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Equestrian Lifestyle

124 of the Best Horse Names

There’s something magical about naming a horse. We start off as children with little plastic equines that we stable on our bookcases. We give those horses names like Star or Jet. Then we move up to digital models that we pilot through the pixelated worlds of our computer games. We give those horses names like Bramble or Lucky. But when it actually comes down to naming a real live horse, you’ll have to give it a little more thought.



 



While there may be 101 things that are far more important to consider when bringing home a new horse, somehow choosing the perfect name skyrockets to the top of the priority list. What’s more fun that carefully pondering all of the choices and ultimately selecting the best and most wonderful name? But with limitless possibilities, how do you narrow down the options and make your choice? You know only one name is going to be the right one. So how do you decide?

When naming a horse, you want to choose a name that will be the perfect fit. Maybe the name will reference the horse’s color in some way, or its personality, or its breed or bloodlines. Below, we’ve compiled several different lists, each distinctly suited to different types of horses (and ponies!). We’ve tried not to be too obvious, but if you truly feel that “The Black” is the best name for your ebony-coated equine, you can certainly feel free to go ahead and use it. But for the purposes of these lists, we have tried to move further away from clichés and find creative names that will capture your horse’s qualities and make you smile.

Coat Color Names

Horses are often given names that refer in some way to their coat color or pattern. For example, chestnuts get “red” names like Garnet, Ginger, or Flame. A horse’s coat color is a distinctive part of who he is, so it’s natural to want to incorporate that characteristic into a name. Here are lists of color names that are a bit off the beaten path:

 

Black Horse Names

  • Noir
  • Jaguar
  • Ebony
  • Onyx
  • Domino (for a black horse with white markings)

Bay and Brown Names

  • Cleveland
  • Adobe
  • Cinnamon
  • Kit Kat
  • Brandy

Chestnut Names

  • Autumn
  • Opie
  • Fiona
  • Pippi Longstocking (a chestnut with considerable chrome would be the best candidate for this name!)
  • Peter Pan
  • Russell

 

Palomino and Buckskin Names

  • Blondie
  • Rapunzel
  • Spirit
  • Trapper
  • D’oro

Gray Horse Names

  • Napoleon
  • Pepper
  • Snowball
  • Lacey
  • Traveller

Pinto Names

  • Scout
  • Little Joe
  • Jigsaw
  • Pirate
  • Rembrand

Type-of-Horse Names

Many horsey people like to name their horses something that relates to their breed. Most breeds have a specific ‘style’ of name; for example, Arabians are often given Egyptian-inspired names, while Welsh Ponies often sport Welsh-inspired names and spellings. Here, however, we’re going to take a look at wider categories of horse types instead of individual breeds.

 

Draft Horse Names

  • Monte
  • Baymax (the lovable, inflatable robot from Disney’s Big Hero 6)
  • Goliath
  • Universe

Sport Horse Names

  • Bolt
  • Challenger
  • Billie Jean (for tennis player Billie Jean King, winner of 39 Grand Slams, or choose the name of one of your favorite sports stars!)
  • Fargo
  • Jet
  • Victory
  • Pharaoh (or use the infamous misspelling “Pharoah” if you’re a racing fan!)

Western Horse Names

  • Trigger
  • Champ
  • Oakley
  • Bonney (The surname of notorious outlaw Billy the Kid, this name is nevertheless more suited for a mare considering its pronunciation)
  • Rio
  • Dale
  • Gene
  • Cash
  • Chisholm

 

Pony Names

  • Buttons
  • Misty
  • Dolly
  • Cookie
  • Charlie Brown
  • Kokomo (Comes complete with its own theme song!)
  • Olaf
  • Thelwell

Personality Names

You can go a few different routes with this kind of name. You can go by what your horse is—a bit of an alpha mare, a rather quiet gelding—and choose a name that reflects that, or you can give your horse a name that denotes a quality you would like him to have. These lists are just the beginning—use them as inspiration!

