The Update from Jane’s House, and Favorite Barn Names?

Shaun’s dad is very ill. He’s moving in with us in a few days, and going into Hospice. I’m very glad he’s going to be with us.  I know it is a difficult transition for him, from total independence on the other end of the continent, to moving deeper into our family life. He can use all the prayers you can throw his way. Big adjustment.

We’re hoping we can help make this time warm, loving, and supportive, and at least offset the sadness of leaving a lifetime home.  (Can you imagine?!) To be seriously ill on top of that seems so unfair.

One computer is going to be shared by one full-time work at home person, one part-time work at home person, and the family.  Not looking so good on the blogging front. It could surprise me and work out, but I wanted to let you know what’s up.

I looked at my cell phone the other day and thought “Well. If I blog from my cell I will teach myself how to seriously edit. No way can I do more than a few sentences!”

This might be a good thing!

Another alternative: “let you entertain me” blogging.  (Yes, I’m laughing.) See example below.

I have a question for you:

What barn names have you absolutely adored, whether it was your horse or not?

The barn name of the cute little filly in the earlier post is “Twinkie”. She does look like a little vanilla cream-filled Twinkie! Her name hit my Adore list.

Hudson shared his paddock for a while with a sweet quarter horse gelding. He was average/medium cow horse size, which is generally well under 16 hh. Chunky and solid, but definitely not large. I really liked him. I asked Bella: “Do you know why he’s named ‘Big’?”

Bella pointed to his butt, the letters “BH” were branded quite large on his rump.

“B H….get it? Big. Horse.”

That’s how Big got his name.  I never could look at him again without feeling absolutely charmed. It fit him. He was a very straightforward, what you see is what you get, truth-in-advertising kind of guy. Big personality. Cracked me up.

What names do you love, and why? How do they fit?

Have you come across barn names that didn’t seem to match the horse’s personality?

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34 thoughts on “The Update from Jane’s House, and Favorite Barn Names?

  1. Sandy

    I have a friend who has a horse named Peek-a-boo. Not sure what his registered name is. Peek-a-boo is a TB, very sensible young eventer. He does like to take a good look at the jumps before he commits to jumping them…

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Sending comforting and soothing thoughts to your family – I am about to move back in with my mother, soon – I chant “change is good – change is our friend”… it’s just the right thing to do – and feels good.

    Barn names: a small gray pony used for lessons: Zipper – or Zipperhead; A large bay warm blood X – the barn owner’s jumper – called Peterbilt; a round bay mare with roached mane – also used for lessons: Balloon; a nice coppery chestnut mare named Pocket Change – we called her Penny; a tall chestnut Junior Hunter named On Golden Pond and we called him Henry; and lastly, a very small small bay pony – an escape artist and quite mischievous – whom we called Naughty.

    I look forward to reading whatever it is you say – whenever it is you want to say it. Thanks for your words.

    Reply
  3. Halt Near X

    Mud. I have no idea why. I thought this horse walked on water, but I’m guessing that at some point in her life she… didn’t.

    The Saint. Years before I bought him, my first horse was given this name by a judge. Do you have any idea how hard it is to show under a judge that has canonized your mount?

    A.K.A. The horse had had so many names previously, and none had stuck, that they just gave up.

    Best wishes for you and your family. I hope that things go as well as possible and that, between any challenges, you find many, many moments to treasure in the years to come.

    Reply
  4. Mary

    My husband and I have talked about getting two horses and naming them Yankee and Rebel, since I’m from the north and he’s from the south. I named mine Pilgrim since I got him close to Thanksgiving.
    You’ve won an award over at my blog!

    Reply
  5. Tullae

    I once worked with a 3/4 clydesdale, 1/4 thoroughbred who looked all clydesdale, was nearly 17hh and worked in chains and shafts. When people were talking about him, or just chatting to him he was called Boofhead. It fit pretty well. He was a calm and a bit dopey when he wasn’t working and would always insert his massive head into any near-by group of people so it could be rubbed and scratched, and maybe even fed apples. But once you got the collar and blinkers on him he’d sharpen up and his name changed to Bill. He worked mostly on voice commands and he knew they were for him if his name was part of them. “Bill, walk-on.” “Bill, come here, come here.” “Steady, Bill.” And once the work was finished and the harness came off he’d be called Boofhead again. He wasn’t registered, so Bill was all the proper name he had.

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  6. Jane

    I want you all to know how hard it is not to hijack the comments, and reply to everyone. The names, histories, personalities, and sense of who these horses are/were and what they meant to you or others is so wonderful. Puzzle! Pickles! Lint! Slim! Adam! Moo! GoodiAm! Moose!
    (Oh. So this is how I’m, um, practicing restraint? Not working so well.)

