Teeuwynn rode horses for decades, including her beloved Appaloosa, Aspen, and qualified at state and national levels in horse shows.
Horses are magnificent beings, and we want to find names that perfectly fit their natures. One good place to look for names with meaning is in myths and legends.
If you have a powerful, dramatic horse, it deserves a powerful and dramatic name. Unless, you want to go with something completely ironic and go in the exact opposite direction. (Bunny? Schmoopie-poo?)
When you name your horse something significant, it can give you an even greater understanding of your horse than you already have. So take a look at these names and see if any of them might fit a horse or foal you are thinking of getting now or one day, or maybe even one that needs a new start and a new name.
Balor was the giant king of the Fomorians. In Irish mythology, the Fomorians were a group of dangerous supernatural creatures. Balor had one eye that would do terrible damage when he opened it. Balor is known for his association with the blistering sun, drought, and blight. This name would obviously work for a large, one-eyed horse, but it would also be good for any strong-willed, powerful horse that likes to be a leader.
This flying horse (Pegasus) comes from the YA Percy Jackson books my kids love so much. A powerful creature, Blackjack rescues Percy from a number of desperate situations and comes when Percy is in need. This name would work well for any strong, black horse.
Roger Zelazny’s science fantasy novel Creatures of Light and Darkness features a large, mechanically enhanced bronze steed. For every stride this powerful horse takes, it goes twice as far as the previous one. Because of its associated color, this name might be good for a chestnut or bay foal. Due to the power and speed of Zelazny's steed, this name would also be good for a strong, swift, horse.
Bucephalus was the war horse for Alexander the Great and is one of the more famous horses in antiquity. This horse was said to have a massive head, black fur, and a white star on his forehead. The young Alexander won Bucephalus in a bet by proving he could tame the wild creature. Any large, black male with a white star would be perfect for this name, but the name Bucephalus could also work for any strong male horse that isn’t an easy ride for just anyone.
This Greek creature was a terrifying she-dragon. She guarded the Cyclops in Tartarus. Although she was a dragon, Campe had a beautiful woman’s head and a scorpion’s tail. You might want to consider this name for a gorgeous, powerful mare who puts her foot down when she needs to.
This name comes from Chinese mythology. The name refers to a winged horse that can gallop one thousand miles in just one day. Chollima is also supposed to be impossible for a human to ride. The name comes from a word meaning talent or ability. Chollima could refer to a mare, stallion, or gelding who has great talent or endurance or one who is particularly hard to ride.
Epona comes from the Gallo-Roman religion. She is a strong, motherly figure who protected ponies, donkeys, horses, and mules. She was also a fertility goddess and may have even led souls into the afterlife to made sure they got there safely. This name would work well for a strong mare with a kindly disposition.
In Norse mythology, Gerd was an ice giantess who made the god Frey fall in love with her. Frey gave up his relations with many of his fellows to be with the bewitching, powerful beauty, Gerd. This name could be good for a large, handsome white or grey mare.
Hel is the daughter of the giantess Angrboda and one of the most famous trickster gods of all time, Loki. Her brothers are the slavering wolf Fenrir and the world-eating serpent, Jormungand. The head god, Odin, threw Hel into the underworld for her transgressions. While there, she grew to rule the realm. This name would be an obvious one for a black mare, but it would also be wonderful for a horse with a stubborn personality that doesn’t take any guff from anybody.
This Scottish water spirit often appears in the shape of a horse. Kelpies can change themselves into human form. Kelpies were considered dangerous creatures and children were told to keep away from the edges of the water in case the kelpies would take them away. This name would work for most larger horses, especially ones with darker colors like bay, chestnut, roan, or black.
Mares of Diomedos
These wild man-eaters were named Deimos, Lampon, Podagros, and Xanthos. Any one of these names would be great for a spirited, powerful mare. These mares were owned by the Greek giant Diomedos. He fed them on human flesh which made them crazy and utterly ruthless in battle. Hercules’ eighth labor was to tame and capture them. The only way Hercules could complete this task was to feed Diomedes to his own horses!
Gandalf’s steed is in one of my favorite series—the world famous Lord of The Rings trilogy. Shadowfax possesses incredible stamina and speed. Shadowfax is either grey or silver in color and can actually understand human language. The only person Shadowfax would let ride him was Gandalf. This name would work well for a grey or silver horse that prefers specific riders or seems to really understand what you are saying.
The Nordic goddess of Winter, skiers, and hunters, Skadi enjoys treks into the wilderness. She is the daughter of the frost giant Thiazzi. Skadi doesn’t prefer a lot of noise and distractions. She enjoys being up in the mountains or getting a lot of fresh air. This name could work well for any large mare that likes to stride out and gallop into the wilderness. It would of course also work well for any strong white or grey mare.
One of the most famous horses in mythology, Sleipnir is the giant, eight-legged steed ridden by Odin the warrior king of the Norse Vanir. Sleipnir is the god Loki’s son. Sleipner is usually described as a grey, because of this a large grey horse might work well with this name, but if you want to evoke one of the most famous horses in mythology in naming your powerful stallion or gelding, you may want to consider this name.
Pecos Bill was the hero of a series of wild west tales that first appeared in 1917. Widow-Maker was Pecos Bill’s horse. Sometimes also called Lightning, Widow-Maker was such an imposing animal that no other person could ride him and live. This name could be good for a stallion or wild tempered gelding who is difficult for many people to ride or subject to fits of bucking or rearing.
More Horse Name Articles
- Top 40 Native American Mythological Names for American Horses
- 25 Names for Your Horse From Norse Mythology
- 20 Fiery Red Names for Chestnut Horses
Petra: The Strongest Draft Horse
© 2018 Teeuwynn Woodruff