In the equestrian world if your friend, your horse or your friend’s horse is sick or injured, you jingle like crazy to send them good luck. The item being jingled is a curb chain, a series of metal links that is used on some bridles to put pressure under the horse’s chin.
In this context, the important characteristic of the curb chain is the noise it makes when you shake it: a jingling sound like bells. Where does this custom come from? In some cultures the jingling of bells is said to banish evil spirits and attract good luck. Feng Shui bells, for instance, are believed to bring balance and healing through the power of sound therapy and chimes and bells as well as helping to bring your prayers to heaven.
So, for horsepeople, it’s not much of a stretch to show solidarity and send good fortune by jingling curb chains. I believe the tradition started on the Chronicle of the Horse Forum, where it is widely used to give support.
This past week, I’ve been jingling like crazy to send healing thoughts to a friend’s horse. This lovely mare developed one of those rare conditions that make vets scratch their heads and reach for text books. While they might find it fascinating, it is terrifying when your horse develops something so rare that your options are limited. Like when Kroni had blood clot by his poll and the vet at Tufts — one of the largest equine hospitals in New England — told me she’d only seen this happen once before. It’s just not reassuring.
In this case, the vet’s expertise, the jingling of many curb chains, and this mare’s pure Irish stubbornness have, so far, worked their magic. But keep jingling for Maisy, wherever you are. The power of healing travels far.
I think the Holly at The Event Horse Blog, described it best:
That jingling, all over the world, is for horses in pain or neglect, hungry or lonely; and for the people connected with those horses, who need prayers. By jingling, you provide a little piece of the peace in your barn to help others make it through the night. We jingle for friends, and for strangers. We jingle for those in need, and those who need help, luck, prayers for loved ones, those who are sick or suffering. Animal or human, all deserve and can use a jingle now and again. So, Raye, that’s what a jingle is for, and in order to do a jingle for someone else, all you have to do is post that you are jingling, and the sound will travel through the night to where it is needed.