Let’s face it – horse owners need a sense of humor when owning such unpredictable animals. In a world full of Big Reds, Lightnings and other overused names, funny horse names stand out. They not only to showcase the owner’s sense of humor but also as constant reminders that one cannot take working with horses too seriously.
Horses often need two names:
- Registered name: this is a long name with rules governed by the particular breed association. Names are often long and complicated to give each horse a unique name as well as registration number.
- Barn name: this is a short name shared between the owner and a horse. Here you can be as silly as you want because there are no rules to break.
Funny Horse Names of Native Origin
A growing trend to is name horses with words in the language of their country of origin. So Arabians get Arab names, Welsh ponies Welsh names and so on. The only way to find funny horse names in other languages is to either pick a name that just sounds funny to the ears or to pick a beautiful word that has a totally opposite meaning.
Al Awrah sounds like a pretty name. It is the name of one of the Prophet Mohammad’s favorite mares. It means “one-eyed” as the mare had only one eye.
Blau is a funny sounding word. It means “blue” in German.
If all else fails, try the Nez Perce word for horse Sik’em.
Funny Horse Names from Racing
No Sex Please was a harness racing champion who became the first Standardbred trotter foaled in Canada to win one over million dollars. He received his eye-opening name because he was a gelding. His owners straddled the fine line between funny horse names and having a name be considered too offensive by the North American Trotting Association.
Muff Diver was a British thoroughbred racehorse with a name that would today be considered obscene. Actually, the phrase “muff diver” was considered obscene when Muff Diver was registered in 1975 – but those at the Jockey Club (the official thoroughbred registry in Great Britain) were not up to date on obscene slang. They are now. Muff’ Diver’s sure was Deep Diver and his dam was Idiot’s Delight.
1989 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Real Quiet was not called that in the barn. He was called “The Fish” because when he first came to the barn of trainer Bob Baffert, he was narrow like a tropical fish.
Da Hoss is a funny name because it states the obvious and playfully thumbs a nose at the rules of the American Jockey Club stating that the word “horse” cannot be used for an official name. What was even funnier is that Da Hoss really WAS the best horse in America during 1996 and 1998.
Horsey McHorseface is an Australian thoroughbred (where the rules do allow the word “horse” to be used in a registered name.) It was a pun of Boaty McBoatface, the winning name in a contest in the UK to name a new battleship.
Funny Horse Names from History and Mythology
Bucephalus was the favorite horse of Alexander the Great. He even named a town after his beloved stallion. This noble beast had perhaps the funniest name in history. The poetic and majestic-sounding “Bucephalus” actually means “ox-head” in Ancient Greek. In all languages, “ox-head” is not considered a compliment.
Bloody Buttocks was the name of a grey Arabian stallion that lived in England during the early 1700s. He was one of the ancestors of the modern Thoroughbred. He received his bizarre name due entirely to a strange chestnut marking on his hindquarters. The red horse hair standing out so starkly in a coat of light grey going on white made the horse appear to be bleeding. Two of his foals were named Bay Bloody Buttocks and Grey Bloody Buttocks.
Pegasus is the winged horse of Greek mythology. Naming a chunky draft horse or an old plug Pegasus can be funny since an old, lame or muscle-bound horse is obviously in no danger of going fast enough to fly or sprout wings large enough to lift a bulky frame.
Dive into a good world mythology book to find names of trickster gods and goddesses. Seth, for example, sounds like a common name – but the first Seth was the Egyptian god of chaos and discord. Nemesis may sound poetic to the ear, but those who do not know mythology will be unaware that a nemesis (or an enemy that hounds you all through your life) is the last thing you would expect a faithful steed to be christened.
Summing Things Up
Choosing funny horse names takes a lot of thought, whether it is the horse’s registered name or barn name. Horses best respond to short names of three syllables or less. If the horse needs a not-so-funny registered name, the horse can still have a funny barn name. According to Horse Ilustrated’s website, HorseChannel.com, names can be picked based on the horse’s looks, derived from the sire and dam’s names or the horse’s funny habits.
Owners can also go on social media with a photo of the new horse and a description of his or her quirks and ask for funny horse names. They give an example of Pipi Longstocking, a mare given the name of the beloved children’s book character because the mare had long white socks on all four legs.
Images taken from depositphotos.com.