    Reply
  7. cj

    Jane— I’m new to your brilliant blog and have a lot of catching up to do. I don’t have a horse, and haven’t ridden since I was a kid. So I can’t chime in much on the equine discussions, but I wanted to congratulate you and Shaun on your decision to care for her father in your home. And for recognizing what a difficult transition this will be for him. For everyone. I’ve just been through it with my father so I know some of the challenges that await you. Wishing you strength and patience…

    Reply
    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      Welcome! Okay, who’s hogging the donut box? We need to pass it to CJ…..thanks! (take as many as you like)
      We’re an easy bunch, and love to have people chime in on anything – you don’t have to have a horse or have ridden recently. We frequently wander across topics.
      Thank you for your beautiful comment. I’m sorry you just had to go through this with your father. I’m hoping to stay in the now, the “lull” moment as frequently as I can manage. This will be challenging for me. I tend to be an “Oh no, what have I done” and “Oh no, what will I do next?” focused person. Not helpful. It was good to read the About on your blog, nice reminder….(and I’ve decided eating is an aerobic activity also, I have to get my exercise where I can.) 🙂

      Reply
  8. Pam

    So sorry for your family travails. I hope Shaun’s dad loves being with you. As hard as it is to leave his lifetime home I imagine he will be very happy being in the midst of your loving family.

    My Percheron mare’s name was Downard’s (breeder) Cinderella when we got her. We thought that sounded just too much like Downwards so we wanted to change it. One friend looked in her very sweet eyes and said, Cindy Lou Who! I mean, what else is one supposed to call a 17-hh, 1800-lb Percheron (with the sweetest, most delicate soul one will ever meet)?! Cindy for short, of course… one day she came in with a little bit of grass and a buttercup stuck in the buckle of her halter… you guessed it! She became Buttercup, aka The Delicate Flower. When she foaled, we named the (TB-X) baby Who’s Who, nicknamed Peanut because a) she was, in relation to her mother and b) she was the color of a peanut. Flash forward 9 years… Peanut is now a 16.1hh sooty buckskin. We do Ranch Versatility alongside some lovely 1/4 horses; you should see the looks/comments I get when they hear her name as she towers over their horses…

    Reply
    1. Jane

      Buttercup! I think you hit the top of my Adore Name list. A draft horse named Buttercup. I love names that indicate who the horse is when it conflicts with what people expect. Like Tiny, my friend’s much beloved Percheron X. I also love The Princess Bride. Oh, if only I could have one horse and pony of every breed….

      Reply
  9. Liz Goldsmith

    Oh! I remembered another one. I had a friend who named her mare “Seeya” because her little girl would say that every time she led the mare to pasture.

    Reply
  10. Liz Goldsmith

    My trainer had a horse named Mr. Pickle. I’m not sure whether that was his racing name (I’ve heard stranger) or his barn name. It always made me chuckle.

    Sending hugs & jingles your way for your whole family.

    Reply
    1. Jane

      This reminds me of another favorite name, that some of you in hunter/jumper circles might be familiar with?

      Mr. Whoopy. Love that name.

      Daisy knows the McFarlane’s (of course, is there anyone she doesn’t know?!?). Mr. Whoopy just brought home $25K placing second at the Pfizer HITS. Another friend, a trainer, went to crew for Mr. Whoopy and Duncan: she sent back the most AMAZING shots of the course, pre-ride, via text. She got to walk the course! Nothing like seeing one of those jumps above eye level…

      Reply
  11. AareneX

    So sorry to hear about Shaun’s father, and of course we will keep all of you in our best-possible thoughts.

    Here’s a great name: “Gopher.” He was in a barn full of schoolies, and when you’d go out to the field, the other horses would keep their heads down, not make eye contact, not want to be taken from the field. I bet you can guess what Gopher did instead!

    Reply
  12. jenj

    I had a Lipizzan mare for a while whose registered name was Karlita, but who almost instantly became “Moose” (also Moosers, Moose-a-saurus, or Moose-a-lump). She was 15.1hh and about the same width, with a presence to match. She asked questions first and did what you wanted sometimes. She was also of the opinion that Humans were mostly Idiots, as were Quarter Horse Geldings. I’m fairly sure she was a space alien in a horse suit.

    Best horse name EVER (in my opinion) was a Grand Prix jumper called No Parachute. I always wondered what his barn name was!

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  13. Beth

    There was a little shetland companion pony years ago at the barn where I rode named “Good, I Am” who was owned by the French lady who owned the barn. . It was all kind of strung together when you used his name. Quite a mouthful.

    Reply
  14. Oregon Sunshine

    My mare’s barn name is Molly, but we call her Moll, Molly Moo, Moo, and Miss Moo. Oddly, unbeknownst to me before a discussion with her previous owner later after purchase, Molly had been called “Molly Moo” previously as well. And oddly, Molly really responds to being called “Moo”. Odd name for a palomino, isn’t it?

