Name That Horse
By Leslie Potter
Thursday, January 19, 2012
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.
*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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