is a sigil that means “luck will follow me.” We love these thick, bold, black lines. If you’d like to wish for luck on the DL, consider something similar. You are going to get asked about it for the rest of your life so be prepared for that. But, in a mysterious way, this is a very understated lucky tattoo.
Peonies have been symbols of good fortune, and specifically health, since Antiquity. Here, we find an absolutely breathtaking design in deep purple and blue. If you are not married to the idea of black ink lucky tattoo, we encourage you to explore color.
Good or Bad?
This person has repurposed a symbol for bad luck, a black cat, and changed its fortunes. We love a good cat tattoo and we couldn’t resist sharing this wonderfully dark design with you. Pro tip: black and orange/gold inks look like dynamite together. Even if you do not want a cat lucky tattoo, it’s a winning combination for any design.
Luck Be a Lady Tonight
We find a wonderfully done old-school tattoo design of lady luck complete with a crown of four-leaf clovers. We love the oranges and aquamarine colors chosen for the ink. If you are after a timeless, classic design something similar could be the right sort of lucky tattoo for you.
For numerologists, 777 symbolizes a visit from an angel. But, if you’ve ever been to a casino, you know that 777 means jackpot! You’re in the money. This very simple yet elegant, lucky tattoo is just a blast. Have fun with your design and you won’t regret it.
Luck? You Are Going to Need It
This figure was simply lucky to not be skewered by the arrow that now pierces an apple. This very unique design is not something we’ve seen before as a lucky tattoo but we love the innovation.
The Luck Dealer
Here, we find a lucky tattoo of a tattooed hand. It’s holding a clover for good measure, just in case you didn’t see the word “luck” across the knuckles. This one is elegant and romantic and a nod to the past while steeling looking fresh and current.
Yay or Neigh?
Here, we find a horseshoe tattoo with an entire horse. This jazzed-up design takes the typical horseshoe tattoo and makes it more memorable. This is a very fun lucky tattoo design but we want to point out that superstition for horseshoes is that they must point up like a “U” for good fortune. Upside down? Not so much!
Do you have a lucky penny or lucky coin? We’re pretty sure that trend has begun to fade but you can keep it alive with a lucky tattoo similar to this one. We find lucky Chinese coins and bells wrapped around a gorgeous bouquet. Gold and red are both symbols of good fortune in Chinese culture.
People sure love them some Harry Potter (even though the author is extremely problematic). This liquid courage potion tattoo should be familiar to fans of the books. The artist here has lovingly applied this lucky tattoo with such precision and care. It looks fantastic.
The Pigs? They Are Flying
The concept of the flying pig involves the improbable and impossible making them a symbol of dreams or achieving something that should not have been done. If you would like to do the impossible, consider getting a flying pig lucky tattoo. Bonus: pigs are adorable.
The Hamsa is a palm-shaped amulet popular throughout North Africa and the Middle East and commonly used in jewelry and wall hangings. It is said to ward off evil. In this modestly-sized example, we find a handsome, balanced design. But, you can go all out with a more ornate version.
More Hamsa Lucky Tattoos
Here are some more hamsa tattoos and they are much more ornate than the smaller one we last shared with you. if you are looking for more drama, request a more detailed design that really delivers. These meditative designs look great and you can get more than one if that’s your style!
We share this lucky tattoo in the hopes that it will encourage you to think outside the box and to find an artist who can help you realize your vision. This tattoo is just so original and singular. The style in which the word “lucky” is tattooed is even remarkable. Have fun with it, folks!
Andrew is an Assistant Editor for Mamas Uncut with over ten years of experience as a writer in the creative, marketing, and blogging spaces. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a passion for telling stories in a variety of mediums. Obsessively making lists, reporting celebrity news, and diving into emerging pop cultural topics are a few of his interests.
- 1 Florals Make Every Tattoo Better
- 2 Keep It Weird, Folks
- 3 The Best of Both Worlds
- 4 Micro Horseshoe Tattoo
- 5 A Floral Memorial Design
- 6 A Classic Take But With Wheat
- 7 Drama
- 8 Big Red
- 9 A Desert Scene
- 10 A Trio for Mama
- 11 All About Luck
- 12 Simplicity Is Bliss
- 13 Kawaii Horseshoe Tattoo
- 14 Where Eagles Dare
- 15 Sunset Scene
- 16 Super Fine
- 17 DIY
- 18 With a Classic Swallow
- 19 Melt
- 20 Jewel-Encrusted
- 21 A Touch of Sparkle
- 22 Oh, No!
- 23 Charmed
- 24 Yee-Haw!
- 25 Unique Color
- 26 A Trusty Horseshoe
- 27 A Rabbit’s Foot
- 28 Fingers Crossed
- 29 Maneki-Neko
- 30 Have a Second Look
- 31 Like Cards
- 32 Crystal Ball
- 33 Make It
- 34 Clover
- 35 A Lucky Bug
- 36 Better Than None At All
- 37 Right…
- 38 Make That Wish
- 39 You’re On a Roll
- 40 Will Do
- 41 A Sigil
- 42 Positively Peony
- 43 Good or Bad?
- 44 Luck Be a Lady Tonight
- 45 Cha-Ching!
- 46 Luck? You Are Going to Need It
- 47 The Luck Dealer
- 48 Yay or Neigh?
- 49 Lucky Coins
- 50 Liquid Luck
- 51 The Pigs? They Are Flying
- 52 Hamsa
- 53 More Hamsa Lucky Tattoos
- 54 The Roller
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