Rider to Rider: How Did Your Horse Come by his Name or Nickname?

His original name was Alydeed’s Leader when he was on the track, then it was changed to Copper. The person who named him Copper left him to starve in a field so when I adopted I knew I would be changing his name. After getting to know him for a few weeks it just came to me one day “Norman”, after the baby cow from the movie “City Slickers”. He has the same demeanor, follows me around and is just that sweet so the name definitely stuck.
Heather Young, via Facebook

My half Clydesdale thinks he’s an overgrown Labrador – just kind of a good ole boy. My daughter and I used to watch Miami Vice and one night entering the barn and seeing our horse, I called out “hey there Bubba”. We got a deep voiced answer. He chose his own name. 15 years later Bubba is still a much-loved member of the family and still thinks he’s a Labrador.
Mary L Stewart, Oregon

I named my horse Levi cause I’m a fan of Levi Stubbs from the Temptations!
Kerrie Bell, via Facebook

My Rottweiler Xena died in 2008, was the best dog ever! I purchase my horse Zeni in March 2012. I wanted a name that was significant in remembrance Of Xena. Zeni’s show name is ZeniBella because my Rottweiler now is named ZoeBella; I needed a show name for Zeni in seconds and my friend that was with me yelled out ZeniBella, like ZoeBella. Both are well deserving of Bella significance, which means Beautiful in Italian! My best friend ZeniBella shares 2 special names from the best female Rottweilers that have ever lived!
Cherise Manno via Facebook

“Emme” is named after THE Emme – The Supermodel – who also happens to know about her equine namesake – her real TB name is still her name – “A-merri-gal” – Emme was a better fit than Ami or Amy would’ve been.
Leslie Patrick, Arizona

My newest horse is named Coleman, I have a fascination with old Coleman lanterns and it just fit!
Melissa Mccain-Jones, California

My guy “Remington swag “was named after my shotgun! He is short and compact but packs a heck of a punch! And has a certain suave about him too!
Dee Kellner, Texas

My horse’s name is Oprah. It may not be politically correct to say, but yes, obviously she is black. So I must follow that with saying that her color is NOT the main reason she fits her name so well. She’s a little shorter than the average jumper and tends to carry a little too much around the middle at times, and also like her namesake, the girl has HEART. She is sassy, classy and most importantly will give everything she has to those who deserve it. People often laugh or are offended (it goes either way) when I tell them my horse’s name is Oprah, because they only see physicality of it. I always think “Oh, if you only really knew.”
Johanna S. Routhier, via Facebook

My current East Coast ride is a red roan named “My Red Convertible” because I will never have one as long as I own horses!
Cathy Evans, New Jersey

My Tucker, who was a PMU baby, was given the show name of Patronus, from the Harry Potter movies. It means protector. He is my protector on the cross-country course!
Lori Tankel, via Facebook

My horse, who is a registered Half-Arabian, carries the name of ?Aallusive Angel? on her papers & is the name under which she is shown. It is her barn name, however, which is my favorite. Around the farm we call her Mustang Sally due to the fact that one quarter of her heritage is Mustang!
Hope Ellis-Ashburn, Tennessee

My Quarter Horse is named Eva’s Sonny Rey and he is a combination of his sire’s and Dam’s name…which is sometimes the custom with Quarter Horses. His sire was Sonny Han Rey and his dam was Clifton’s Eva.
Lisa Stewart, Virginia

Her registered name is Certainly Amazing because she was a lovely foal and her name had to begin with a “C” Naturally, we called her Mazie for short, but my husband began to change it up. He started the nickname “Maize and Blue-sies” because Maize (gold) and Blue (navy) are Michigan’s colors. It’s long but it really does roll of the tongue.
Trinity Sporthorses, Via Facebook

Niles Crane is the name of my 26 year-old OTTB horse. He is just like actor in the show Frazier in his size, temperament and is very particular in what he eats and drinks. He is a true to life horse-person comparison.
Marie Corbisiero Holt, Indiana

My mare, Rose, was born during the Kentucky Derby that Eight Bells broke down in during 2008 and she has a long stem rose shaped star/stripe/snip. Her registered name is Mint Julep.
Victoria Teeple-Clark, Michigan

When we bought my pony, an 11.2h hackney pony, he had two intended purposes: pasture buddy for my other horse and to be my little brother’s introduction to horses. My brother was never passionate about the horses like I was; his interests at the time were more skateboards and BMX bikes. To try to entice him to “join the dark side” we named the pony Ollie, like the skateboard trick. Needless to say it didn’t work and the pony became mine. Within months he picked up the nickname Ollie-bear because of his sweet loveable “teddy bear” personality, his tiny 11.2h stature, and his note worthy ability to grow the longest winter coat I’ve ever seen! 10 years later, he is still my Ollie-bear, and he follows me wherever my job takes me, which is currently California.
Anne Meyer, California

Decided to keep the mythology name theme going w/ my new horse. My dog is named Zeus, so I went to Japanese mythology for the name Raiden (god of thunder & lightning). A good name for a grey, he’s called Ray around the barn. The video gamers think it came from Mortal Combat.
Bobbi Layton Brodman, Ohio

?Relentlessinnovation?~ barn name Tyson. So named because when he came to me as a rescue his mane was rubbed out bald and the cuts on his face were draped like Mike Tysons tattoo.
Tara Williamson, Ohio.

