What's in a horse's name?
Horsemart reader and blogger Melsi describes herself as a ‘forty-something back in the saddler’. In this post she takes a look at how some horses don’t suit their names.
How do horse owners come up with horse names? Racehorses are ‘usually’ named with reference to their blood lines, keeping the pedigree name going. Usually the passport name for a horse is sensible.
Hearing the name Devils Thunder on the tannoy filled me with expectations of a black foaming horse with mad eyes to charge in the arena like a whirling dervish - and ridden by a rider of similar ilk. I did feel disappointed when in meandered a podgy, fluffy pony which stopped at the first fence. I wanted to go up to the rider and ask, “Regarding the name, why?”
My ex up in Heaven, Champion Cob, had the pretty show name of Dream Catcher the Third. I never did find out why he was the third or what happened to the other two, but I could see the shoulders of giggling bystanders as in galumphed a heavy weight cob, with an equally heavyweight rider. Let’s face it; Dream Catcher is the sort of name you give a dainty Arab with flowing locks. However, Dream Catcher’s daily name was ’Bob’. He looked like a Bob. Name appropriate.
You only have to look at the Valegro’s of this world. Those Dressage Diva’s with sylph like paces to know they are name appropriate. Velegro and Tippy Toes conjure up images of delicateness in the arena. Our yard has one of these horses. Graceful, he can stretch like a cat and has the agility of a Ninja. He looks the part (but airs on the side of wimpdom when wet and muddy). No he is not called Spiritual Pathway, Phantom Whisper or White Eagle, he is a “DENIS”. Was someone having a joke? Denis does have a sprauncy passport name, but to us he is plain Denis. NOT name appropriate.
My new boy is a Skewbald and on the chunky weight watcher side of ample like his mother. He is most handsome even if his nose is a little too big for his face and his short legs vanish into cankles, but he suits his name, “George”. Name appropriate.
We have a Shetland on our yard. A lady of superior years who is most affectionate with us ‘umans’, however she rules the horses with an iron fist. Kissable when SHE wants with the four legged males, but if she’s not in the mood for their unrequited attention, can sort the boys from the men. She spouts orders from her electric fenced throne room, and woe betide anyone that doesn’t answer. Wearing a fly sheet that almost hits the floor but sticks out like a Victorian ladies dress hoop, she has the stature and appearance of Queen Victoria. This bundle of feisty love is, “Poppy” or Queenie as we know and love her. Poppy may be small, round and pretty like the flower, but she can be a warrior tank of littleness. Name appropriate.
It may be selective memory, but as a child I remember names like Puff, Whisky and Saucy. It seems traditional names are being replaced with human names like Bob, Denis and George. Is it because with a human name we can relate to them with their looks, foibles and mannerisms? So, if you have a Rosie, Jack, Charlie, Billy, Ruby or Harry, you are in good company, these are in the 10 most popular horse names. I would be interested to know if they also have human traits, or looks!
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