What’s in a Name?

I take show names VERY seriously. I’m always thinking of good names and forgetting to write them down for the future. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve tried to think of clever names for our horses, even if I was the only one in my family who thought our horses needed anything beyond the name we used in the barn. One year I even went so far as to save up my money and get a stall plaque for our horse Mouse with the name I had given him- Frequent Flyer. My Dad was kind enough to put it up on his stall, not even questioning the fact that I had renamed his horse.


Mouse. Man this horse was fun to jump!

When I got my first horse as adult I thought endlessly about what I wanted to name her. Her current name, Hillary, was the same as my sister’s, so I knew that had to go. Being obsessed with everything Irish, I named her Kilkee, after a small seaside village in Ireland. As for her registered show name? I knew I wanted it to be a nod to U2, the band I have loved since grade school. And so, Kilkee’s Beautiful Day became her registered name. I LOVED it. Even if it was a mouthful.


This was Buttons. The Irish horse I did not bring home. But I decided that if I had his name would be Dartfield’s Dream Maker

The only bad part about leasing Georgie was I couldn’t change her name. And while I deemed her The Sweetest Thing (another U2 song) for unrecognized shows, her “show name” was always just.. Georgie.

And so, clearly, I’ve given a lot of thought to June’s show name.  And while I thought I had one all figured out, now I’m doubting myself.

Because June is a warmblood, and I got her from a breeder, her name comes with some contingencies. Apparently, in this new world to me, warmbloods are supposed to have names that begin with the letter of their sire.

So, June’s sire is Riverman, and therefore her name should start with an R.

And, her breeder, before I bought her, had already named and registered her with USEA as Riverine.

Which, if I am being honest, I don’t like at all.

But, June’s registered name is still Riverine and will be for a little while longer per an agreement with her breeder. And, that’s fine. Other than her 4yr old FEH class, I haven’t taken her to a recognized event.

Knowing that I don’t want her name to stay Riverine, yet wanting to stay with the U2 theme, I got to thinking. Here’s my choice of songs that start with R:

Raised By Wolves
Red Hill Mining Town
Red Light
The Refugee
A Room at the Heartbreak Hotel
Running To Stand Still

And while Raised By Wolves would actually be apretty funny show name, it may not be appreciated by those who raised her…And she’s actually far from feral. I LOVE the song Running to Stand Still, but it seems to be asking for a jump refusal?

So, I decided to stretch my scope a little bit and moved to an album name. Rattle and Hum. Not my favorite U2 album, but I liked the idea of the name. A little bit rough, a little bit smooth. I figured this characterized our relationship. So, currently, her unofficial show name is Rattle&Hum

g dirty

Her recognized name is Georgie, her barn name is Pig Pen

But there’s been something nagging away at me. One of my most favorite names for a horse, and one I have been DYING to name a horse, is: Clear Eyes, Full Hearts.

Any Friday Night Lights fans reading this blog? If there are, you’ll know that before running out onto the field, the football team would rally around each other and yell “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose!”

And, since that show gives me ALL the feels, I would get goosebumps every time. (Also, if you’ve never seen the show- give it a shot. It’s actually NOT about football, and is so incredibly well done.)

But, that name would not start with an R. So it went out of contention pretty quickly.

And then this happened:


Taylor Kitsch, one of the stars from Friday Night Lights came and played hockey against our local semi pro (ish) team

And I totally fan girl’d. I went to the games and was the only one cheering for the Austin Wolves, our home team’s rival. And it was a blast.

And I started thinking about the show, and how much I loved it, and also, more importantly, how much I loved the message of Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose.

Maybe it’s totally cheesy? Maybe I’m over thinking it? But besides most U2 songs, there’s not much else that gives me such strong feels as much as this show does. (Some seasons and story lines more than others..)

So, what’s a girl to do? How important is the whole sire thing? I guess the real question is, how important is it to me? And the answer is not very. I clearly root for the underdog, so I don’t care that everyone knows I have a Riverman baby (although I do name drop him here a lot- sorry about that.) I also don’t “owe” anything to anyone- I’m not campaigning this horse for anyone. I’m pretty sure people aren’t going to watch us go around and immediately try to find out who her sire is.

So, do I buck convention and go with my heart? I’m leaning that way.. but a part of me sometimes has a hard time bucking convention because I don’t want to upset anyone. Even people I don’t know. Sigh. It’s a problem.

And here are some more photos of Taylor Kitsch on the ice, because I hope I’ve got some fans reading this blog.

So, let me know your thoughts. And also if you’ve got some great names you’re dying to use.

Tagged , , ,

35 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  1. Liz says:

    I can definitely understand why the unconventional name would give you the feels! I’m not versed at all in the world of warmbloods and naming conventions, so no advice there, but i love how much thought you’ve put into it all. I feel the same way about naming/show names. It’s so very fun to be introspective and find the perfect one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amanda C says:

    If it were me, I’d do what I wanted and liked the most. That would look different for me than it would for you (I love Riverine! lol), but at the end of the day you’re the one that has to live with it and like it for years to come. Go with what makes you happiest to hear over the loudspeaker.

    As long as you make sure that her breeder information and bloodline information are still correct under the new name, it should satisfy everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. She is your horse and you have to see her name on the Jumbotron at shows, so go with your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Holly says:

    I like all options posted, but mostly just dropping in to freak out and fan girl because OMG I LOVE FNL SO MUCH. SO MUCH. I’m like way too emotional reading this right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. KateRose says:

    I like Riverine actually! But you need to love her show name, not me 🙂 My favorite from the list is “Rejoice”. I like your other idea too (also that should be engraved on a bracelet for you to wear for luck for competitions, regardless of if you pick it or not) 🙂


    • I also really like Rejoice. I’m too much a traditionalist to buck the warmblood naming system, and one words names are really super popular in the hunter world. But, that’s the world I live in, and what would make ME happy. You should DEFINITELY 200% do what makes you happy, regardless of the conventionalism!