My horse, a gorgeous black and white paint mare was called Onyx when i got her as a two year old. Onyx is pretty, but it’s cold and hard. This little mare is warm, friendly, and will do whatever I ask just to please me. She also has a perfect heart on her forehead, so naturally I call her Heart. I broke her, am training her for dressage and she has been a dream. So, naturally when it came to deciding her show name I turned to my list of favorite songs. And she is the equine embodiment of what I chose. She is, without a doubt, Just Like Heaven.
Miranda Noyes, Oklahoma

Zimran is Hebrew for a fine chamois. My boy is a golden palomino.
Sharon Boykan Gregory, South Carolina

My horse’s name is Zzyzx Road; He’s named after an exit off the I15 highway between Las Vegas and LA. I call him Zizz for short and when He’s naughty I threaten to change his name to “Runs with Zizzors” (like scissors).
Miranda Crume-Kaucky, New York

Jace’s barn name came from slamming together his mom and dad?s barn name. Jet + Face = Jace.
Sherry Rosser Carroll, via Facebook

My horse was born on Friday the 13th, so he got named Freaky Friday.
Vicki Taylor, Facebook

My horse and his 2 full brothers are all named after fasteners since their dam’s ranch name was Snap. The eldest brother is Zipper; the youngest (who was originally called Buttons until they realized that is no name for a colt) is Rivet. My boy, the middle brother, is Latch (saved him from the original name of Velcro).
Amy Gingher Langley, Pennsylvania

My diva mare is nicknamed Brandi. She is full bodied, the color of a fine liqueur, smooth with just enough zing and leaves me with a warm fuzzy feeling!
BettyAnn Kolba, Illinois

My racehorse – Contrary Opinion – needed a good stable name — he is known as Imus -as in radio shock jock Don Imus.
Heather Storm, via Facebook

I live in South Africa and bought my gorgeous warmblood from the Cordova Stud in Botswana. His registered name is Cordova Ronaldo ? and yes, he is named after the superstar football player Ronaldo! He’s had two stable names so far. Firstly Bumpy ? short for Country Bumpkin, as he was so green when he came to us as a three year old and literally would goggle at cars and motorbikes! Latterly He’s known as Tokolosh as He’s morphed into quite a naughty little devilish person with an opinion about just about everything! A tokolosh is an African mythical creature ? kind of like a dwarf, very mischievous ??and always stirring up trouble just for a laugh. It describes his naughty impish but loveable personality very well at this stage of his life.
Lynn Bannerman, South Africa

My 25-year-old horse’s show name is ?Gone Country?.? He was named after Alan Jackson?s big hit 20+ years ago of the same name.? Appropriately his nickname is ?Houston?.
Linda Priboth, Colorado

I’m currently riding a retired police horse named Danny.??I have him on a lease-to-buy agreement to see if he’s the right horse. So far, he’s passed every “test” ? dressage lessons, a dressage clinic, trail riding and a dressage schooling show. He eagerly reports for duty, is brave, and understands the salute in a dressage test.??My husband suggested his show name, Lieutenant Dan (Forrest Gump). So long as he always remembers that I’m Colonel Cathy!
Cathy Jamieson-Ogg, South Carolina

My husband just bought his first horse, a handsome male thoroughbred/Clydesdale Mix, and our daughter and I were eager to name him something “stately”. However, my husband found all of our suggestions too pretentious. Finally, another rider at the barn suggested that the horse looked like a smaller version of the Budweiser Clydesdales. Therefore, she suggested “Bud Light”, and thought he might be able to pull a carriage with Bud Lights next to the carriage with the Clydesdales and their Budweiser. Nothing pretentious in that name! Bud Light it is.
Ingrid Straeter, Alabama

After 41 years of dreaming of my own horse, and wondering what I would call him, how could I argue with a 9 year old boy who names a colt after his favorite movie hero???Named after the wild black stallion from The Man from Snowy River, and with not a wild bone in his body, “Brumby” fits his name to a T! Often called “Mr. B”, “Brumbles” or “Brumblebee”, the Brumbster is a perfect gentleman, a gentle giant with a great sense of humor! He’s taught me so much in the last nine years and even won me a ribbon at our first recognized event! No fancy show name has ever fit, and I believe even understands his name when he hears it over the loud speakers!
Rachel Locktov Ambrose, via Email

When I first got my horse, a gorgeous chestnut thoroughbred, her name was Lady Devon, which was similar to her dams name Tall Time Lady.??I was told when I bought her that her grandsire was Secretariat, and with a little research found out that it was true.??I always despised her real name and wanted to change it up. I took forever to think about it and ever name that I came up with I did not like at all. I wanted a name that kept true to her family’s, but was classy and fresh.??I finally came up with a name I just adored, Lady in Red.??Lady to keep some of her previous name and her dam’s, but Red came from Secretariat a.k.a. Big Red.??I also loved this name because my nana loved the song by Chris de Burgh, which made it even more special. Today, I adore the name almost as much as I adore her.
Naomi Norris, Indiana

My four-year-old son named my horse Princess Jasmine. She is a very dark bay and they have the same big eyes so, I agreed. Just this week as I was tacking her up my now 5-year-old son, came into the barn and said mom, address you going to ride princess Leia today? I corrected him and said princess Jasmine, he said. I changed my mind. I want to call her princess Leia…. …from very wet Colorado.
Kelly Breuer Carr Engdahl, Colorado

My horse got his name, Oliver, because he looks just like my ?one-time? husband?s Uncle Harold. Harold?s middle name was Oliver. Now only does Oliver the horse LOOK like Harold, but he ?assesses the situation? and figures out like Uncle Harold did. When I first laid eyes on this fellow, I thought I would love to have him. Indeed, he was eventually for sale, and I bought him. My one time husband named his first borne ?Oliver?. It has been a joke between us all ever since?I have been heard to say, ??they named their first born kid after my horse!? To this day, Oliver the horse continues to amaze me with how he is JUST like his human counterpart. Like Harold, Oliver provides me with endless bouts of laughter; I am not certain about Harold, but this guy is a lovely ride.

