Name That Horse

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    When I worked as a riding instructor at a summer camp, nearly half of the kids who came to ride were named either “Emma” or “Emily.” Okay, yes, that’s an exaggeration, but it seemed that way.

    We recently compiled a list of the top names for mares, geldings and stallions based on Club Horse profiles. Apparently, the equine equivalent of “Emma” is “Buddy”. Or perhaps, more accurately, it’s the equine equivalent of “Jacob” or whatever the most popular boys’ name is now. I’ve met a few equine Buddys over the years, and it doesn’t come as a shock that it is the most common horse name among Club Horse members. It also made the top of SmartPak’s list of top ten horse names in 2011.

    The top name for mares here on HorseChannel is “Ginger”. Must be the timeless influence of Black Beauty.

    Here are the full lists.

    Mares Geldings Stallions Overall
    1. Ginger
    2. Bella
    3. Lady
    4. Dixie
    5. Misty
    6. Star
    7. Angel
    8. Sassy
    9. Missy
    10. Annie
    1. Buddy
    2. Jack
    3. Cody
    4. Dakota
    5. Prince
    6. Rocky
    7. Spirit
    8. Shadow
    9. Cowboy
    10. Charlie
    1. Moe
    2. Shadow
    3. Spirit
    4. Barbaro*
    5. Charlie
    6. Thunder
    7. Buddy
    8. Prince
    9. Romeo
    10. Blaze
    1. Buddy
    2. Star
    3. Dakota
    4. Shadow
    5. Ginger
    6. Bella
    7. Lady
    8. Spirit
    9. Jack
    10. Dixie

    *Yes, Barbaro’s high ranking in the stallions category is primarily due to fan pages for the late racehorse. Because there are relatively few stallions with Club Horse profiles, the fan pages were enough to skew the result. Not that there’s anything wrong with naming your horse Barbaro.

    Personally, I’m a fan of unique names. Snoopy, of course, isn’t all that original. I’ve known at least two others. But his name didn’t make our lists, nor did it make SmartPak’s top 100, so it’s unique enough (but I can’t take credit; that’s the name he had when I met him.)

    If I ever have the opportunity to name a horse, I’d probably avoid the common ones. There’s nothing wrong with calling your horse Dusty or Stormy or Star or one of the other popular horse names, but sometimes it’s nice having a unique name. I’d also probably avoid any common human names. A boarder at my old barn had a horse named Jake. Her boyfriend was also named Jake. I have to imagine that led to some awkward misunderstandings.

    I always like when horses are named after other animals. I’ve known a few “Bears” and a “Cat” or two. Among the more unique were “Bug” and “Starfish.” Once we did a photo shoot here at Horse Illustrated with a horse named “Dog.”

    Did your horse’s name make the list? How do you go about choosing a horse’s name? Let me know in the comments section below.

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    30 COMMENTS

    1. Three horses and not one made the top ten. Maybe the have unique names which I highly doubt because I have seen other horses with same names with exception of my mare Shyner. Its good to have this list so you know the most popular names to avoid:)

    2. My son ended up naming our new horse “Morris” after Morris the cat – very appropriate, he’s fussy about water, finicky about his food and swishes his tail when annoyed. – Because he’s from Canada, my vet calls him “Maurice” – Love my horse!

    3. I agree with choosing a little more uncommon name for your horses, I have 2 mares one is Ambrosia and the other is Nutmeg, both were the names they had when I purchased them, and I love their names and they suit each one of my gilrs !

    4. I named my horse Bandit…..because as a 2 yr old he sole my heart. Now I call him Bogee…long o and eeee. He so fits this better. He is 1/4 arabian & rest paint. He chews on everything…..has more personality that anyone I know…go figure….guess it just fits him better.

    5. My horse is a grey Paso Fino, I started calling her Girl when I bought her and it became Siloam Silver Girl. I live in Siloam Springs and she is silver.

    6. My horse had a registered name of Wind Chester Gab sinvr my middle name is Chester as is my dad and gradfather I kept the name. However most folks think he is named after the gun and want to spell it that way. He is my parade, trail and hunt horse.

    7. I have a gelding named Pilot. I’ve had him from the time he was 4 months old. He has always had a gentle spirit, just as my dad did. Pilot will turn 3 this year. Pilot was named in remembrance of my dad; they share the same birthday, born on April 21st. My dad was an aerial sprayer; he also gave flying lessons, chartered flights, hunted fox and coyote from an airplane in the winter to support our family. He had special skies on the airplane so he could land in fields to retrieve the fox and coyote. My dad passed away in 1995, but his spirit lives on with my horse named Pilot. By the way Pilot is a beautiful buckskin paint!!

    8. My horse’s name is Information, and I call him “Info.” He got that name because he was trained at the Nevada State Prison in the BLM Mustang program and his number was, the telephone number to call for information.

    9. I have owned an OTTB for two years and her name is The Third Lady. We called her Lady but now she is known as Lady Bug or just Hug a Bug. Everyone in the barn just loves her since she is so loving and kind!