    Reply
  15. Marissa

    Very sorry to hear about the difficult times ahead… but I am sure that your home will be just the right place for Shaun’s dad.

    Many many horses have passed through my life… but I think I’d say my favorite barn name was the pinto pony I rode as a child, “Puzzle.” He was funny-looking, Heinz 57 breeding, all kinds of spots and two blue eyes, crazy mane, you get the idea. He was goofy, naughty, at times affectionate, smart as a whip, loved his little girl fiercely but also routinely tormented me, and was generally thought of by the adults as always up to no good. Needless to say, I worshiped him. That barn name was absolutely perfect for him.

    I’ll be keeping you and your family in my prayers.

    Reply
  16. Laura

    I’m sorry to hear about Shaun’s dad, I lost my dad in this May and still think about him often.

    I had a old style (poco bueno well bred) QH as a young adult. His show name was On Impulse, since he was an impulse purchase 🙂 His barn name was Adam, he was 15-1, short legs, “plain” bay with a roman nose. My best friend thought I should have named Stallone ( after the Rocky/Rambo actor), he had a larger than life personalty. My parents loved this horse, they knew I could do anything on him and he’d take care of me. One of the bravest horses I’ve ever had the opportunity to sit on.

    Reply
    1. Crystal Young

      I knew Adam back in the day! I thought we should have named him Guido as he looked like a mobster with that roman nose. Part of Adam is buried with my old gelding Fancy. We called Fancy a plain bay big bodied QH George in his later years as nothing bothered him he had learned to take everything in stride by the time he turned 20.

      Reply
  17. backgroundbird

    My favorite show name for a horse is my friend’s Thoroughbred rescue, Count. Her mother is Dutch and is tight with a lot of breeders and trainers in the Netherlands, so she could have had her choice of gorgeous horses if she wanted. Instead she insisted on Count, wanting to save a rescue and do the training herself. She didn’t want a pushbutton schoolmaster, she wanted a challenge. She didn’t want to change his name too much, being superstitious about that, but hated his original show name. He’s now Keeping Count, which is a double entendre–it goes for rhythm, which is perfect for a dressage horse, and also signifies that she’s going to keep him forever :). He ADORES her, too. It’s gorgeous.

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  18. greyhorsematters

    Sorry to hear about Shaun’s dad. Hope all goes well with the move and he feels at home soon.

    Barn names, hmm, there’s so many over the years. I’ll start with our best horse ever Lifeguard. He was a tobiano paint with a pink nose. Years ago with no sunblock invented yet he wore zinc to keep his nose from blistering like the lifeguards did. Kids would go around the barn singing the song ” I wanna be a Lifeguard.” We’ve had Critter, Goober,Melonhead for Mellon. One of my favorite names was Spiderweb for a dapple grey horse my daughter met in Scotland. That’s about all I can think of for now.

    Reply
  19. Kate

    I am so sorry to hear about Shaun’s father – sending best wishes and prayers to all of you.

    I’ve had barn names I hated and those I loved – I almost never change a horse’s barn name (if they already have them) when I get them. Promise and Noble were great names and they both came with them. Norman the pony came with his name – we hated it at first but it suited him so well that we left it alone – he’s just Norman. Lily came to us named Lulu – couldn’t stand it and had to change it – we figured Lily was close enough not to matter to her. My favorite barn name, hands down, is Pie’s. Just suits his open, generous personality – the older gentleman who started him named him after Jimmy Stewart’s movie horse.

    Reply
    1. Jane

      I have rarely changed a barn name too. Especially if the horse has lived a good chunk of their life with that name. I have adjusted though. Mr. Chips. 😉 He came with the name “Chippy” which totally did not fit his bossy, imperious, dignified (when he wanted to be) inquisitive personality. Thus the “Mr.” Chips.
      Norman is one of the most perfect pony names I’ve ever heard. Love it. Wonderful to know the origin of Pie’s name too, how cool is that?

      Reply
  20. EvenSong

    All of our babies had various “people names” besides their registered names. Most had the same first letter, or some other derivative of their registered name: “EvenSong” (for whom the farm is named) = Eddie (he wasn’t named for my grandpa, but had the same name); Adagio=Dodger around the barn; Madrigal=Maddie; Canticle=Kate. (You may detect a theme in their registered names.) The one that came out of the blue was our second colt–registered name=”Two Way Waltz” (song we danced to at our wedding); but somehow he was just “Pete” to me–it suited him, he was a bit of a goof. When we sold him the people (who ended up being jerks in way too many ways) decided it wasn’t close enough to his reg. name, so they renamed him “Walt”–which to me brings to mind Walter Matheau–funny, but OLD. I never liked it, I still consider him my “Petey” and he’s in a better home now, and I don’t think that’s what they call him, though I’m not sure he’s Pete again, either…

    Reply

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