Cindy Locken, Canada

In 1984, I bred my mother?s half-Arabian Appaloosa mare, Fiddle-De-De, to the purebred Arabian stallion Toi Soldier.? The product of that breeding was a 3/4-Arabian colt with an Appy blanket. I have special memories of the day he was born.? Once the vet had paid his visit, Fiddle-De-De and her son were led out to the pasture. I went to check on something and he left his mother to follow me. He was such a happy little boy, a very happy Appy, there was only one name for him: Happy Toi (pronounced Toy). Riding Happy Toi was a joy (unless it was a joi).? Photos of us show that I was usually wearing a smile. And Happy Toi always looked like a pretty happy boy when he was carrying me.? In fact, just thinking about him makes me smile. Although Happy Toi is no longer with us, I am positive that he is living up to his name and is happily providing much joy in that greenest of pastures.
Linda Stoner, via Email

I have a colorful black/white/brown spotted Irish Cob whose oh-so-creative name on his passport is, wait for it: “Spot.” Many details, including, but not limited to, how and why he had arrived in the States 9 months earlier, who exactly owned him when I found him on the Internet, and what he had actually been doing since arriving

were sketchy and changed on a daily basis, depending upon who was relaying information to me. With these tall-tales in mind, and knowing that I wanted THE most Irish sounding name possible, I named him McBlarney O’Pony. I call him O’Pie around the barn because he so reminds me of Ron Howard’s adorably good-hearted but occasionally mischievous character in that old TV show, Andy of Mayberry. And, because there was no specific birth date on his passport beyond the year, his birthday is officially celebrated on, of course, St. Patrick’s Day. He’s a swell fellow, and I love him dearly
Andie Yellott, via Email

Our horse is named Willy Nilly. And correctly so, we never wanted to have our own horse (expensive and lot’s of work) but it turned otherwise. Having changed a ‘rented’ horse once to many to digest the sadness of losing a horse, we leaped forward and bought a 10-year old KWPN. When telling an English lady at the stables we bought the horse and saying his name, she replied that we didn’t own a horse willy nilly, but looked for one very hard: she took the name for the expression….
Ann Dhelft, Belgium

We have often vacationed on the west side of the Olympic Peninsula. The steelhead river one crosses after Forks is called the Bogachiel River. (Riled when rainy or muddy) I always figured it would be a great name for an appaloosa, my first horse at age 25. Over the years there were several foals and finally 6 years ago with the arrival of my Appaloosa X Friesian foal I knew it was his name. He is a lovely brown and white and 16 2.? He is everything I hoped for though there isn’t any hint of Friesian in his appearance.
Rose Applegate, Washington

I named my horse Jaguar because when I told people that he is a Holsteiner, they would ask, “What is that?”, and I would respond that he is like driving a fine car, like a Jaguar.
Elizabeth Marks, New York

Fairytale Ending
My “McLucky” got his nickname because he was lucky he found me, so lucky he did not go to become zoo meat, which is usually leftover McDonalds hamburgers…

Retread Eventer, via Facebook

My Arabian “Wren” is a rescue who I found 14 years ago living in a flooded junkyard in Louisiana. I started feeding him (I kept a bag of feed and a bucket in my car and started making daily treks to an out of the way scrapyard to care for him) and then the county stepped in after Hurricane Lily injured him and killed his pasture mate, and he was finally legally seized. The man who owned the property, and the horses, was Jordanian, and pronounced the horse’s long Arabic name. I caught the first syllable (Ren) and decided he’s little, and brown, and flighty, so he became “Wren”. My TB “Hope” (Jockey Club name “Royal Dazzle”) was abandoned when her previous owner lost his JC privileges, despite being a fairly decent runner and being beautifully built and bred. I always wanted to breed one runner and take it from babyhood all the way to the track under our farm’s name. We “Hope” that she’ll be the mama of that runner (but, even if she isn’t, she’s safe and comfortable here for the rest of her life and doesn’t have to worry about being abandoned again).
Kelly Glenn, via Facebook

My horse got his name from the vet actually. I got this horse as a rescue. Indi was a three-year-old breeding stock paint stud, and he looked more like a yearling because he was so malnourished. When my vet came out to geld him she was laughing because in her words I am a sucker for punishment when it comes to buying horses. I told her that I just loved adventure! Well we had to have a name to put on his Coggins so she said since I love a good adventure so much his name should be Indiana Jones. Now 8 months later my adventure has turned into a wonderful little horse with a fantastic personality!
Rachael E. Hull, via Facebook

Another filly was named by a 3-year-old neighbor, who tried to name her Cinderella. Hubby said no, Cinderella wasn’t black. Unfortunately 4 days later she was an orphan and so it stuck. Registered name Majors Cinder Ella. Barn name Cinder.? Nancy Watson, via Facebook

I have a wild mustang that I was training for the New Jersey Extreme Mustang Makeover. When I got her, I officially named her Zonta, which is Sioux Indian for “trusted”, hoping it would become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. We ended up just calling her “Z” around the barn. After the competition, I adopted her, and have since changed her show name to “Eazy” because that’s what she has become: easy, from wild to mild.
Nicole Barbye, New Jersey