    10. i have always loved hearing the names of horses out there, and its fun to come up with names as well! and i too like a little more unusual or uncommon names, even tho mine arent or havent been that ususual. but over the years i have had thunder (best horse ever!), hemi, dusty, smokey, domino, whiskey, and sage. right now i have silver and tank. my husband came up with hemi and tank (he’s pretty good at naming horses!), my brother and i came up with whiskey, and i came up with sage and domino. thunder, dusty, smokey, and silver were their names when we got them and i liked them so we didnt change them. a friend of mine has a horse named ethan, he was named after the grandson of the people who foaled him. i once seen a horse at a show named elvis, and his registered name was “elvis thank you very much”. i thought that was pretty neat and definitely different. i think it would be so fun to pick a unique name like that for registering a foal. maybe one of these days i will!

    11. I have 8 horses Boza, Marshall, Flit, chic, Bailey, Hank, Charlie, Trooper. Trooper is a rescue we saved him from being put down his mother was sold for slaughter and he was to young he was 4 weeks old. We figured he would have to be a real trooper to make it

    12. I have 8 horses Boza, Marshall, Flit, chic, Bailey, Hank, Charlie, Trooper. Trooper is a rescue we saved him from being put down his mother was sold for slaughter and he was to young he was 4 weeks old. We figured he would have to be a real trooper to make it

    13. I renamed my horse from Marchpane(yuck) to Xena, which of course suits her perfectly, she is a black Friesian, and looks like a warrior princess. I sometimes call her princess as a nick name, and belive me, she IS a princess.

    14. My horse’s registered name is I’d Rather Risk. He was named Risk after Paul Brandt’s song of the same name which talks about living life to to the fullest. He was a total risk when I bought him as he was so malnourished and underweight, we weren’t sure he’d even live! He is by far the best risk I’ve ever taken though!!

    15. Great names shown my Charlie made the list(his actual name is Charleston) my other horses are jitterbug (known as jitters or bugsy) ,tango know as tang tang and fox trot (know as foxy) my jitters has a baby on the way any ideas for a name that keeps with my dance theme

    16. I have 5 horses: Cinnamon – she was already named, Jetalitosfinalfantasy – aka: Little Man his sire was Final Fantasy and his dam was Cocoa Jetalito, Fire Cracker – he was suppose to be born on July 4 but came early, Dukes Mountain Breeze – he was 8 weeks late and already half grown!!!, and Colonelz Lucky Britchez – he was 9.5 weeks late and my Little Fella he is the sweetest of them all!! I have had others: Saffire – because of her unique blue eyes, Ellie Mae – love the Beverly Hillbillies!!!, Annie – she was born during the night of our anniversary, Bask In The Darque – Arabian and he was a VERY dark bay,There have been others.

    17. Mary – she came with the name as a 5-year old and it still suits her 20 years on. Strong, gentle, kind, beautiful, no fuss, knows-her-own-mind shire. She’s an insitution.

    18. My Daughter has a Paso-Fino named Jose. He was named by the breeder, and first owner. Most know the correct way to pronounce his name, except the lady we got him from. She pronounced in like Josie, as in “Outlaw Josie Wells.” I have a Standard Bred that was also named when we got him and saved his life from starvation. Of course that is a different conversation. His name was Bill when we got him. I too don’t like the normal names for any thing i get to name. I call him “Wild Bill” due to his very high spirit. I love it when he is in one of his “I wanna go” moods. Our time on horseback is cherished. We ride for hours and miles. Alot of the time, is spent in silence just listening to nature on trail rides, other times we talk so much we actually forget to keep an eye on the time and get caught by dark getting home. I know that was a little off topic, but I just felt like sharing a little bit of my love for horses and what they can bring to a relationship with a 13 year old daughter and her father… Love the articles like this one. Would love to read more articles concerning how relationships have been influenced by horses such as mine and my daughters.

    19. My first horse’s name was The Bronx. I called him Bronx. He was already registered so the name stayed. His sire was Pachars Manhattan so Bronx’s name fit in with the New York scene. What a sweetheart he was! He is gone now, but the memories he left and the hoof prints on my heart are numerous.

    20. My horses name is on the list :-). His name is Romeo….he was already called this when i got him at 2, but i think it’s a pretty cool name 🙂 xx

    21. I’ve owned 4 horses throughout my life, none of their names are on that list surprisingly! I’m only 19, thats why I don’t live on a horse farm with 60 horses yet! LOL! My 2 horses, who are now deceased, their names were Cocoa and Simon. I thought that both of those names are pretty common! Cocoa was my little 13.9 HH Crossbred pony (dark bay). Who I got for Christmas at the age of 10. Simon I got during the summer of that year. He was a flea bitten grey Arabian (15 HH). Both were geldings. Now I own a beautiful mare and a gelding. My gelding is a Dutch Warmblood, dark bay/stripe, 16 HH and is 6 years old. His name is Blitz. My mare’s name is Brooklyn. She is a black Thoroughbred mare with a star and stands proud and high at the height of 16.8 HH! I love all of my horses (past and present) no matter their names!

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