SubscribeGift a Sub

124 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 Horse Names

  • CLEVELAND
  • ADOBE
  • CINNAMON
  • KIT KAT
  • BRANDY

Chestnut Horse 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 Horse Names

  • BLONDIE
  • RAPUNZEL
  • SPIRIT
  • TRAPPER
  • D’ORO

Gray Horse Names

Pinto Horse Names

  • SCOUT
  • LITTLE JOE
  • JIGSAW
  • PIRATE
  • REMBRANDT

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
  • RANDOLPH
  • 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 horses 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 horse-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 @https://twitter.com/miraclewelsh

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

  • I have 2 horses. My pony is named Princess. She thinks she is always the star of the show. My Black Lippizan is named Frank. He kinda has the his blaze kinda looks like a Hot Dog :). You could do names of like what kind of blaze the horse has. or if it has high socks on his feet, you could call him White Socks. (socks For a barn name)

    Otherwize, Great names!!!

  • I love these names but I am an old TV show and book nerd. I like Rob and Laura for a pair (from the Dick Van Dyke show), Gilligan and Skipper (From Gilligan's Island), Also Harry, Ginny, Ronald and Hermione. Mix 'em up anyway you want. Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter are good ones too! Tobias and Tris, from the Divergent series, Alex and Aaron from The Unwanteds, or Alex and Sky. Oh and Aaron and Kaylee. Alex and Aaron's little sisters, Thisbe and Fifer. Katniss and Peeta are good. Or for two Females, try Katniss and Primrose. I am a big fan of "Fablehaven" so I would totally name any new horse pairs, Kendra and Seth, or Kendra and Bracken. I also love Les Miserables, so Cosette and Marius are perfect!
    If you have any trouble coming up with the perfect name for your horse, pick the name of a character in a movie, book or TV show that matches your horse's personality!

  • My horses name when we go him was something strange so the owners previous call him bozo so that just stuck

  • I like the name "Angel"
    I used to have a retired Thoroughbred that the owner abandoned at a boarding farm, so the owners of the farm gave her to me and my husband. We didn't know her name and her lip tattoo was badly faded, so we decided to name her "Angel" She was a great horse.

  • these horse names are super, I really want a horse but can't get one because I live in The city.

  • I personally like names from books/movies such as the lord of the rings or star wars. Ex. Asfaloth, Strider, Skywalker, Okoye

Recent Posts

Trail Riding in Adverse Weather Conditions

The open trail. Horse, rider and not a fence in sight. Trail riding is a favorite pastime of both equestrians…

2 days ago

Your Horse Life: Introverted Equestrian Goes Rogue

When a previously go-it-alone introverted equestrian gets pulled into a positive barn culture, she decides to keep paying it forward.…

4 days ago

Movie “Let Him Go” a Full-Circle Moment for Actor Booboo Stewart

Most little boys grow up playing cowboys, especially when they grow up on a ranch. So, when actor Booboo Stewart…

5 days ago

My Right Horse Adoptable Horse of the Week: Salted Cloud — November 16, 2020

Welcome to Horse Illustrated’s weekly installment of the My Right Horse Adoptable Horse of the Week, offered in partnership with…

1 week ago

What to Expect During Equine Dental Exams

Is your horse due for a dental examination? Scheduling dental exams annually is a critical step toward keeping his health,…

1 week ago

Equestrian Podcast Possibilities

Within the horse community, horse lovers are embracing the latest in technology, and that includes listening to podcasts about horses.…

2 weeks ago