The mammoth donkey gelding that I bailed out of county sheriff custody in Gatesville, TX had no name. He was found roaming the highways and no one claimed him. The vet and sheriffs office thought he was a mule because he was so big (his Coggins even said mule!). I adopted him. My friend was using Google to find all these interesting names. Finally she said, “I just love Google!” I said, “That’s it!” And his name became Google!! His show name is Google Bail Out! I ride and show him and I just adore my Google!! He’s my profile pic!
Jennifer Faunce Garretson, via Facebook

Once upon a time there was a horse at Camelot named “Shinhopple”.? He was, if you closed your eyes and saw him with your heart, a beautiful, 16.2 hand, red gelding.? In reality, he was a 19 year old has been from racing with a swayback, a neurological issue and about 400 pounds underweight. Many of us on Facebook fell in love with him the minute we saw his picture and had to do something.? After all, every horse deserves a loving home and this grandson of Foolish Pleasure was no exception! We started networking and praying and an angel from Philadelphia, Pa. drove to New Jersey and purchased the boy.? I remember that day like it was yesterday.??I remember the phone call and the wonderful man who said, “You own a horse!”? Yup, I was?now the proud owner of a horse whose fate was now secure and who had won?many hearts in his quest for rescue. When?I announced it on Facebook, one comment rang out?loud and clear.? “You just wait”, she said “that boy is?going to look like a?champ one day!”? And so it was … “Shinhopple” became “Champ” that day!? And a champ he is!? He has been diagnosed with stringhalt, which is easily managed with good feed, good hay and a supplement.? He has gained the 400 pounds he was lacking and lots of trot work has improved his topline and helped with his swayback.? His first show, just 3 months after his rescue, he was reserve champion and has since repeated that feat!? He has excelled in everything he has attempted and floored us all by jumping a 4′ fence to get to his feed!? He is truly a CHAMP in my eyes and the eyes of hundreds of friends he has on Facebook.? And, as any goodwill ambassador would do, he promotes other horses in need and supports many of the fine rescues who do what one little group on Facebook did… they see the “what can be” not the “what has been”.
Ginny Schroeder, via Email

Took A Chance is his showname. I admit it isn’t terribly imaginative but that is what I did when I rescued him from our local auction. I wasn’t looking to buy and certainty didn’t need a scrawny 3yr OTTB. But l couldn’t let him get on that one-way van to Canada. Chance is now my eventer and friend. He is aka Zesty. Given by one of my friends. But you need to watch him jump to understand that.
Maggie Rikard, via Email

Our mare ?Petra? is a mystery horse.? We got her through a horse rescue where my son and I volunteer.? Her racing tattoo is faded, but the first letter is an ?O? or a ?Q,? so she is in her mid-twenties.? We talked to her old barn manager (where she was boarded before her owner abandoned her), who told us that her racing name was something like ?SHe’s So Pretty.?? We don’t have enough information to find her in the Jockey Club Registry.? She is such a sweetheart, with so much energy?my son is still showing and jumping her at 2?6??so we wish we knew more about her. ?Was she fast?? Probably yes.? Did she run hot?? Again, probably yes.? Petra is perfect, but I wish we had her identity back.
Suzy Israel, via Email

When I got my OTTB from auction she came with the name Sissy. I cannot handle calling a horse Sissy, so I decided to think of a new name for her. I had friends giving me so many different suggestions for days but none of them seemed to fit. Then one night before I went to sleep after owning her for a week, I was thinking about how at the auction I just kept going back to her stall and in to look at her. I wasn’t even shopping for a horse at the time, I was at the auction for tack, but something about that warm blood looking TB kept drawing me back. That’s when her name hit me; Destiny, because it was fate that brought us together, and her show name Forbidden Destiny because my family was so upset when they found out I acquired a second horse. I like Destiny so much better than her JC name (which I found out after much research), which is Call Sister.
Kelli Martin, Maryland

My horse came off the track with the name Mr. Popps. We entered the ring at his first show and the announcer accidentally said, “Now in the ring we have Rebecca riding Mr. Poops.” As one can imagine there were quite a few puzzled looks and confused laughs. While most days I call him Popps, there are occasions when the names Poop Star and Poppy Poopy Pants make an appearance.
Rebecca Barber, Virginia

My most recent off the track thoroughbred wasn’t named on the track. His barn name is “Jake” from the old country song “Feed Jake” and his show name is Mr. High Maintenance. Anyone who has owned an OTTB knows how high maintenance they are!
Morgan Elizabeth, via Facebook

My horse came off the track with the name “Barbarules”. We began calling her Barb or Barbie for short. One day my friend and I decided she would make a great unicorn. So we now call her Barbiecorn. It still makes me giggle.
Deanna Burg, New York

My OTTB Chance usually gets called “Sweetheart” b/c he is just that! He is my sweetheart. He is now 23 years old and retired while still being the sweetest guy around! On the other hand, my green Appendix QH Milo gets called many different things. Usually, it’s just “my boy” but it’ll range to things like “brat” and “jerk” to things that aren’t really polite for me to say on here…. but in the end, he’s always “my boy” and I love him to death!
Jayme Landry, Louisiana

“Esby” Jockey Club name: SilverBDancing – was called Silver at the track. I took “S” and “B” from his JC name. SB became Esby I show him as Autograph.
Sara Lee, via Facebook

My OTTB’s official name is Brave Colony. He is by Pleasant Colony out of Bravo Native. When I worked for Buckland Farm we were allowed to name some of the horses and I was so happy to be able to get one that I had named. What else could I nickname a true 18 hand horse but Shorty! His nickname & size does get people’s attention! He is now 24 living the good life that he deserves after a career of foxhunting & showing! His race record consists of 2 starts (dead last) as the only thing he runs for is the food bucket!
Susan Coleman, Virginia

He did what?
Like these! We have several for ours. Black Beauty or BB for short has many names, I will list only the polite ones: Beepers, she’s paint/draught with the draught hind end to match and needs the “beep beep beep” noise when she backs up for a scratch, or Queen B; she runs a tight ship for our 10 others. SHe’s boss; not so nice names when on her. Twiggy is our rescue pony; she’s Twiggs because she was so thin like the super model Twiggy and Twiggy Jo for her country kicker name Guthrie, Oklahoma is home to us.

