Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Morphing Horse Names

Happy New Year 2008! Every horse has a name, even if it is as simple as "Horse". Some domesticated horses are given names before they are born, sometimes based upon a variation of the sire and/or dam's names; some horses are given names within minutes of foaling, sometimes based on their coloring or markings; while others exist for weeks without names until someone makes a decision on what rolls off the tongue best. All of my horses came to me with their names already chosen by their breeders.

"Bombay" was named after a brand of gin, because he was a gray colt, while his sire was a bay stallion named "Khutty Sark". "Cutty Sark" is a scotch whiskey, and Khutty Sark's sire's name was "Khemosabi". "Khemo" offspring were often named starting with a "Kh".

"Lostine" was bred in Oregon, and her breeder chose the name of an Oregon city for her.

"Gabbrielle" was the name chosen by her breeder, because it means "beautiful" and her beauty was apparent soon after birth. Although, I have searched on the meaning of the name and have turned up everything from "God is Strength" to "Hero of God".

Regarding my dogs, "Simba" was chosen for my yellow Labrador due to his coloring and large paws being similar to that of a lion. "General Montgomery" was chosen for our Sheltie due to a certain similarity in their profiles. "Midgerator" was chosen for our Corgi because she was small like a midget, yet strong and powerful like the Chicago Bears' football player, "Refrigerator Perry".

What interests me is how pet names morph into other names over time. My pets have had anywhere up to a dozen different nicknames, depending on how silly I could get. Take Bombay for example: I started calling him "Bomber", because he was so fast and his hooves thundered under his weight. That morphed into "Bombees" and "Bees", because the "flea-bitten" pattern of tiny bay dots on his grey fur looked like a swarm of bees. Eventually, he became "Beasley", named after Buffy's doll Mrs. Beasley in an old TV show called "A Family Affair". The Mrs. Beasley doll had blond hair and freckles. I also call him "Puppy Boy" when he follows me around.

Lately, I've been referring to Bombay as my "Gentle Giant". Though 15-hands high isn't an impressive size for a Saddlebred or Draft Horse, it is considered to be a good size for an Arabian. In the mornings when I enter Bombay's stall, he's usually all keyed up and ready to commune with the great outdoors. He puffs himself up to be even taller than usual, and I have to reach to get his halter on his head. When I lead him out of the stall, he looks like he's going to bolt, but he shows his consideration of me by prancing beside me, necked and tail arched, nostrils splayed, light as air, so gentle that I feel like I'm holding a string rather than a thousand-pound horse on a rope.

Lostine's nickname is actually longer than her full name. She is "Lostine the Beauty Queen", and yes, I do have a silly song that goes along with the name. My neighbors think I'm crazy when they hear me singing it to her. I know Lostine appreciates the song, though.

Gabbrielle has been called "Bunny", because she's never shed her baby fur, which is soft as a bunny's, and when she gets excited, Gabbrielle hops like a bunny. It also helps me to not feel so intimidated by horses when I imagine them as smaller, harmless animals. I also sometimes call her "Little Girl" to remind me that she's still just a child that needs to play. Gabbrielle has stunning large black eyes set on the sides of her head with long, long, long, thick eyelashes that give her an exotic Asian appearance, so I also call her "My China Doll".

I am interested in how your pets got their names and nicknames. Leave a post and let me know!


photogchic said...

Just found your blog...will add you to my blog roll. Looking forward to reading more:-)

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Thanks, Photogchic. Your blog was actually the one that inspired me to start my own -- that and the fact that people were complaining that there aren't enough horse blogs out there. I'll be starting blog and website lists soon, and will make sure you are on it.