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Name That Horse

By Leslie Potter

Thursday, January 19, 2012

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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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Reader Comments

Julia    ---, NJ

6/10/2012 1:22:43 PM

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!

Mariah    Narvon, PA

3/29/2012 7:26:20 AM

We have a horse at the barn named Moose!Ha!Ha! He is built like one,except without the horns.LOL!

Robin    Hendersonvlle, NC

2/11/2012 5:02:03 PM

I have a 17 hand sorrel AM SADDLEBRED -- his name is REGAL...AND IT FITS..because he thinks he is the King!

Galadriel    Lothlorien, ME

2/1/2012 6:36:12 PM

Lots of friends' horses on that list but I'm glad that my horse has a unique enough name not to be on the list!

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