Alysia Hoskins, Oklahoma

Merlin – for 2 reasons – 1] he liked the “Mmm” sound a lot when we got him (he’d been turned out and neglected for a long time) and 2] because he is a magician at picking stall latches AND pockets for treats… But don’t think for one minute he doesn’t know his whole real name: he freezes just like a little kid when I catch at something and call him by it.
Leslie Patrick, Arizona

My saddlebred William is nicknamed “Squirrels for Brains” because when he gets upset his ears quiver and we say it’s because the squirrel in his brain is running to hard on the wheel.
Liz Morgan, Ohio

I had Morgan for a few months before she earned her nickname. She was and still is a very quirky mare. Anyhow one morning after a weeklong rainstorm in Alabama I had just let in the horses to get their breakfast. Morgan was standing strangely out in the tree line. I called to her and she kind of crab walked / creeped in my direction… Trying not to freak out I made my way out through the sloppy footing to her thinking she had broken something or contracted a mysterious neurological disease. She’s still standing there on her toes looking miserable when I grab ahold of her rainsheet and lead her to the barn. She crept sideways the whole way just acting really bizarre and flinching her abdominal muscles with every step. Her feet hit the barn aisle and all of a sudden she just marches to her stall as if nothing were wrong. “Prissy” does not like it when the mud splashes up on her belly…. From that day on she’s been Prissy to those who know and love her! We are in PA now.
Hillary Parker, Pennsylvania

My Palomino Appaloosa came with the name Caramel. He didn’t deserve a “girlish” name as he’s built like a brick sh!thouse. I walked into his stall the first night to feed him and he was extremely aggressive to the point of rearing up and striking out. From that day on we called him Karma. One minute he’s a gem, the next he’s an a$$. We decided to passport him as Platinum Edition as he’s a light palomino. I wouldn’t sell or trade him for the world.
Nicole Clark, Canada

My gelding was a large baby and he took a while to stand up. He used the walls of his stall to stay upright so I was going to call him Rebound. However on his first turnout day, I went in the house to check on my baby and heard what sounded like a freight train. It was Rumble bounding around his pasture. He would pound the ground with every stride so I could hear him from 5 acres away. As he has grown up, he is proved himself to be very feisty and his nickname of Rumble has stuck. He and his sister Princess live with their dam and me on PA.
Amy Dowd Ruppert, Pennsylvania

My TB gelding, Mikey, has the nickname HAM, which stands for ?Half A$$ed Mikey? because he can be so lazy and will put in the least amount of effort required. ?
Christie Bellfy, Michigan

From the moment my filly was born she was the bravest thing. When we took her and her mother to be inspected, we literally led her around the show grounds to get her mother to come out of the trailer and into the arena, and she was so happy to be the leader. It was an “I” year so, naturally, we named her Independence!
Alex Wolff, Texas

I have messy writing and wrote what I thought was “Fehrie” on the entry form at a show but the announcer said as “Fernie”! That gave her the nickname of Fern or Fernie. It is a very cute name and was very well suited!
Aisling Laverty, via Facebook

My favorite horse name was my father’s youth horse, “Chainsaw!” She would chew wood so bad that she would leave just the nails with a silver dollar sized ring of wood around them. Legendary chewer and the bane of every barn owner’s existence! No amount of turnout, minerals or hot sauce would slow her down. My father still tells the story of how she ate out of her stall one night. I’m sure she’s died of wood induced colic by now, but the legend of Chainsaw still lives!
Amanda Bunnell Phillips, Florida

My ex-race horse Kahlua, because he is smooth going, his Jockey Club name is Crystal Rapids. Bought him as a 5 year-old, and still ride and jump at 17 years old. Now my daughter who is 6 enjoys him too.
Vanessa Lovel,
via Facebook

His registered name is “Aye’ll Fly Away”, which is perfect because that is how I feel when we are together. But his nickname is Moose, because he is as big as a moose and he walks like a moose.
Kelly Hamilton,
via Facebook

Wild Rose got her name from my daughter, who was 7 at the time. Her dam’s name is (groan) Wildfire, and Rosie was born a red dun, so Caitlin thought Wild Rose was a great name. Little did we know at the time how suitable her name was for her as she was a bucking fool when she was broke to ride, and still likes to spook at any little thing she thinks is appropriate (no matter how many times she has seen it).?
Dawn Reisinger, via Facebook

I used to ride a thoroughbred named Boulder. However he wasn’t very bold at all and was scared of everything so I started to call him Boo! I still loved the guy though and he had a huge heart.
Jessica Brobst, Michigan

My gelding was 6 when we bought him and he came with the name Sundance that we felt was not right for him. We got him home and while he was munching hay in the stall my mother went out to say hello, he lifted his head and was completely covered in hay so she laughed and called him a giant Lug and the name Lugnut was born. And that is his name and believe me he is a giant lug!
Kate Foley, via Facebook

