20 Names for Horses From Greek Mythology

Updated on October 20, 2018
Teeuwynn Woodruff profile image

Teeuwynn rode horses for decades, including her beloved Appaloosa, Aspen. She qualified at state and national levels in horse shows.

Horses are wonderful creatures and we want to find names that fit their unique nature. One good place to look for names that are more than just pretty is to examine Greek mythology. This ancient mythology is filled with awe-inspiring gods, goddesses, creatures, and spirits from which to draw names. When you name your horse something that has meaning, it can make you and your horse grow closer together than you would have before. So, take a look at these names and see if any might fit a horse you are thinking of getting now, sometime in the future, or maybe even a horse that needs a new start and a new name.

Aether

Aether is a primordial deity. The son of Erebus, the god of darkness, and Nyx, the goddess of night, Aether became the deity in charge of the rarified upper air in the skies. This is the air the gods breathe, it is too fine and thin for mortal lungs. Unlike his parents, Aether strives towards being a heroic role model. This name could be good for any horse that loves to run wild and free or for a horse who really enjoys jumping.

Girl bonding with her new horse after naming him Aether.
Girl bonding with her new horse after naming him Aether.

Alastor

The Greek god Hades owned this powerful black horse. Alastor was one of the four horses that pulled Hades’ chariot when he charged out of the Underworld to bring Persephone back with him. This name would be an interesting option for an intimidating black stallion or gelding. He could be a sweetheart, but maybe when new people meet him they’re too intimidated to realize that . . . or maybe he really only gets along with you. Either way, it’s a name with an interesting history.

Apollo

Apollo and his sister Artemis are two of the strongest gods in the Greek pantheon. Apollo is the god of many things including, music, truth and prophecy, light and the sun, healing, plague, poetry, etc. Apollo is the patron of Delphi and cares deeply for the arts and medicine. This name could work well for any horse with a kind, soothing nature. It might even work even better for paler horses like silver, white, and palomino horses since Apollo is often depicted as blonde, but I think any kind and steady stallion, gelding or foal could wear this well.

Ares

The son of Zeus and Hera, Ares is the Greek god of War. Ares is all about the wild side of war, charging headlong into battle come what may. Because of his nature, this name might be good for a powerful, headstrong horse who sometimes does not agree with you about where you both should be going or what you should be doing at any given moment. It would also work for a horse that likes to cause fights with other horses at the barn.

One of these fighting horses could well be named Ares.
One of these fighting horses could well be named Ares.

Arete

Arete is not a living being, but rather an idea—a potential. Arete means “excellence of any kind.” It can also mean “moral virtue.” This word is not male or female. It really sums up into a whole that which indicates meeting one’s potential. This name would be fantastic for a foal born with real potential for greatness or a horse who you are buying expecting great things from or simply exemplary behavior from.

Artemis

This goddess of the hunt is the twin sister of Apollo and the daughter of Zeus and Leto. She is goddess of the hunt, the wilderness, wild animals, virginity, and childbirth. The most popular images of her have Artemis carrying a bow and arrows. This wild name would be great for more free spirited mares and foals. This name is also wonderful for a female horse who isn’t afraid of anything.

Chaos

The Greeks thought chaos was, at first, the great void of nothingness that existed before the world began. Out of this chaos grew a primordial deity, also named Chaos, who came to rule it. This name would work for a horse of either gender who doesn’t like to keep to the rules and just follow along to follow along. A horse with this name is a thinking man or woman’s horse.

Chiron

In mythology, the Greek centaurs thought Chiron, “The wisest and justest of all centaurs.” Chiron was a famous tutor. He taught Achilles when he was young. As Chiron grew older, he also became a respected healer and astrologer. Chiron died sacrificing himself to save the titan Prometheus. This name would be good to consider for any smart, caring horse who has the temperament to stay calm when others get flustered. It’s also a great name for a horse you think would defend you if you were threatened.

Chiron: The Great Teacher

Corus

This Greek spirit presided over surfeit and disdain. Surfeit is when you have too much of something or you get someone to have far too much of something and they feel uncomfortable. This name could be good for any horse that really likes his food and treats and will indulge way too much, but turn his nose up if it’s not the kind of treat he likes.

Hades

Hades is God of Wealth and Lord of the Underworld. He is one of Zeus’ brothers. Hades has an enormous three-headed dog named Cerberus that guards the way in and out of the Underworld.

