I don't know about you, but naming a horse has not come easy for me. Oh sure, as a kid, naming every Breyer horse in your collection was a piece of cake. And they all had grand, fancy names like, "Wicked Mountain Lightning" (because when you are 7 years old, 3 big words together is a super impressive name!). Then you actually are priveleged to own a real, live horse and suddenly the name takes on a new level of importance.
My first horse came with his name, "Tally Ho". He was a lesson horse I fell in love with as a kid and my unsuspecting parents bought for me (figuring if I actually had to care for a horse and see how much work it was I'd quit. Nope, I'm no quitter!). His name was cute, English and just suited him, so we left it.
The second horse was my dad's horse. He had no name when we bought him. His coat was a deep coffee brown with a flaxen mane and tail. His personality was very, very laid back. Somehow, "decaffeinated" was a good word to describe him. We named him, "Sanka". I think my mom named him, (she had just switched to decaf back then!)
My mare, "Alta", came with her name. Her Jockey Club papered name was "Alto Speranze". In Italian it translates to, "High Hope". With her high-and-mighty attitude, that name just fit her. Several Italian friends commented on the mixing of gender since the name was in the masculine and my horse was a mare (wishful thinking on the part of the breeder?). So I changed the vowels when I registered her with the AHSA (now the USEF) to "Alta Speranza". I kept her name since several people in the local horse show world also knew her from the track since she was a NY-bred thoroughbred. With a name like that, I knew if they heard it over the loudspeaker at the shows, they'd know it was her. What I didn't foresee was how the name was often mispronounced by announcers at the shows! Alpo(No, NOT a good thing to hear your horse called!!!), Aldo, Spranza, Seperanza were some of the typos that were read to my disappointment.
So when Monty came along, I knew I wanted a simple name. One that had a low risk of being mispronounced, misspelled, and misunderstood. It was harder than I thought. I came up with names based on his color, the time of year, etc. and hated all of them. Then, sometime into the 2 weeks I was trying him it came to me, "Solitaire". A game you play by yourself. A single diamond. That kind of summed up the circumstances in his case and it was elegant and easy. Somehow at the same time, we just started calling him, "Monty" as his barn name and it stuck. It suited him.
And now I have,"Rugby". That's not the name he had before I chose him. In the truck, on the way home from the lady's house after we went to see him, my husband and I were talking and I turned to him and said, "You know, if he's the one, I already have a name picked out."
My husband was surprised, "Really? But he has a name."
"I'm going to call him, Rugby" I said.
"Hey, I like that!" mused my husband, "Where did that come from?"
"I don't know, it just came to me and it suits him." I replied.
I know where it came from. My husband loves Ralph Lauren clothes. He's especially fond of their "Rugby" collection, which in it's early days featured several pieces with a really cool skull and crossbones motif on a black background. This big, burly black and white horse made me think of that and it's a name that sounds cute when you say it but the sport is in reality a rough and tough game. My husband is kind of cute but also kind of a rough and tumble guy.
My husband is the one who pushed me to go look at this horse, he just liked him the moment he saw pictures of him and told me he had a good feeling about this animal. He felt my pain and everything I went through when I lost Monty. He loves animals and has a good eye for a good animal. I joked with him I was going to let him choose this horse since at this point I'm kinda picky. And this horse has turned out to be so wonderful for me.
So it's a little sappy but, the name came to me in a connection between husband and horse. My husband is my best friend, I guess I wanted that good karma with a new horse, too.
So, there are my horse naming stories. I'd be curious to hear from readers if they have any horse naming stories to share. If you have a blog and already have written about naming your horse, post the link and we'll catch up to everyone's story!