These are milagros, small miracles, from Mexico - tiny tin ornaments that are pinned on the Saints in churches to protect you from ill health, or your animals ill-health or from matters of the heart, or they may increase your wealth, happiness, closeness to God - or simply pinned in gratitude for prayers answered.
I was taken with these little trinkets in a gorgeous, find-of-a-shop in Hastings. A pot full of charms were rifled through and some stocking fillers sorted. I quickly snapped up a horse milagro for myself, attaching it to an old silver chain - a talisman for my riding perhaps, a superstition to keep me safe and maybe a good luck charm inching me towards a red rosette.
Well, they don't work those milagros.
I was royally dumped by Fletch on Monday - he had no knowledge of the milagro around my neck but was rather pleased and excited to be at a jumping clinic with other horses. He just couldn't help himself and flung himself inside out as I crashed to the ground, slowly. Falling off a horse always seems to happen in slow motion. I got up, grinned at the professional instructor, apologised for the behaviour of Fletch and got straight back on knowing he would now behave perfectly, having got it out of his system.
Perhaps I should have thought about protecting myself and not the horse, maybe I should purchase a milagro of a leg, or an arm, or a chest to protect me. The horse needed no small miracle at all.