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 fit their natures. One good place to look for significant names is Norse mythology, which is filled with larger-than-life gods, goddesses, creatures, and spirits. When you give your horse a name that has mythological significance, it can give you an even greater connection to your horse. So take a look at these ideas and see if any of them might fit a horse you are thinking of getting now or one day, or maybe even one that just needs a new start.
Horse Names From Norse Mythology
In Norse legend, Alf was a king, but the name stems from the term “elf.” Alf wooed a reluctant maid named Alfhild. She did not want to marry Alf until she saw how strong he was in battle and then she relented. This name could be good for either a more elfen male horse with a natural grace or for a horse who is strong and looks like he would be good in battle.
Alvis means “all wise” in Old Norse. Alvis was also a dwarf who had made a deal to marry one of Thor’s daughters. However, Thor was not pleased with this deal. Thor developed a plan. He questioned Alvis all night until the sun arose, whereupon the dwarf, who could not live in the sun, turned to stone. This name could work for a calm, grey gelding. It could work equally well for a more foolish, younger grey male horse who likes to flirt with the mares until he gets bitten.
This name means “prince” in Old Norse. Balder was Odin and Frigg’s son. Balder had many bad dreams when he was young, so his mother made everything in the whole world promise it would do no harm to her poor son. But Loki, the evil god of fire, learned that Frigg had forgotten to extract the promise from mistletoe. Loki was so jealous of the beautiful god Balder that he tricked the blind god Hoder into throwing a branch of mistletoe at Balder and killing him.
This name could be good for any noble and princely looking male horse. It would work especially well for a horse with a kind and sweet disposition or for a blind horse.
Embla means uncertain or possibly “elm.” Embla and her husband Ask were the first humans ever made. They were created from two trees by three of the Norse gods. This name could be good for a female horse with dapples, to represent the shade falling through the leaves of the trees Embla used to be made from.
Fenrir is a terrible wolf, a huge being, and the son of the god Loki. Fenrir bit the god Tyr’s right hand off. It is said that Fenrir will kill Odin in the end days of Ragnarök. Fenrir could make a good name for a male horse that is a bit wild in nature or who likes to nip.
Frey is a Norse god. His twin sister is the goddess Freya. Frey is the god of fertility, sunlight, and rain. With his father Njord and twin sister Freya, he made up the group known as the Vanir. Frey means “lord” in old Norse. Frey could be a good name for a noble male steed of any kind.
The twin sister to the god Frey and another member of the Vanir, Freya, was the goddess of love, beauty, war, and death. She took half of all the warriors killed in battle and then brought them to her realm of Fólkvanger. This name would work well for a large, beautiful mare who looks like she could fight on the battlefield.
Frigg means “beloved” in Old Norse. Frigg was the goddess of fertility, earth, and air. Frigg was also the wife of Odin, the All-Father, head of the Norse gods. Frigg could make a nice name for a dark-colored mare who has a calm personality.
Meaning “wand elf” in Old Norse, Gandalf is not the wizard of Tolkien lore. Here Gandalf is a dwarf who appears in the famous poetic epic called the Edda. Gandalf could serve as a good name for a small, tough male pony. It could also work for a more fine-boned horse or pony due to its origins meaning wand elf.
This name means “hiding” or “secrecy” in Old Norse. In Norse mythology, there is a sorceress named Hulda. In modern Swedish, the name now means “sweet” or “loveable.” Hulda could be a good name for a mare who likes to hide from people or hide things in her stall. Or it could also work for a mare who is simply the sweetest and most lovable horse around.
Idunn was a goddess in Norse mythology. Her name means “to love.” Idunn is the goddess of spring and immortality. She guards the apples that keep the Norse gods youthful. Because of Idunn’s loving duties, this name could work for a strong, noble mare who is always up for a challenge.
Jarl means “nobleman, chieftain, or earl” in Old Norse. Jarl founded a race of warriors. Because of Jarl’s military might, this name might be good for a gelding or stallion who has a very outgoing and brazen temperament. The name might also be good for larger, stronger horses.
