The End is Nye*!

*I have nothing against the little girl, I just can’t resist a good pun when it’s presented to me. I may sing Bill Nye the Science guy to her, though.

*I have nothing against the little girl, I just can’t resist a good pun when it’s presented to me. I may sing Bill Nye the Science guy to her, though.

I also couldn't decide which picture to use of her, so here's another one.

I also couldn’t decide which picture to use of her, so here’s another one.

I know it’s only January, but I wanted to talk a little bit about foal names. Many of you know that starting in 2000 the horses in the Pryor Mountains were given names that corresponded to the alphabet. This year’s the foals will be given names that start with the letter O. It’s a useful way to tell the age of a horse, but it also leaves some people dissatisfied.  Mostly because some horses end up with two names. I’m not going to go into the reason’s why there are two names right now, but I will say some things that might help us wrap our minds around the fact that there are two names.

1. It’s a two way street. For example Diamond was Diamond before his name also became Teton.

Teton/Diamond, June 2011.

Teton/Diamond, June 2011.

2. Chances are there will always be two names. It’s not the end of the world. The sooner we accept that, the sooner we can tackle more pressing issues such as how to manage the horses.

That doesn’t mean we sit back and let double names happen, though. Which brings me to the point of this blog post. Here’s a list of ideas that might help prevent giving horses two names:

1. Wait before naming. Personally, I would rather wait and get the name right the first time than get used to one name only to have it changed at a latter date. At least with two names there isn’t the expectation that the second name automatically replaces the first.

Personally, I don't think there's anything wrong with the name Noble. However, at first Noble/Navajo was incorrectly identified as a colt. That is one of the reasons why it might be beneficial to wait to name foals.

Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the name Noble. However, at first Noble/Navajo was incorrectly identified as a colt. That is one of the reasons why it might be beneficial to wait to name foals.

Believe it or not, both foals are now grullo/a roan. Luckily Nodin/Navigator wasn't named for color.

Believe it or not, both foals are now grullo/a roan. Luckily Nodin/Navigator wasn’t named for color.

2. Respect the person who found the foal. It’s OK if they don’t name it right away. If it’s not named and the person who found it is known, then it might be a good idea to ask if they have plans to name the foal before automatically naming it.

3. Know your audience. Personally, I don’t think the issue is with how many names they have, although it is nice when they only have one. The issue is if the person you are talking to knows what horse you are talking about. Even if you have your own name for each horse it is also easy to either describe the horses or provide a photo of the horse.

4. If your name isn’t used, don’t sweat it. I know, easier said than done, but this directly correlates with numbers 2 and 3. Yes, the ideal scenario would be that if the person who found it names a foal, then others would respect that name. However, sometimes, people don’t mean to disrespect a name. The Pryor’s are a big place. Sometimes foals aren’t found for weeks after they born, but that doesn’t mean someone else didn’t already see the foal. Maybe they didn’t know how to report that they saw it.  In other words, give people the benefit of the doubt. Like I said, provided you know your audience you’re welcome to have what ever name you want for each horse.

5. Preferably use names that are pronounceable.  At the very least it would be easier to use names that can be spelled easily.

I'm not sure how to pronunce Naara, but at least I can spell it. Pluss she's too cute for words.

I’m not sure how to pronunce Naara, but at least I can spell it. Pluss she’s too cute for words.

Finally, here are a few more things to remember. The horses don’t care what they’re named. The horses live on public land, they belong to all of us. Although sometimes it feels like we belong to them. We don’t need to agree on everything, we just need to do what’s best for the horses.

Note: On a sillier note I feel the need to add that bonus points go to people who embrace their inner nerd when choosing foal names. This could include, but is not limited to either fantasy or science. History would work too, but I think it might be harder to tie into the Pryors.

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9 Comments »

  1. alex Said:

    This post was a great idea, and I agree with you completely on all your points!! 🙂 Its like there is a race on who finds a foal first so they can name it and stake a sort of claim on it! waiting a some time before naming a foal gives a chance to really have an understanding on the foals character and also thinking of a name that has a correlation to its parent !!! The way many foals were named in the 1990’s was very fun! as you may know Mariah ( also named Blanca) was named so because she was seen playing on a hill on a late afternoon in the wind and so hens the name Mariah!

  2. Joy Said:

    Ha! once again you have hit the nail on the head 🙂

    I would like to add two things: 1) it would be nice if the name had some connection to the parents or line from which it is descended, and 2) personally, I don’t feel that just anybody should be able to officially name a foal — report it if they find one, yes, but giving them the right to name a foal suddenly gets everyone wanting to go out and search for them. Hunting for foals and watching them are two entirely different things.

    • Thanks. As usual I like your thoughts too. The only down side to having a connection to the parents is then it seems to be the only reason for naming a foal. Such as Jackson’s foals.
      Maybe rather than someone automatically getting to name the foal they can add their name to the ideas. That way they might feel like they were included in the process and if its a name a lot of people like then it might be used.

      • Joy Said:

        Exactly, if someone has a good idea, that’s great. And it is a very good feeling knowing there is a horse up there with a name you suggested.

  3. Sarah Griffin Said:

    I agree with your points! And that it is a two way street! I personally don’t have any trouble knowing who is who with two naming systems. Some people seem to take offense that a horse may have two names, but like you said it’s really not that big of a deal, we’re all just here for the horses! I only knew TCF names for a long time. And after the 3rd Cloud book was when I really became determined to find more about them and more current updates of how they’re doing. That was when I came across the Cloud the Stallion facebook page and the Mustang Center blog. I had no idea that there was a different naming system while reading the Mustang Center’s blog I was quickly able to realize there was two names for some of them and quickly caught on to who was who. That Diamond= Teton, Flint= Blue Moon, Red Raven= Coronado, just to share some examples. Haha and I like the note on being able to pronounce the names, there’s some I know I’m not sure how to pronounce 🙂

  4. I don’t see a “like” button for your post Livi, so I thought I would just write a quick note. I do like your post and you made some great points.

    Over the last month, I have come to the realization that I don’t really care what the horses names are anymore. Last year I said I did not care if I found any foals, but that quickly changed when I found some. It is a thrill like nothing other. This year I will say the same. I don’t go out looking for them, I just happen to spend more time on the range then a lot of people, so my odds are a bit more favorable for finding them.

    I do feel that the person finding them should have some say and like you pointed out respect and I think to this point it has been that way. But people are a funny creature and suddenly it becomes a huge competition. This name thing is getting a bit out of control, and honestly, I think I am going to step aside in naming any, even if I do find them.

    OR….

    Heck, maybe I will even come up with my own names for my blog. HAHA, not really, but…it is tempting! 😉 2 or 3 names for each horse will keep us all on our toes and keep are minds sharp! 🙂

    • Ps. The only thing I will most likely name this year is my new UTV. We bought it for our ranch, to plow with and do chores, but the bonus is I will be taking her to the Pryors. 😉 And since she is a 2014 girl, her name is Ophelia and I won’t be changing it! 🙂

      • Thanks for your thoughts. I’ll have to see what happened to the like button. Ophelia sounds like a good name for a UTV. I look forward to hearing about your future trips to the Pryors.


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