The Best Male Horse Names and Their Meanings


Acclaimed science fiction author Nancy Springer once wrote a short story about what happens to horses when they are given the perfect name. They become super-horses. Good male horse names will not guarantee to improve the abilities of an individual equine, but they help forge a personal relationship between horse and human. A horse with a name is no longer just a horse.

Male horse names tend to be given based on one or more of the following categories:

  • name of horse’s color.
  • name of a human friend.
  • name of very masculine-looking animals.
  • name of a famous horse from history or pop culture.

Remember that a horse’s registered name is often vastly different than his barn name, or everyday name. Each breed registry has its own rules about names that must be followed in order for a horse to be registered.

Male Horse Names of Native Origin

Horse owners are increasingly looking to the languages of where their breed originated for unusual names. Arabians have been given not only names from the Arabian language but from the country, their immediate ancestors originated from. A Polish Arabian, for example, is much different from a straight Egyptian Arabian.

According to the websites Horsemart and Today’s Equine these are the top male horse names in non-English languages for Arabians:

  • Kalibis: This is a Turkish spelling of the Arabic word “qalib” which refers to the mold used to make numerous other products that look like the original mold.
  • Shieka local leader
  • Malik means “king.”
  • Witez is Polish for “prince.” It’s also the name of Witez II, a very influential Polish Arabian sire captured by the Nazis, rescued by the Allies and sent to live in America.

In comparison, Appaloosa names reflect their Native American heritage. However, since many Native American languages are going extinct, finding good names can be hard. One popular alternative is to name a horse for a tribe such as Comanche which is from the Ute tribe meaning, “one who wants to fight me all of the time.” Current place names in America that use Native American Names are also popular such as Dakota which means “friend.” Names of famous Indians like Geronimo are also common.

Male Horse Names From Competitions

Racing and other horse sports provide a long list of popular names for colts, stallions, and geldings. Keep in mind that giving the horse the name of a legendary equine athlete is optimistic at best and no guarantee that the horse will live up to his namesake. Popular names include:

  • Eclipse: named after an unbeaten racehorse who had one of the most profound influences on the modern Thoroughbred
  • Snowman: named after the famous American showjumper who was saved minutes from going to slaughter
  • Big Red: the nicknames of two popular and influential American thoroughbreds, Man o’ War and Secretariat.
  • Morgan: part of one of the names for Justin Morgan, the foundation sire of the Morgan breed. His other name was Figure.
  • Steel Dust: name of one of the foundation sires of the American Quarter Horse.
  • Leo: name of another foundation sire of the American Quarter Horse and excellent racer.

Male Horse Names From Literature and Legend

Horses from the large and small screens, myths, and popular stories are a big source of popular names for stallions, geldings and colts. They include:

  • Silver: The horse of The Lone Ranger
  • The Black Stallion or Black: Star of a series of books by Walter Farley.
  • Black Beauty: Name of an incredibly successful novel of a horse by Anna Sewell.
  • Fury: Name of a wild stallion in a popular children’s television series and numerous kids’ books.
  • Thunder: Another television horse but a popular name for horses in kids’ books.
  • Trigger: Palomino horse of screen cowboy Roy Rogers
  • Rex: Another mount of a movie cowboy but also the name of many horses in novels and children’s books.
  • Ed: Taken from Mr. Ed, the name of a talking horse in a beloved 1960’s comedy of the same name.
  • Romeo: Name is taken from Shakespeare’s legendary lover.
  • Apollo: Name of a Greek god of the arts and the sun.

Other Male Horse Names and Meanings

  • Atlas – This name is synonymous with strength, as it is the name of a powerful character in Greek mythology known for carrying the world on his shoulders. Atlas is an ideal name for a horse that is strong and has a regal bearing.
  • Black Jack – Black Jack was the name of a black gelding that served in the US military as a riderless horse for formal occasions such as funerals. He took part in the funerals of both President Lyndon Johnson and Herbert Hoover as well as General Douglas MacArthur.
  • Sleipnir – In Norse mythology, Sleipnir was the name of Odin’s horse.
  • Titus – In the New Testament, Titus was a Greek who became a companion of Paul and a teacher of Christian beliefs. Titus is a pleasant sounding name suited for a horse that’s a good companion.
  • Noah – Noah is a character from the Bible famous for building an Ark to survive a great flood. The name came from a Hebrew word meaning “comfort,” so it’s a perfect name for a nurturing, loving horse.
  • Barbaro – In 2006, this thoroughbred horse won the Kentucky Derby before he broke his leg two weeks later. Unfortunately, operations didn’t repair the damage and failed to prevent an infection from spreading.
  • Aristides – Aristides was the name of the horse that won the first Kentucky Derby.
  • War Admiral – This is an excellent choice if you’re looking for famous male horse names. War Admiral was the name of the horse that won the Triple Crown in 1937. In US horse racing, the Triple Crown is a title awarded to a 3-year old Thoroughbred horse who won the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, and the Preakness Stakes.
  • Secretariat – A horse named Secretariat became the Triple Crown winner in 1973. Aside from that distinction, he also holds the stakes record for the three races that make up the Triple Crown.
  • Cisco – If you want unique male horse names, you can choose this one. Cisco was the name of the gelding in the movie Dances with Wolves.
  • Milky Way – You have a white horse? White is the color of purity, innocence, and peace. It also represents light in contrast with darkness. You can give male horse names such as this one for a variety of horse breeds and age. Milky Way is a name that can be provided not only for a stallion but a mare or pony as well.
  • Pegasus – Some of you may not know this, but this legendary creature from Greek mythology is a stallion (not a female horse). If you are searching for white male horse names, you can consider this name. Pegasus is a mythical winged horse depicted as pure white and is the child of the Olympian god Poseidon.

Final Thoughts on Male Horse Names

In conclusion, there are many ways to choose a good barn name for a new male horse. Check out words in the language of where the horse’s breed originated, or choose names based on historical horses, horses from the movies or legendary figures, whether human, equine or divine.

If the male horse names suggested above do not seem to fit your horse, take a photo of him and post it online. Ask for suggestions. You may be surprised at the suggestions. You can also contact a breed association for name suggestions. If you want to choose a name in a particular language, contact a professor of that language so that you not only choose the right name but also use it in the correct grammar of that language.

Images are taken from depositphotos.com.

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