Hades can be a bitter and jealous lord. When he fell in love with the harvest goddess Demeter’s daughter Persephone, Hades helped trick her into eating six pomegranate seeds while in the Underworld. Now Persephone has to spend six months a year there.

Hades could make a nice name for a horse that likes to take control or who gets jealous easily. This could also simply be a great name for a really powerful, intimidating stallion or gelding.

Helios

Helios is the god who is seen as the personification of the sun. One of his sisters is the moon goddess, Sếlene while his other sister is Eos, Goddess of the Dawn. Helios is a very bright, vivacious individual. He shines forth in the sky. Consider giving this name to a light-colored horse or pony like a palomino, grey, silver, or even a roan. Of course, if your horse or pony has a personality that just screams Helios, then go for it!

Hera

When it comes to goddesses, no one is more important than Hera. She is the wife and sister of Zeus, king of the gods. Hera is goddess of childbirth, women, marriage, empires, kings, and heirs. She is a very regal woman, but she is also extremely jealous over all of Zeus’ constant infidelities.

Hera’s favorite animals are peacocks, cuckoos, and heifers. You could name any regal or haughty looking mare Hera. You could also name a mare that enjoys time with cattle Hera or even a mare who enjoys chasing stallions and geldings away as if they’re getting in trouble and she’s calling them out on it.

This regal mare could be named Hera.
This regal mare could be named Hera.

Nemesis

The goddess of retribution, Nemesis, is particularly focused on people paying for acts of hubris, or overweening pride. Known as “the inescapable,” Nemesis is not a figure anyone wanted to see coming up behind them. This name would probably be good for a darker mare who knows how to move quietly and well. It would also work for a horse who knows how to bide her time and get back at someone for doing something she didn’t like, say some human doesn’t give her a carrot and later on she casually leans all her weight on one of his feet.

Nike

Nike is the classic winged goddess of victory. In Roman mythology, she is called Victoria. This name is perfect for any horse or pony you plan on competing with, be it show jumping, barrel racing or what have you.

Nyx

The goddess of Night, Nyx, stood at the dawn of creation and became a mother figure to Thanatos (Death) and Hypnos (Sleep). Nyx is a very mysterious figure in Greek mythology, but it is clear that she is exceptionally beautiful and so powerful Zeus, himself is afraid of her. Nyx would be a wonderful name for a black or dark brown or bay mare with a calm, strong personality.

Persephone

Persephone is the beloved daughter of Demeter, goddess of the Harvest and the god Zeus. Persephone herself is the goddess of spring growth. Persephone was said to be tricked or captured by Hades, Lord of the Underworld. While she was there, she grew hungry and ate six pomegranate seeds. Eating in the world of the dead bound her there permanently, but only for six months a year, one month for each seed she ate.

The world is said to enter Autumn and then Winter as Demeter grieves her daughter’s time in the Underworld, and then bursts into flowers in the Spring when Persephone returns. This name could work for almost any mare or foal, especially one who can remain hopeful even in very dark times or one who really loves the Springtime.

A horse named Persephone running towards home.
A horse named Persephone running towards home.

Perses

Although scholars aren’t entirely sure what this name means, they believe this titan is the titan of destruction. With such a wicked, damaging theme, this name might be good for horses that like to fight or tend to bite or have other dangerous qualities.

Sếlene

Sếlene is a titan and goddess of the moon. Sếlene has a delicate moon chariot that she drives across the nightly skies. She is said to have many lovers. Sếlene might make a good name for any lovely mare or foal meant for breeding or for any pretty mare who enjoys flirting or a good run in the fields at night.

Sterope

Sterope was one of the seven Pleiades, the seven daughters of the massively strong titan Atlas. The Pleiades were also the goddess Artemis’ companions. Eventually, the Pleiades are said to have gone into the sky and become a constellation. Sterope could work for any bright-spirited mare, but it might work particularly well for a horse with a white star or blaze or white socks or stockings or roan or appaloosa markings - just something that hearkens back to the Pleiades in the sky.

Zeus

Ruler of Mount Olympus and King of the Gods, god of thunder, lightning, sky, weather, law, order, and justice. Zeus is a strong, regal figure who often carries lightning bolts. He usually has a black beard and pale skin. Any male horse that likes to be a leader could carry this name. This would also work for a black or black and white horse. Finally, think of this name for a horse that actually gets excited about lightning.

This Foal Could Grow Up to Be a Great Zeus

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    © 2018 Teeuwynn Woodruff

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