I named my filly Gracie, thinking she would be smart, beautiful, and graceful. Turns out she’s too smart, not too graceful, but beautiful. She’s got a sassy personality and likes to argue. Alas, she is Gracie Lou Freebush. On special monthly occasions, she prefers s***face. It’s all in good fun though; she’s a great horse! We live in the California valley.
Deann Pendergrass,
via Facebook

My mare is named Majors Katmandu, barn name, Mandy. After demanding crunchies be fed to her as she was lying in her stall, her new barn name is Demanda.
Nancy Watson,via Facebook

Penny, aka ?Shades Penny Nickers??she always nickered to her breeder after she was born and she was shinny like a penny
Crossfield Farms Equine Breaking & Training, Illinois

My Shagya gelding became mine at age 1. His name was Ledger, which I was not fond of… but which he knew. I couldn’t see myself relating him to a piece of paper or a dead celebrity (Heath died near the time of his birth), so I came up with River as a name that was similar sounding, but that I liked. Most of our animals have nature inspired names, and the idea of a peaceful, meandering river completely fits his laid back, cuddly, yet adventurous personality. He learned his ‘customized’ name very quickly! Of course, even though he is now 5, we often still call him Baby River. My little “Riv” has been by far the most enjoyable young horse I’ve ever been around. You just want to bring him in the house!
Skye Pechie, Rhode Island

I bought Toby in England in 1997.? I was 59 years old and he was a chestnut 6-year-old Irish Draft Cross, with the show name ?Ferndale Clontu Clover.?? I knew that if I bought him the name would have to go, but didn’t really think about it during the purchase process.? I tried him out several times while I was there, and my friends and I were constantly amazed at both his talent and his fabulous disposition.? Once I had made the decision to buy him, I arranged to have him vetted, etc. by my friends who lived there, and I headed home.? I was waiting for my flight at Heathrow Airport and decided to go into the Duty Free shop to get rid of my leftover English money.? When I saw the Toblerone chocolate, I knew that I had found my horse’s new name.

He became Toblerone, because, as I told people, he was so sweet!? We evented quite successfully at Training Level for a number of years.? He is now 22 years young, and still going strong, although we are no longer jumping.? We are aiming to become members of the Dressage Foundation?s Century Club in 2 years.? (Combined age of horse and rider equals 100.)? And he is still as sweet as ever.
Donna Donaghy, Rhode Island

As a kid I was enamored with the idea of having a Hanoverian and had an opportunity to own a TB cross.??He was very reasonably priced likely due to the fact that he was a green broke 8 year old, only 16 hands and one other smallish detail, he?was introduced as “Spook” when I went to ‘test’ ride him.??After driving over 6 hours to meet him, this was an unexpected turn, raising all kinds of red flags.??He seemed fine to me when I rode him that day though and came home with us.??Shortly thereafter,?he started to show his true colors:??he was difficult with the farrier, worming was a nightmare, even picking out his feet was a major challenge.

My riding instructor asked to ride him at our first lesson.??She went to use her stick when he wouldn’t move forward on her leg…he jumped straight up, she ended up with a broken pinky finger upon landing.?? He spooked at EVERYTHING for our first year together.??There were no clear rounds that year as he consistently found something to shy at.????With consistency and time, he did work out; our second year together he didn’t stop at anything (even the fences I was scared of!)??He never got over his fear of the worming syringe, ultimately a fatal flaw as subsequent owners put off worming him resulting in frequent bouts of colic for the remainder of his life.??A few years later, I visited him at a riding stable where he was a lesson horse for beginning riders. I always wondered what they thought when they learned his name…
Leask, via Email

“Omie My Homie” because his name is Omar and because we’ve always got each other’s back.
Gretchen Irmiger-Pothier, NY

When I was a kid my dad supported my love of horses by joining me. ?He bought himself a mare so that we could go fox hunting together. ?Pocket was such a sweetheart; she ultimately became my show horse! ?She would crawl into my pocket if she had the opportunity. ?Her show name was Miss Pick Pocket, because she would check for treats. ?I miss my Dad and Pocket, but my memories are so fond!
Kristie Renaud, Georgia

My beloved partner of the past 19 years is Jefferson TWH.? What, you say, does Jefferson TWH mean?? Why, Jefferson The Wonder Horse, a beautiful dark bay Thoroughbred.? Never in my wildest imagination did I think I would own a horse, let alone one as talented and wonderful as him. He earned the name from the barn manager where I boarded when once again he took this middle-aged lady around another course as if it was no big deal.? We all should be so blessed as to have such a lovely first horse to learn eventing on. Good dressage, rock solid cross-country and fun in the stadium round. And most of all, he knew his job and was kind about my mistakes. I started by exercise riding him when he was 5 for his previous owners, Doug and Kathy McCann, and committed the cardinal sin of falling in love with someone else’s horse.? Due to their extreme generosity,?I was able to purchase him when he was 12 and keep him on their beautiful 160-acre farm.? We competed for four years, during which I never had to worry about ditches, water or banks, often won the dressage portion, and, OK, I screwed up in the stadium, but all beyond my wildest dreams. He’s now 24 (going on 5 at times), and we just trail ride.? I’ve learned about life, not just eventing, in our partnership, and I’m so thankful we have shared this life together.? Jeffie The Wonder Horse is still going strong, and I look forward to many more years with him.
Lisa K. Johnson, via Email