      • nadsnovik says:

        Yes in Hunter land, this definitely seems to be a bigger deal. Rejoice seems somewhat religious to me? And I’m not that into that… I like the one word names also, but am a fan of clever or punny names as well!


  6. I thought a lot about changing Amber’s registered name too, since hers is Beans Paddy Lena. It has breeder’s info (their last name is Bean) and lineage, so people could guess what she was bred. By the time I was seriously considering it though, she’d been with me for 4+ years, and in my mind she’d always be Beans Paddy Lena. So it stuck lol.

    But June is still young. And personally, I’d say go with what you want. When they announce her name and it’s YOURS….. Well, there’s a really cool feeling to that ❤


    • martidoll123 says:

      Remus’s QH name (I can’t even remember it is that horrid) is something like Bert’s Jet something, or some shit like that. PUKE. I like whatever you go with. Rejoice is nice and I like Riverine for the same reasons Amanda does. I love the Friday Night lights stuff too though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • nadsnovik says:

        QH names are kinda… the worst! Like they make no sense and are just a bunch of words strung together. Lol.
        Rejoice seems too religious to me. And Riverine, I cant believe you guys like it! Lol

        Liked by 1 person

  7. draftmare says:

    You should totally go with Raised By Wolves, LOL!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. KC Scott says:

    She’s so cool I think you have to pick the one YOU love because I have the feeling you’re going to be seeing her name quite frequently (at the top of the leaderboard, nonetheless). I actually love Riverine, but it’s got to be what you want.

    I’m terrible at show names so I just kept P’s JC name for his show name. It’s Forever Gallant, which isn’t the most exciting (or even, ya know, true since he’s a bit spooky), but it’s surprisingly difficult for show announcers so provides a little entertainment at times.

    I think you should def email the breeders and tell them you be on the lookout for “Raised by Wolves” though, muahahaha


    • nadsnovik says:

      It’s so funny that people like Riverine! It makes me think of a cliff next to a river. And that shits just scary!
      I actually love JC names. There are some great ones out there!!


  9. Elizabeth says:

    This is a tough one for me, because I always believe in keeping a horse’s breeder name and following rules about names. Between being raised with Morgans (when the prefix was the farm name) and Standardbreds who I always felt should keep their racing name when they moved to pleasure careers, I just couldn’t do it. BUT this is your horse and you need to love it! I say do what you want! 🙂


  10. I’m always someone who think you should do what makes you happy!! And I so feel you, I LOVE to think of show names.

    Option B? Could you prefix the name? R Clear Eyes, Full Hearts? Or Remember Clear Eyes, Full Hearts or some combo of that?


  11. First of all:


    It is the BEST show and I adore Taylor Kitsch. I love the idea of Clear Eyes Full Hearts but it’s quite the mouthful.

    Second of all:

    As someone who has bred their own horses, and have quite a few friends who do it for a living, I know how upsetting it is to have a horse that you put all this thought, care, effort, love and money into have its name changed and no longer be traceable back to your stud.

    Our horses are called “Sabina -name-” as the property is Sabina Park. The name is, as you said, the first letter of the sire’s name so we have Sabina Caliente and Sabina Climent.

    Personally, if they a buyer wanted to change the “C” name that wouldn’t bother me (however they are already registered with the AWHA under those names), but losing the stud prefix would be really upsetting.

    It did happen to my friend when they dropped her stud prefix and now that horse is competing highly in dressage. It has been really disappointing for her.


    • nadsnovik says:

      It’s really the best show ever, right??
      So you make a good point as to why the R name is important. However, I do see a difference in the small farm/personal breeding program vs the sending frozen semen everywhere program… I don’t know. She would still be registered with him as her sire if someone looks her up. But I totally understand where you’re coming from and appreciate the insight!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Meh, then I would just change it, but would probably ask them if they would mind out of courtesy.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. L. Williams says:

    Riverine is actually not a bad name, but yes naming horses is a very personal thing. I changed Dante’s registered name (just with USEF, American Hanoverian let’s them have multiple showing aliases without charging a dime) and I wanted it to be something unique (as I do with all my show horses) he was the only horse in USEF with his name until about 6 months ago (at least I was the first, FIRST I TELL YOU!) Ramone and Carlos both also had unique show names though people had a hard time pronouncing Carlos. The only horse who followed the sire letter naming convention is Dante since he has papers (Ramone did not).


  14. I also love her registered name! But I also love themes…and I do that with my girls show names. Follow your heart 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Tracy says:

    I renamed Niko (both his barn name and show name according to USEF/USHJA) and did not follow breeding conventions (his name is supposed to start with a “W”). I went with names I loved, that meant something to me. I just loved the name Niko and “All I Need” for a show name really resonated with me.

    I’m glad I did it. Totally the right choice!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. emma says:

    oh man i am the woooorsssst at coming up with names ugh. and agree that riverine is kinda…. eh, doesn’t really do it for me either. to be perfectly honest i almost always keep the name of any animal that comes my way that’s already named, just bc i hate the naming process. but definitely agree that if you *do* choose a new name, going with your gut instinct usually isn’t wrong 😉

    sometimes too, the right name just clicks. like, remember that naughty little pony i rode named krimpet? who bucked me and literally everyone else off? one night we were joking around and suddenly, her show name was born: Bend ‘n Snap lol….

    or there was that other little pony some friend told me about named Bronco Bama lol…


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