Naming Horses Is an Art - And I Am No Artist

Posted by Paige Cerulli
girl and horse
All images: Paige Cerulli Writing Services

When I acquired a new miniature horse, I discovered that naming horses is no easy task - even though I've done it dozens of times in my dreams. 

What's in a name? A whole lot more than you might think. The addition of a new rescue miniature horse to my barn has prompted me to search for the perfect name, and I'll be honest - I can't find it.

Naming horses? It's a challenge.

When I was a horseless horse-loving child, my best friend and I spent our free time by coming up with names for the horses that we'd have one day. I rattled off dozens of great barn names, pairing them with elegant show names. I was great at it! Somehow between the time when I was twelve and where I find myself in life now, I lost that talent. Why didn't I save those lists of awesome show names and barn names?

So, I've gotten desperate. I've started generating lists of words that I associate with the mini. I've got adjectives, nouns, phrases, everything - and nothing works as a name. The mini has clearly been abused in the past, so I'm looking for a name that is positive, a fresh start, that will give him something to grow into.

Honor, Hope, Future, King, Prince. None of them work. They're cliche or don't fit. I'm a writer, for goodness' sake. I should be able to do this.

I figured I needed to put more work into the process, so I got creative. If I couldn't find a name in this language, then a name in another language would work, right? So I hopped on translation sites in hopes of finding that perfect name. After an hour of plugging in favorite words, I found that "truth" translates to "firinne" in Irish. It's beautiful, but a mouthful. And does it fit the gelding? I don't know.

So I turned to my other loves - poetry, music, the West. I came up with names like Figaro, Hamilton, Hamlet, Poet, Dakota, Breeze, Montana, and Vivaldi. Nope.

I even took to Facebook. I asked friends for suggestions, and started paying attention to the names of horses that group members posted about. Still, nothing felt right, and naming horses has continued to be a challenge that I haven't conquered.

READ MOREYour Horse Is Important and His Name Should Be, Too

I think part of the problem is that I want to do right by this tiny gelding. He's a big project and has the kind of past that you want to help a horse forget about. A name is a new start, but it also carries weight with it. I've found that other horses have very much grown into their names. This little guy is afraid of the entire world, and could use a new start, some trust, and a hefty dose of confidence. What if I choose the wrong name for this gelding?

So for now, the gelding is referred to as Pony. He doesn't seem to mind. My vet pulled bloodwork today, and put his name down as "Ginger Pony Cerulli." She suggests I name him after some famous actor with red hair.

I hope that with time, I'll come across the perfect name. Maybe one day, when I'm not searching for it, I'll stumble upon the name that's just meant to be.

Of course, then I'll need to come up with a show name, and the process will start all over again.

Do you have any suggestions for a great name for this mini? Then please, let me know in the comments below!

All images: Paige Cerulli Writing Services

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Naming Horses Is an Art - And I Am No Artist