Picking Arabian Horse Names


Beauties of the Orient, Arabian horses deserve names worthy of their heritage. Choosing Arabian horse names becomes a daunting task for owners who wish to reconcile their horses’ cultural heritage with that of the horses’ birthplace.

Thus, many proud owners and breeders of part-bred or pure-bred Arabian horses spend a significant amount of time researching Arabian horse names. Most will go for classic Arabian names for their foals. Others will try to capture the specific character traits of their notable equine friends in one ideally suitable name.

Arabian horses are typically named for their color, their temperament, their specific markings. Arabian horse breeders and owners feel responsible for maintaining the noble breed’s purity. In addition to this great responsibility, many also feel compelled to maintain the tradition of giving an Arabian name to their foals.

At TodaysEquine we thought about jotting down the essential guidelines for choosing Arabian horse names to help you in your searches. Here they are.

Choosing Names for Arabian Horses: Guidelines

These guidelines will be particularly handy when trying to choose the perfect Arabic name as an Arabian horse name. Arabic names are indeed fit for the equine beauties of the Orient and, as it is rumored, the oldest horse breed around.

However, carrying on the Arabic name tradition is no easy task despite the laudable intentions. Very few Arabian horse owners really speak Arabic. As such, confusion can easily sneak in, leading to some unpleasant situations. Here are our guidelines for choosing an Arabic name for your Arabian filly or Arabian colt.

  • References to divinity or the prophet should be avoided. As inspiring as they may be, the 99 epithets used as a reference to divinity in the Qur’an may be interpreted as offensive. A few of them could work wonderfully if the article is removed. For instance, instead of Al-Malik, use Malik. Malik stands for King and is a popular choice between male Arabian horse names. A thorough research on the Arab tradition of naming Arabian horses is highly recommended.
  • First names that are given to children at birth are also a shady option. Animals in the Arab world, even if it’s the majestic Arabian horse, don’t bear exclusively human names such as Ali or Aisha. Nevertheless, naming your Arabian foal after another animal or a plant is approved. Fahad – meaning Panther, or Haytham – meaning lion are often met with Arabian horse names. Names that make reference to historical figures or legendary heroes are also safe options. For instance – Rustam or Qahtan are used in the Arab world for naming horses as well.
  • Don’t try to construct composed names (e.g. a noun and a determinant adjective). Arabic names are the trickiest Arabian horse names from this perspective. While in English your Arabian foal could well be named Magic Moonlight, in the Arab world such a name would cause nothing but confusion. That is because Arabian horse names are single words. At most, there will be a construction of this type: Rustam al-Zaeem. Rustam is the horse’s name, while al-Zaeem indicates the name of the stud where the Arabian foal was born. When these are kept, an entire lineage can be traced back. In a nutshell, it’s recommended to avoid adjectives.
  • Provided you have decided that your equine beauty will bear an Arabic name, then keep in mind that nouns in the Arabic language are gendered. As such, any adjectives accompanying these nouns will also be declined in accordance with the gender. Nonetheless, the tricky part is that natural gender doesn’t always correspond with grammatical gender. Let’s take a look at the word Mahboub. Mahboub stands for beloved in the Arabic language. Normally, it would be used as an Arabian colt name. However, decline it to Mahbouba and it becomes a perfect Arabic horse name for an Arabian filly.
  • Steer away from complicated names that also boast an impressively complicated transcription. Excessive diacritics will cause confusion and frustration. In addition, most associations, including the Arabian Horse Association, will not accept Arabian horse names with specific diacritics.
  • This is our final recommendation when it comes to choosing Arabian horse names that upkeep the Arab naming tradition. While providing a list of names was beyond the scope of our short informative article, we do recommend the previous consultation with an Arab speaker before choosing Arabian names for horses.

Cherry-Picking non-Arabic Names for Horses

Naming an Arabian horse according to the Arabic tradition is admirable. However, you can also name your Arabian foal in your native tongue. This way, Arabian horse owners can make sure that their beautiful horses have a name that is highly representative of their individuality.

In the English language, there is no rule against naming your Arabian horse Cloudy Sky if you so wish. Choosing a proper name in the English language leaves plenty of room for creativity and cherry-picking.

Many Arabian horses are named after the most prominent personality or physical trait. Others bear names like Angelina or Angel or Jack. Many more bear lovely names spun out of a moment’s inspiration.

Famous Arabian Horse Names

If you are searching for Arabian horse names female or Arabian horse names male, you can get some ideas from these famous Arabian horse names.

1. Lyla 2. Tilly 3. Snazzy 4. Prince 5. Smartie 6. J S Hypnotica 7. Kalibis 8. Hyait 9. Tekka

10. Edora

Aside from these, you can also check out books available on Amazon that provide a list of authentic Arabian horse names. The Arabic names are written in masculine and feminine form together with their English meaning. The books discuss the origin of the Arabian horse breed, the importance of the breed to the Bedouin tribes, and the philosophy behind giving authentic Arabian horse names.

What Do the Special Symbols in Arabian Horse Names Mean?