My redheaded Thoroughbred earned the name ?Ignoramus? as a youngster from his breeder?he simply WOULD NOT follow his dam! This of course led to some tricky (and funny, in retrospect!) incidents around the farm. His ornery nature has served him well throughout his 9-year racing career (race name: Bayou Brass), as well as in his second career as my hunter. Secretly I tell him that ?Iggy? (as he is known around the barn) stands for ?Ignatius.? Ignoramus seems rather mean (even if warranted).
Sarah E. Coleman, Kentucky

When I found my horse I knew we were the perfect match, but his name wasn’t a good match for him. His name was Ducky and I knew immediately that name had to go. I searched through books and online to find the absolutely perfect name, knowing how important it was to get it right. I finally came across the name Drake which was perfect. It fits him in every way and is also the name of a male duck, which related back to his first name.
Meghan Frederick, Massachusetts

I named my palomino Aurum when I purchased him as a difficult two-year old.?? Aurum means “gold” in Latin, and I looked forward to the day when Aurum would indeed be good as gold. Eleven years later Aurum is my star trick horse, doing such complex behaviors as the canine scent discrimination exercise, in which he picks a scented dumbbell from a group of identical dumbbells and retrieves it to his handler.? In the attached photo, Aurum is lying down on command
Colleen Rutherford Archer, Ontario

My OTTB mare?s Reg name “Island Native” is named “Sway” as she weaves when she is nervous or wants something (like dinner).? Also her show name is “Leap of Faith” because she has been a true leap of faith for me in getting back into the sport and as a reminder to always have faith!
Makenzie N Shane Harvey, Oregon

My horse, Trakehner gelding “Fringe Benefit”? is one I raised from my mare Fawn (by Kaluster out of Donauwind daughter Famose 2).?? His sire is Hennessey, so I toyed with Flute Player or Flautist for name (from the song, MacNamara’s band words “and Hennessey-Tennessee tootled the flute, the music was something grand”), but for a stud colt, that just wasn’t working for me….I finally decided that a Fringe Benefit of having a good quality mare was that you could raise your own next wonderful riding partner, and a Fringe Benefit of the foal being a high quality colt was that he could earn his keep without having to take time off for maternity leave.

After breeding 3 mares for 3 good friends, I had him gelded, but I still find Fringe Benefit (aka “Ben”) a close friend, enthusiastic partner, and a great help in teaching my advanced college students what lightness, suppleness and throughness is supposed to feel like.? Another Fringe Benefit is that he not only enjoys and does quality work in dressage, but also has classic hunter form with excellent bascule over fences, and floating gaits that makes him ideal for my “old lady” horse.
Jo-Anne O. Young, New York

What You See Is What You Get
“Womble”, named for Lord Wimbledon, who was born with a crooked foreleg and then ripped half the other hoof off at 6. 17.1 and *crazy* long, he can be a bit like a truck towing two trailers. British friend named him because of general doofus-ness and old BBC show “The Wombles of Wimbledon Common.
Keri Ward, Texas

My pony’s name is Double Down as he has a 21 brand on his rear end. We call him Doobie and he is the coolest!!
B.j. Souders, Pennsylvania

My first glimpse of her was from the rear and she had her head down grazing… she is a Percheron so naturally her hind end is well endowed. It looked like a big beautiful moon… thus the name “Bella Luna”.
Kels Hope Eastman, Kansas

People assume that my mare is called “Nacho” because she is yellow (gold champagne), but that isn’t why. I am not sure if she was born with notches on the tips of both ears or if she was injured in her first few days of life, but it is those notches on her ear tips which earned her the name Nacho, a simplification of Notch-o. I still refer to her as Notch.
Katherine Abel, via Facebook

The horse I rides nickname is ‘Fat Man’ or ‘Big Boy’ because, well, he is fat!!! No matter how we exercise or diet him he always has that extra weight on him, but all the little kids love him fat anyway!!!
Hannah Rose Turner, via Facebook

My Appaloosa is named Chief Red Cloud. He is red with a blanket on his rear that looks like clouds. My husband?s horse is Scout so I figured Chief would fit. He is a very regal looking Appaloosa.
Cynthia Ivey Mott, via Facebook

My Bugsy got his name because when we went to look at him, he was just three and most definitely had not grown into his ears. The woman we bought him from got him at auction and had only had him a few days and had been calling him Bugsy. My mom found it just hilarious to call him Bugs bunny! Welp- sad to say it but 12 years later and the poor guy has still not grown into his ears and the name stuck!
Megan McFadden Ferkler, via Facebook

I call my gelding “Fluffy” because he’s hit that middle aged spread and grows enough hair for these Colorado winters for two horses.
Teresa Buzzell, Colorado

I looked at and bought my mare around the beginning of October, but for some reason we didn’t pick her up until Nov 1st. I walked out to the field and couldn’t find her. This super shaggy horse with a coat that would put a grizzly to shame followed me around. Turns out that was my new mare. Her nickname has been Bear ever since. My mother had a TB mare that was too impatient to wait for her mother to get up when she was born. She walked herself over to the water bucket and dunked her head in. They named her Wanda. She lived up to her name and loved water her whole life.?
Robyn Kern, Alberta

My 13-year-old Halflinger was called “Buggs” but wasn?t fond of it so I twisted it a bit to “Brandy” because of her dark honey color.
Calleen O’Brien Troyer, Michigan

My yearling filly’s real name is Missin Sparks. But she has a big irregular star on her face that looks like a giant paisley, hence her name Paisley. (I joke that I could have named her Comma, but that wasn’t as cute.)
Tj Corgill,
via Facebook

