Can/should I rename our new horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 07-25-2017, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Eagle, Nebraska, USA
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Can/should I rename our new horse?

We're about to buy an 11-yr-old grade QH gelding. He's currently named "Balthazar" (or "Bali"), which is... well... not our first choice of names.

Since the horse isn't registered, is it common or acceptable to rename him? I'm not sure whether he knows or responds to that name or not. He will be our only horse (for now, anyway), so there shouldn't be any confusion in our pasture when we come calling.

Can we change his name, or would that be akin to renaming a foster child?

10 acres in the country.
Just settling in with our first two quarter horses.
RIP Cochise, 2019-04-16. You will always be loved.
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post #2 of 18 Old 07-25-2017, 03:55 PM
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Location: Columbia, SC
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In my experience, renaming horses or giving them nicknames is fine.. Especially if they have no training associated with it. While my horse came with the name "Bandit" I have shortened it to "B" and he responds just as well.

♥K24223♥ He's a Prize a.k.a Bandit♥
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post #3 of 18 Old 07-25-2017, 03:57 PM
Join Date: Mar 2014
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I know some people have considered it bad luck to rename a horse.

I never have a problem renaming an animal once it comes to live with me. Done it several times.

When you're calling horses in from the pasture you can teach them to come by name, but I usually just use the same 'come in' call for them all. I just whistle for them and it brings them to the gate.
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post #4 of 18 Old 07-25-2017, 03:57 PM
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He will learn a new name in no time! We once got a horse whos name was Susie and renamed her Christi. She didn't mind :).

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever.
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.-Gandhi
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post #5 of 18 Old 07-25-2017, 04:09 PM
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I can honestly say that I have never had a horse who responded to its name. I've had them respond to my voice, a certain call or pitch but not an individual name, but then again I have never tried to teach them to respond to their name. It has never come up as necessary since a horse will only come to you if they like you or they think you have food. If they don't like you they wont come no matter what you call them so I wouldn't worry about it. And even if he did by chance know his name, horses are quite intelligent and given time he could learn another ;)
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"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #6 of 18 Old 07-25-2017, 04:42 PM
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I've called a few horses some terrible names! Can't repeat them here.
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post #7 of 18 Old 07-25-2017, 04:50 PM
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Rename the horse if it makes you happy.
When using the name, calling the horse use positive reinforcement so they learn the sound of the name as you speak it and a reward for acknowledging it...
Food and treats fed when in association with that name will get you places.

I changed my one horses name when I got him as he had no known name as a rescue.
He learned it quick.
He answers with a whinny anytime I call his name to find out where he is....if he comes he gets a scratch, a pat and sometimes something good to eat too....positive reinforcement works!!

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #8 of 18 Old 07-25-2017, 05:11 PM
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We just renamed our new horse. They didn't even have a name for him, they just called him "yellow horse". He doesn't seem to mind his new name (Paco)!
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post #9 of 18 Old 07-25-2017, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Eagle, Nebraska, USA
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Thanks for the votes of confidence!

My daughter's leaning toward naming this guy "Cochise," although his demeanor is nothing at all like the aggressive Apache war chief. We still like the sound of it, though. It reminds her of a lovely horse by the same name that she used to ride for lessons when she was young.
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10 acres in the country.
Just settling in with our first two quarter horses.
RIP Cochise, 2019-04-16. You will always be loved.
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post #10 of 18 Old 07-26-2017, 09:44 PM
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If you are like me and people I know, you are probably really excited about this horse! Rename him to what you like.

Every horse that came to me gets called mare, mom, or bud. Regardless of gender! They'd be with me from days to years.

I'm horrid at names. The horses never seem to mind. They all learned to come to my whistle anyway.

The ones I own or that several of us own together have to have a name that passes for all of us. Quite a few come in with names that people think are "Indian" and are offensive in one way or another, or is too sophmoric. No way are we going to keep those.
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