I was making my way through the October 2007 issue of Horse and Rider magazine this week when I came across what I thought was a great premise for an article. It’s called “Barn Names” and it discusses something near and dear to my heart – the names we actually call our horses on a regular basis. For those of you newer to horses than I am, the official or fancy name (as I call it) given to a horse is typically derived using a combination of the names of the mama (dam) and daddy (sire) horse. So if Mitsy’s Goober and Trackside Smooch decided it was time to have a baby horse, the foal could quite possibly be referred to as Goober Smooch, Goober’s Smooch or Smooche’s Goober. That’s actually a cool name but usually it’s something like “YR All Dun Playin”, a real life example given in the article. I can’t imagine many people go around calling their horse by their fancy name (“here YR All Dun Playin. Who’se a good YR All Dun Playin?”). That’s why most of us have come up with cutesy, easy to say barn names like…well…Moonshine and Valentine.
The article was interesting but a little disappointing. I guess I expected more funny or clever names. Still, “Beau-Zo”, “Preacher” and “Lolly” are all fun and they all had stories behind them. But I know there must be some doozies out there. Have you come across a particularly interesting barn name? Do you know the story behind it? If you have a horse, what do you call him/her and why? I’d love to hear your stories.
You probably already know this by now but here are ours:
Valentine – our first horse. He had another name when I bought him but since he was a Valentine’s Day present for Mikki, the Kid and I came up with “Valentine”. It seemed to fit and it’s easy to say.
Moonshine – my first horse had some goofy fancy name that had the word “moon” in it. I couldn’t remember what it was (still can’t) so as a joke I called her Moonshine. Hey, we live near the mountains in east Tennessee and moonshine was a big deal around here during prohibition and some say it’s still made by the old-timers. So it was kind of a local joke, too. And lastly, she sure is pretty. I think she stands out like the glow from a moonlit night.
Romeo – a leopard Appaloosa, one of Romeo’s spots is in the shape of a heart.
Cash – derived partially from his fancy name “Cash to Coins” he also fittingly has a dollar sign marking.
Okay, your turn!