Trail Tails: What is in a name?

Living on a farm and breeding animals is great right up until you have to name them!  What name are you going to give your new furry friend for the rest of its life?  

Pay-it-back Names: Most registered names end up with what I like to call paying it back.  Usually there’s some tie in the name to the stud, dam, or breeding farm.  When picking a name for registration this is usually what I do.  Heck, it’s like free marketing every time your horse is entered in a show!  

Themes Names: Race horses are often named alphabetically.  This year all colts will start with the letter “D.”  Or I have a friend who names all her animals after deserts.  Heck, I even name all cats after food items, Barley, Bacon, Chowder, Cheet-O, Frito, and Peaches.  Theme names seem to make naming an animal pretty easy.  At least it gives you a base to start on. 

Call Names: If you’ve spent any time around a barn or race track you’ll know that a fancy 25 character registered name is NOT what you end up calling your horse. Sometimes the barn call name is a portion of the registered name and sometimes it’s something entirely different.  For example; my mare came with the registered name of Aurora LaBella Luna but around the barn she’s known as Cotton. Don’t ask, I haven’t figured it out myself. 


Aurora LaBella Luna - aka Cotton


Names with a Story: Last fall I was surprised by an alpaca birth.  The dam was 2 weeks early and I had only come home to pick up a UPS package and was there just by chance for the birth of a little fawn girl.  I found the event so entertaining that I decided to name her Parcella D’oro which means Parcel of Gold.  

alpaca cria

Dutch Hollow's Parcella D'oro


Naming for me all boils down to the horse itself.  I’m not the type of person to have a booklet of names I like all ready to go and then stamp the animal with one when it squirts out.  Instead the newborn often will go several days without a name at all as I watch it and think about its future.  What do I see it becoming what name best fits its personality or goes with a story that fits it. 

Last year’s filly naming came to me quickly.  Izzy (Reg Name: Is A Bella) would zoom around the pasture at mock 10.  For the entire time she was with me not once did I see that filly trot, she either was standing still or at full speed. She sure was a Busy Izzy and the name fit her perfectly. 

This year’s filly was a little more difficult to name.  The registered name came easily though. She is now DHA Reno’s Southern Belle but nothing in that name seems worthy of a barn name.  My latest test for a call name is Ellie which I kind of got from Belle.  Researching the name, Ellie is short for Eleanor which means “The Other.”  I think Ellie will stick, she is after all “the other” full blood sister to Izzy.







How do you pick out your names? Or What is the worst registered name you’ve seen?

Tuesday Trail Tails
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