28 Oct 2010
Horse Names - 7 Tips to Finding the Perfect Horse Name
Horse names, specifically registered show horse names or race horse names can be more difficult to come up with than one might think. Pegasus or In the Money might come easily to mind, but registered names have to be unique, in addition to conforming to each registry's individual requirements such as the number of characters allowed, use of punctuation and numerals, etc. The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), the largest equine breed registry in the world, has recently recorded its five millionth quarter horse. The number of U.S. thoroughbred horse registrations is approaching two million, and registered Arabians and qualifying Arab crosses are just over 1 million. With so much competition for the perfect horse name it might feel like all the good ones are already taken. There's a good chance they are, after all nothing's new under the sun, but here are a few tips for personalizing that great horse name that someone else has already snagged so it can be registered as a unique name, and where to look for good horse names no one has yet recorded.
1. Use the possessive. If you want to use a name like Magic you could try registering My Magic or Christine's Magic. Using a last name or a stable name in the possessive almost assures uniqueness, such as Eastwood's Magic.
2. Use pronouns and the name as an attribute. He's Magic or He's a Magician might do the trick. Some quarter horse lines have changed the spelling and used this device as sort of a stable trademark such as Heeza Magician.
3. Change the spelling. Majick would sound the same and might be available when Magic was already taken.
4. Eliminate the spaces (or change punctuation if possible). In some registries In The Money and Inthemoney are considered two different names. Check the rules to be sure for your breed.
5. Add a title. The Duchess of Magic or Captain Magic is another way to change a popular name. Use color as an attribute. Sometimes incorporating color (often of the particular horse) will work, such as Black Magic or Golden Magic.
6. Use other adjectives. Lofty terms can serve to elevate a very popular name to a new level. How about Glorious Magic or something not quite as lofty, but perhaps better known Big Brown?
7. Mine popular culture. If none of these devices suits you and you really want a name no one else has ever used popular culture is where to look. It's possible to walk through history just by following race horse names which have recorded snippets of popular culture. Here are some examples from The Jockey Club's thoroughbred registry. Prohibition, Flapper, Model Z Ford, Television, Enola's Little Boy, Sock Hop, Doubleoseven, Teleprompter, Hula Hoop, Beatles Rhythm, Woodstock, Monster Mash, Sky Jack, Star Wars, Bug Zapper, Laptop Computer, Matrix Reloaded, Beautox, Brangelina, and President Hillary.There is a gold mine of new horse names floating around in our everyday language, and although there are already a slew of Dot Com's and one Dot Calm in the thoroughbred registry (see suggestions above) there are many other possibilities. How about Prosh Pony, Fuzzy Logic, Blogger, Computer Geek, Ric Rolled, Outsourced Horse, or Nibbler? All are taken from current events and culture, and none are registered with The Jockey Club at the time of this writing.