Horse brass is a plaque worn as a decoration in horse gear. Though it became popular in the 19th century in Europe, horse brass can trace its roots back several thousand years as an object to ward off evil spirits.
Early horse brass did not have to be made of brass. They have been found cast out of bronze, lead and tin. It is believed these adornments were first used by ancient Romans and were called amulets. These were brought back to Europe during the Crusades, although it is speculated that gypsies introduced them first, since those early patterns had a strong Roman influence.