My pony was born with a smooshed ear, his cartilage fused together and it literally looks smooshed together. When my husband and I went to look at him as a yearling we kept referring to him as the “floppy eared pony” (even though the ear has full mobility). Needless to say after looking at him once more we made the decision to buy him and the nickname “Floppy” stuck.
Erin Dwyer, Virginia

My horse’s name is Yager. His breeder named him. When I bought him I wanted to change it but my Grandma kept calling him it and it stuck. His show name is White Russian because he is similar in color and it’s a little classier than Jagermeister or Jagerbomb. Although, his previous owner called him 30 Days because he kicked an oak stall board out his first night at her barn and her hubby told her she’d be lucky if he let her own him that long!!
Tiffany Fetty, Ohio

My daughter?s horse is named Lance. He is stunningly beautiful so she calls him “Handsome Landsome” I think he loves it.
Jenny Thietie,
via Facebook

My horse got his registered name I’m Skyhawk from the star on his forehead that’s shaped like a soaring hawk.
Vanessa Buso, Florida

My name is Kavita Sinha from Houston, TX. My horse’s nickname is “Uno” because when we went to try him, he was still a stallion but only had one where he should have had two (if you know what I mean).
Kavita Sinha, Texas

While I struggle to come up with the perfect Celtic name for my animals, my friend, Roberta, is the master of simplicity.? When she purchased a gray OTTB, his name was “Gray.”? When she purchased a very big Shire, she named him “Big.”? Even if you never saw her horses before, you could pick them out just by their name!
Kelly O’Neill, Washington

My Haflinger mare, Famosa Lou SFF, became “Honey” immediately because of her color (light chestnut) and disposition (sweet).? I bought her two years ago, just before she turned 5 and I turned 75!? Not having had a horse or ridden for almost twenty years?I was worried about the wisdom of acquiring a horse.? But a great decision!? We’re riding introductory dressage tests with our instructor and relaxing on the trails.? In my later life I am having a fling with my ‘flinger and loving it!
Beverly R. Morris, Ohio

Speaks For Itself
Dazzl’n Dreamboat -I bought Dazzle (AQHA) in 2004. Her previous owner called her Dreamer I bought her for my 10-year-old daughter Ali, who promptly gave up riding within weeks of purchase. Truth is, she is my ‘Dazzl’n Dreamboat’. I would have never given myself permission to buy my dream horse, but for my daughter anything goes. She has been the best dream come true!

Marci Kaplan Marchand, New Jersey

My medium Welsh X is a beautiful paint and shows under the name Paint Me Pretty. At home we call her Reina, the shortened version her secret name- Reina Terror. Little sassy pony mare, what can I say?
Kate McComas, California

When I was young one of my grandfather’s horses, which he fox hunted with, was named Judge. His full name was Judgment Day. There was a very good reason for that name. It was much nicer than calling him Widow Maker.
Mary Lou White, via Facebook

My horse Buzz (Coachman’s Cognac- registered palomino Morgan) came to me as a barely green broke fresh cut gelding (who had been a stud) that one of my clients bought (no lie) off the Internet. His name at the time was Cozmo. She had him in training board with me to make him a pleasure horse. She ended up abandoning him (she was severely under qualified to ride a green horse, much less an ex-stud). He was awful. I hated his name, his attitude, and frankly, him. I told him repeatedly I’d beat him bloody and leave him for the buzzards (never completely meaning it- though sometimes I really considered). He finally broke down and began to trust me, and to learn. 3 years later he’s one of my favorites- and a very talented jumper and barrel racer. I still hated his name through training- calling him yellow horse, dude, and eventually- Buzz. Everyone loves this story as people initially assume he’s named for his roached “buzz cut”. That wasn’t intentional- but it works.
Jessica Flaherty, Maryland

His name is Korbel. When he is busy spooking at nothing, we call him “Korbellinda”. That’s his drag queen drama name. Otherwise, its just Kor or Bellies…whatever rolls off the tongue.
Kylee Roe, via Facebook

My horse Little Joe Brown has the nickname “Rocket” need I say more?
Coleen MacMillan, via Facebook

“Monte” came with his barn name; His regular name is “Too Sexy for Tails”. I assume Monte is short for “Full Monte”. He is also known as “Nobody Rides for Free”- prefers a more educated rider.
Robin Gerrard McCabe, Ohio

When I was evaluating my mare (to purchase) I asked the old timer what her barn name is. He answered “Honey?” Turns out he didn’t hear the question. He calls all the ladies “Honey.? Didn’t find out until later but by then the name stuck!
Tina Louise Hen, California

His barn name is Flasher, he came to me as Flash, but we had a Flash already so Flasher he became, my last name is Jannings so folks started calling him FJ, and it has stuck. Foot Joy has a clothing line with FJ on it so we brag that it is his line.
Lisa A. Jannings,
via Facebook

My mare got her barn name because of her size when she was delivered to her 1st owner off the breading farm. He had arranged for a hauler to deliver the baby, but when they arrived to pick her up she was too small to fit in one of the normal hauling slots. So they put her in the front tack area & delivered her. So her barn name is MOUSE. She was a tiny little mouse of a horse.
Mary Lou May, Alabama

My horse, Piksure Perfect, nickname is BB.? This came about when the vet ultrasounded her mom to confirm her pregnancy.?? The vet concluded she was not in foal.? Two weeks later I had a different vet ultrasound her.? This vet confirmed she was in foal and showed me the ultrasound explaining in detail what it was showing including the bladder where he explained calcium deposits would show.? I told him the other vet told me that was her uterus and the junks were the fetus breaking up.? From then on the foal became my bladder baby, BB for short.
Judi Cobb, Arizona

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