Symbols in a horse’s name indicate honor, prestige, and achievement. Arabian horses earn points when they compete and place in shows and Arabian Horse Association (AHA) recognized events. The following are symbols that you might see in Arabian horse names and their meaning:

“+” = Legion of Honor

“+/” = Legion of Supreme Honor

“+//” = Legion of Excellence

“++” = Legion of Merit

“+++” = Legion of Supreme Merit

“++++” = Legion of Masters

“++/” = Legion of Supreme Honor and Legion of Merit.

“+++/” = Legion of Supreme Honor and Legion of Supreme Merit

“++//” = Legion of Merit and Legion of Excellence

“+++//” = Legion of Supreme Merit and Legion of Excellence

“++++/” = Legion of Masters and Legion of Supreme

“++++//” = Legion of Masters and Legion of Excellence

An asterisk (*) appearing in an Arabian horse’s name means that the horse was imported to America.

FAQ about Arabian Horses:

What Is an Arabian Horse?

The Arabian horse originated on the Arabian Peninsula. It’s one of the most recognizable horse breeds in the world, with distinct head shape and high tail carriage. The Arabian horse is also one of the oldest breeds, dating back 4,500 years.

Throughout history, it spread around the world and were bred to improve qualities of other breeds such as endurance, speed, and healthy bones. The Arabian horse breed developed in the desert and was prized by the Bedouin people, to the extent that horses were brought inside the family tent to protect them from theft.

At least 90% of all Arabian horses today trace their pedigree in one or more lines to the Crabbet horses. The Crabbet Park Stud, also known as the Crabbet Arabian Stud, was a horse breeding farm established on July 2, 1878. It is when the first Arabian horses arrived in England, brought by Lady Anne Blunt and Wilfrid Scawen Blunt to Crabbet Park, their estate in Sussex.

Crabbet Arabians are known for their athletic ability, good dispositions, and attractive appearance. They are used in many equestrian disciplines, whether limited to Arabian horses or open to all breeds.

Selective breeding created a horse that is good-natured, willing to please, and quick to learn. This horse is a versatile breed. Today, the Arabian breed dominates endurance riding and compete in many fields of equestrian sport.

Globally, the Arabian horse is one of the top 10 most popular horse breeds. They are found worldwide: in the USA, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, continental Europe, South America, and of course, in their land of origin, the Middle East.

What is The Pyramid Society?

The Pyramid Society is a member-based organization of people who are interested in Arabian horses with Egyptian bloodlines. You do not have to own a horse to become a member. The society doesn’t register horses. Only horses that are eligible for registration by the Arabian Horse Association (AHA) based on pedigree are considered purebred Arabian horses by the society.

The purpose of The Pyramid Society is to preserve Egyptian bloodlines and to encourage the use of outcross blood as a source of classic refinement which is essential to the breed.

The society has established definitions of Egyptian bloodlines that are acceptable for its purpose of perpetuating Egyptian Arabian bloodlines:

What does Straight Egyptian Arabian mean?

To qualify as a Straight Egyptian, a horse must trace its pedigree to a horse that falls into the following categories:

Registered or eligible for registration (based on pedigree) by the Arabian Horse Registry of America Traces in every line of the ancestry to horses born in Arabia Deserta

Traces in every line of the pedigree to a horse falling within at least one of the following categories: owned or bred by Abbas Pasha or Ali Pasha Sherif, or used to maintain the Royal Agricultural Society or Egyptian Agricultural Organization breeding programs (excluding Registan and Sharkasi and their lineal descendants)

What is the Difference Between Egyptian-sired Horses and Egyptian-related Horses?

Egyptian-sired: a horse born to a purebred mare who is not a Straight Egyptian and a stallion who is Straight Egyptian
Egyptian-related: a horse, born before 2005, whose grandsires are Straight Egyptian, and whose grand dames are purebred Arabian which is not Straight Egyptian

What Are Sheykh Obeyd Arabians?

Sheykh Obeyd breeding involves 66 Arabian ancestors bred, acquired, or introduced into the gene pool by the following original breeders: Abbas Pasha, Ali Pasha Sherif, Prince Ahmed Pasha Kemal, Ahmed Bey Sennari, Khedive Abbas Hilme II, the Blunts and the RAS (under Dr. Branch). Sheykh Obeyd Arabians are descendants from any combination of the 66 original ancestors.

What is Al Khamsa, Inc.?

Al Khamsa, Inc. is a not for profit organization devoted to the preservation of horses of Bedouin Arabia. The horses of interest to the organization meet two criteria: (1) horses descending entirely from Bedouin Arabian horses bred by the desert nomadic tribes of the Arabian Peninsula, and (2) have breed descendants in North America.

Final Thoughts on Picking Arabian Horse Names

In the end, choosing the right Arabian horse name is a matter of inspiration and preferences. While more care is warranted when it comes to picking an Arabic name, the English language is far more flexible.

Choose anything that inspires you and seems to fit your colt or filly. Short names are ideal both in the Arabic naming tradition and in relation to English names. They’re ideal for registering the Arabian horse as well as for daily use. We can only wish you Happy Naming!

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3 

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