Elegant Horse Names

  • Isabelle
  • Randolphe
  • Debutante (Choose this for her registered name, and “Debbie” can be her barn name)
  • Marquis
  • Juliet
  • Henrietta
  • Vanderbilt
  • Versailles

Bossy Horse Names

  • El Jefe (You can’t get much more literal than this; it means “The Boss” in Spanish, and is pronounced El HEH-fay. Use LA JEFA for a mare. )
  • Queen
  • Boots
  • Major
  • Barkley

 

Silly Horse Names

  • Barnaby
  • Whiskers
  • Balki
  • Newton
  • Tigger
  • Buster
  • Flopsy (Mopsy and Cottontail would then be ideal names for stablemates)

Names for Well-Traveled Horses

  • Paris
  • Sicily
  • Beijing
  • Vancouver
  • Utah
  • Sydney
  • Berlin
  • Carolina
  • Passport
  • London

Names for Cultured Horses

  • Mozart
  • Jackson
  • Beethoven
  • Mona
  • Dickinson
  • Bard
  • Da Vinci
  • Sullivan
  • Chopin

Names for Horse Pairs

In the special case in which you have not one, but two equines to name (you lucky duck!), the process becomes even more complex because it’s multiplied. Double the trouble, if you will. And if you want to choose names that go well together . . . that’s enough to make even the most expert “namer” throw up their hands in defeat.

 

So if you’re trying to select two perfect names that sound like they belong in adjacent stalls, what better way than to pick a duo that is already famous? Check out this list for ideas!

  • Anne & Diana
  • Lee & Grant
  • Fred & Barney
  • Winston & Churchill
  • Rhett & Scarlett
  • Laverne & Shirley
  • Garfield & Odie
  • Mary & Rhoda
  • Bonnie & Clyde
  • Sam & David (Fans of the “Little House on the Prairie” television series will recognize these as the names of Charles Ingalls’ team of powerful chestnuts)
  • Frank & Jesse
  • Florence & Nightingale
  • Sonny & Cher

How about you? What are some of your favorite horse names? Leave a comment below and share your favorites!

Samantha Johnson is a freelance writer and the author of several books, including The Field Guide to Horses, (Voyageur Press, 2009). She raises Welsh Mountain Ponies in northern Wisconsin and is a certified horse show judge. Follow her on Twitter: @miraclewelsh

Samantha Johnson

Samantha Johnson is a freelance writer and the author of several books, including The Field Guide to Horses, (Voyageur Press, 2009). She raises Welsh Mountain Ponies in northern Wisconsin and is a certified horse show judge. She loves Corgis and shares her home with her Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Peaches.

View Comments

  • How about some pretty feminine names for your beautiful mares: Dolly, Lady, Beauty, Princess, Honey, Misty.

  • Left out a lot of good names. My TWH came with his name Smokey. My mini is Strider because he strides right along. I like Beauty,Max,Pie,Lady,Lucky,Bell,Beau,Rocky,Jasper,Ed, Flicka just to name a few.

  • I love CHIEF,FOR A BUCKSKIN STUD,AND SWEET PEA,FOR A SWEET MARE,AND MARIO,FOR A SPUNKY STUD PONY,AND DALLAS,FOR A SWEET/SPUNKY STUD.(: those are my favorites because my horses are named those. haha!

  • Nice suggestions. I had a Shetland that was named Peanut and also got a Welsh pony who was white except for her brown head I called her Popcorn.

  • I have 3 horses with great names. I have "Oh-Be-One" also known around the barn as "Kenobi" (because I'm a major Star Wars geek). I have "Rue Britannia" known as "Renegade" (because she acts all nice and proper but can be stubborn and rejects authority often). And I have "Fate and Farewell" known as "Fetch".

  • I've had many horses the most resent to back is: Kipy Ki Yo Ki Ya,JJTaffy Miss, To Coin A Phrase, Roger,Spade, Dash's NSF(No Spots Found), Her Halo Slipped, Fancy ALittle Cash, Fancy's Sunday Special, Sterling, Latte. And there are more...

  • I named my real horse Bramble. It suits her. I see it is on your list short list of reject names. Many of your good names are on my reject list.
    I've owned over 20 horses in my life time and named 15.
    The best name I came up with was Cameron. I think when you buy a horse it is best to stick with the barn name they know. After a while you might think it is best and the horse knows this name. Most of us don't much like the names our Mothers give us but we usually just live with it. If the best thing about your horse is the smokin hot name you came up with, well...

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