Your Horse Is Important and His Name Should Be, Too

Posted by Allie Layos

Your horse's name says a lot about him, so it's important to pick a good one.

For both people and pets, names matter. They reflect personality, they serve as a link to the past, and when it comes to horses, some even believe them to be prophetic. There is clearly a lot at stake in a name.

Finding the perfect name for your horse can be difficult. Whether you are a horse breeder or a rider who just purchased a horse with a less than desirable moniker, it can take a lot of thought and time to come up with the perfect barn name or show name.

Here are a few tips to make the process easier.

Registered Names

Registering your horse under a good name is vital. This is the name that will be called out during every competition, and the one that will go down in history for champion horses. For this reason, registered names should be catchy, unique, and memorable.

One of the easiest and most common ways to come up with one is to find a useable combination of the sire and dam's names. For example, if the sire's name is Midnight Express and the dam's name is After All, something like After Midnight could be a winning combination.

However, this method doesn't always yield results this useful, and if it doesn't, there are a number of other tactics that can help.


The type of horse you're naming and your plans for him can be equally useful when choosing a name. Consider what you plan to do with him, or what discipline or division you plan to compete in.

Naming a western pleasure horse something Nascar related doesn't make much sense unless you're going for irony, but it might be a great idea for a racehorse or road horse that are known for their speed.

Barn Names

As vital as registered names are, few owners use their horse's registered name on a daily basis, so in some senses, a horse's nickname, or "barn name," is even more important.

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Many barn names are derived from a horse's registered name. A horse named Twist And Shout might go by "Twister," or a horse called Rainbow Connection might be called "Rain" or "Connie."

Some registered names don't offer obvious nicknames, however, and some horses aren't registered. In such cases, consider your horse's characteristics such as color, height, or personality when choosing a name. Many horses go by human names, so you may even want to scan through lists of baby names to find something appropriate.

If none of those names seem to work, or you'd prefer a non-human name for your horse, consider your favorite books, movies, or TV shows. Often character, author, or actor names can lend themselves well to horse names, or at least spark other ideas that might work.

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If you have another pet you might consider keeping a theme going with all your pet names. If you're really into literature, perhaps you want to name all of your pets with the names of famous authors, or if you're a big history buff, maybe you want to give them the names of famous generals.

Whatever method you choose, remember to enjoy the process -- it's the whole point of owning horses, after all!

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Your Horse Is Important and His Name Should Be, Too