Thursday, July 15, 2010

What's in a name?

How much time do you spend naming your horse? Do you take time to see what his/her character might be? Do you keep the name your horse came with? Did you change your horse's name?

I take naming very seriously. I took it seriously with my sons so it only seems logical I would take the same consideration when naming my horses. Not equating my wonderful sons to my horses, but you get the drift.

When I first met my two horses, they already had names. I didn't like one, and could live with the other. I changed Overdue to Bo, and left Spirit, as Spirit. Six years later, I'm kind of rethinking my thinking on that move, and have wished I'd called him Sunny, because he has a sunny disposition, but it is what it is and he knows his name now.

Some people don't change names. I've read they believe it will confuse the horse. Really?

I was amazed that Bo's first name was Overdue. The only story I recall on how he got that name, he was overdue when he was due to be born. Hubby wanted me to keep the name Overdue. His reasoning, I had been overdue for a horse of my own for many; many years. But, the name just didn't please me. Didn't fit right. I'd had in my mind that I would name my first horse Bo and that came from the movie TrueGrit, where John Wayne's horse, in the movie, was named Beau. In reality, Beau was Wayne's favorite movie horse, Dollar. The name Beau had stuck with me for decades, though I decided to spell it Bo. I guess Overdue didn't have a chance, his name was changed.

Spirit's official name is Spirit of Stuntman. His daddy is a registered SSH/TW, Stuntman. The owners said they named him Spirit because he was, well...yeah..Spirited. That he is! 

I had a farrier suggest, a few years ago, that maybe I should change Spirit's name. She was having trouble with him. He was a little more spirited than she liked to deal with.......which is not very spirited at all. He was also young and learning. I have another farrier who could care less how spirited Spirit is and besides that, Spirit is grown up now, and well mannered. But, I was thinking the other day, maybe I should have gone with Sunny. He really does fit that name. If he were a human, he'd be the one everyone wanted to be around because he seems happy all the time. Sure, a little sensitive too, but you can overlook that quality because he's so darn cute!

Names are important and they can have meaning to the personality of the horse. I remember a few names of the horses I worked with and their names often painted their picture before people even knew them. Sometimes, the names were deceiving.

Speckles-An adorable POA-Appy mix. He was barely 14 H tall. You couldn't let that name fool you. He could be an ornery little guy. Opened gates for one thing. Stepped on feet, which became obvious after a while this was on purpose. But, the name Speckles is benign so people didn't expect trouble out of him.

Bubbles-Another pony. He had the right name for his personality, but he was another ornery little guy. Couldn't catch him sometimes. He ran up the hill, then turned around and seemed to laugh at us.

Flow- A beautiful, big, black Tennessee Walker mare. Such a wonderfully gentle personality. She was renamed by a barn staff member when she came to the ranch. I never found out what her name was before we got her. She had a gorgeous flow to her gait and when you rode her, you felt like you were flowing....

Ginger-One of my favorite horses at the ranch. I would have renamed her only because I felt Ginger wasn't right for her. She came to the ranch with her buddy, now get this, Gilligan. Yep. Someone had named them Gilligan and Ginger. Gilligan kept his name too and that's another one I would have changed. I mean, he was a gorgeous all black Walker with a little white star on his forehead. He had some training issues we were still working on before I left the ranch. I think I'd have issues with a name like Gilligan for my horse! Ginger was a sorrel nicely built Quarter Horse, and great trail ride, yes, reddish like the Ginger character on Gilligan's Island. 

Names are labels sometimes, no getting around that. So it's an individual decision on whether to change a horse's name or not. But, if you're the first one to name a horse who's never been named, be kind.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The 3 H's

Well, well, well, it IS July here in Southern Ohio and the three H's are with us: Hazy. Hot. Humid. July with a heat wave. Temps soaring upwards of 95 to 100F. Wonderful. There is sarcasm in that wonderful. I am not a hot weather kind of gal these days. Give me the cool of September through October all year long and I'd be happy!

The past couple of days I have brought the boys in around 2pm. Given them their ration of hay cubes and as they ate, sponged their legs with cool water. I'm sure they'll be playing in their water tank in another hour.

At least, as a respite from the heat of the day, this evening, I'll be able to move them out into the grass of their temporary grazing fields.

Weather. It's always a factor in our lives. I'm sure I think about it way too much and my horses could care less. They have their fan. They have a shady rest area. Wish I could accept things as simply as they do!