Loki is the ultimate trickster god. He is associated with magic and fire. Loki grew more evil over time and, eventually, the other gods decided that they had to chain him to a rock to keep control over him. Loki might make a nice name for a stallion or gelding who likes to play tricks on people, like attempting to nip when you only want to give him a nice carrot or shifting his hoof onto your foot and then leaning down hard. The name could also work for a bright chestnut horse due to Loki’s association with fire.
Magni comes from the Old Norse for “mighty” or “strong.” Magni is the son of the God of Thunder, Thor, and the giantess Járnsaxa. Due to Magni’s strength and the fact that both of his parents are huge, this name would work well for a very large male gelding or stallion of any kind.
This name is believed to mean “daring” or “brave.” Nanna is a goddess who died of grief after her husband, Balder, was killed. Nanna could be a name for many mares. It could work for a very brave mare, but it could also work for one with a more melancholy temperament.
Odin is the All-Father, head of all the gods in Norse mythology. His name derives from a word meaning “frenzy, inspiration, or rage.” As a god, his specific realms cover war, art, wisdom, and death. Odin lives in Valhalla, where the noblest of warriors go when they die in battle. Odin would make a great name for a powerful gelding or stallion. Odin had one eye, so the name would also work for a horse who has lost an eye.
Saga may mean “seeing one” in Old Norse. Saga is the goddess of history and poetry. Saga could work as a name for many mares, particularly ones with more thoughtful temperaments.
This name comes from the Old Norse for “secret” and “victory.” Sigrứn was a Valkyrie in Norse legend, so she was a powerful warrior. Because of her skill as a warrior, this name might work well for a stronger mare or for one who likes to get into fights in the corral.
Sigurd’s name comes from elements meaning guardian and victory. In myth, Sigurd went on a quest for a hoard of gold guarded by a dragon. After slaying the dragon, Sigurd tasted its blood and found he could talk to the birds from then on. Sigurd had other great adventures after this one. The name could be great for a gelding or stallion who seeks out things he finds of value, be it a blade of grass or a bird’s nest.
It’s not entirely clear what Sindri means in Old Norse. It could mean “sparkling” or it could mean “small” or “trivial.” In legends, Sindri was a dwarf who made magical items for the gods. Sindri could work as a name for any male pony, particularly one with a more sturdy build.
Sleipner is Odin’s famous eight-legged steed. Sleipner is actually the god Loki’s child. The horse is a handsome grey. This name would work for any grey gelding or stallion.
Thor is the God of Thunder. He also has power over war, strength, and storms. He wields the mighty battle hammer, Mjolnir, into battle with him. Thor also wears a magic belt that doubled his already mighty strength. This is a powerful name and would work best with a strong male horse.
Tyr is the god of war and justice. He is a son of the god Odin. Tyr’s right hand was bitten off by the great wolf, Fenrir. He uses a spear as his weapon. Tyr could be a good name for a horse that has been injured in some way, but soldiers on. It could also work for any male horse that looks like he is ready to go to war.
A Valkyrie is one of Odin’s female warrior beings who select which warriors will live and which will die on the battlefield and go to Valhalla. The Valkyrie are strong and beautiful fighters who are utterly loyal to Odin. This name might be a good one for any mare who has a bold outlook on life.
Valhalla is the sprawling, majestic castle where Odin and other gods live. It is also where the chosen warriors go when they die. This is where the fighters await Ragnarök, the end of the world. Valhalla could be a nice name for any horse who shows bravery or nobility.
Want More Horse Names?
© 2018 Teeuwynn Woodruff
Teeuwynn Woodruff (author) from Washington State on April 21, 2018:
I'm glad you enjoyed both the mythology and the horses. Thanks.
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on April 20, 2018:
What an interesting idea for an article. I enjoyed learning about Norse mythology and looking at the photos of the horses.