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Bad luck name changes? I may be a little stitious...

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    Bad luck name changes? I may be a little stitious...

    Just for fun!

    Do you believe it is bad luck to change a horse's name?

    Would you avoid changing a horse's name because you are superstitious?

    Do you change it to something that sounds almost the same in hopes that the horse won't notice because you are a little stitious?

    Anyone have any good stories about name changes that ended up being really bad?

    Anyone change the name and had the best luck ever for the horse's career?

    I have changed one horse's name (his name was Geekers when I bought him). It did end up being my worst purchase. I don't think it's because I changed his name buuuut..... LOL

    I only change it if the horse came from a bad situation beforehand. To me, it’s like starting with a clean slate.
    Both horses I got from a not so great situation also happened to come with not so great names.


      A school horse came into our barn with the name Steak.

      I was working there at the time. We all sort of looked at each other and thought "we cannot do this to this sweet horse." I have no problem with changing a show name, but I think that if a horse knows his barn name and comes when he's called it's a bit much to change Steak to, say, Arnold. This fellow was a little wide-eyed at the new surroundings and as he did seem to know he was called Steak we didn't want to depart too much from the sound he already knew as his name.

      All right, so you call the horse Jake. Not so simple. We already had Big Jake (17.2) and Little Jake (10hh). Medium Jake didn't stick.

      Rake? Fake? Snake? Mistake? Jailbreak?

      Lake, Blake, and Pancake didn't occur to us, so he's been with us for five or six years and he's still called Steak. In retrospect, this was probably more of a cruelty to this nice horse than calling him e.g. Arnold from the beginning.

      It took until writing this post for me to realize that "Sweepstakes" would have been a good way to solve this problem.
      "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden


        The first horse I bought was number 250 at the feedlot. So I had to give him a name. I later found out he was an OTTB, and found out his registered name, and also the name he had been given by a previous owner. Neither of those with anything like the name I chose, and he went and evented successfully for me until he retired at 15 with ringbone. Passed away a couple of years ago at the age of 23.

        We bought a four-year-old from the breeder who had an absolutely awful sounding name. So we had to change it. He eventually died of colic at the age of seven. Not so great.

        Then I bought a horse who was sold to me as a 12-year-old, and I kept his name because it was nice. Even though the seller was sketchy. I later found out he was 19, and I also found out what his registered name was. He passed away at the age of 21, and it was really a tragedy all around.
        After that I bought a five month old colt from the breeder and kept his name because it was great. Had to put him down at the age of seven due to lots of neurological issues. Heartbreaking.

        So for me personally it seems like changing names or not doesn’t seem to make a difference!


          My OTTB's name is Not Good News. The barn name they gave him at the last barn was Mischief. AND NOW I KNOW WHY. He is always getting himself into something. Had to call the vet out to put 15 or so stitches in his ass, over a set of three tension stitches. The dude is killing me. I call him Chief in the hopes that it will make a difference, it clearly does not.
          “My horses are my friends, not my slaves” — Reiner Klimke


            I almost always change a name if I don't like it. We even changed a name for a winning pre-green horse because the name it came with was terrible. He went on to be one of my most successful hunters in the juniors with me and up through the regulars with my trainers. I did change the name of my current jumper but sort of wish I hadn't, because I know it would be nice for the breeders to be able to track him. To me that is a good reason for keeping the name, but I have to admit that I still like what I changed it to better than his registered name.
            You can take a line and say it isn't straight- but that won't change its shape. Jets to Brazil


              Originally posted by StormyDay View Post
              I only change it if the horse came from a bad situation beforehand. To me, it’s like starting with a clean slate.
              Both horses I got from a not so great situation also happened to come with not so great names.
              This is what I did with my guy. We kept everything super close (literally just changed two letters at the end of his barn name), but the horse needed a new start and a lot of groceries, so we pressed the reset button, so to speak.

              If a horse has any kind of prior show record or notable breeding (like what foursocks said about breeders wanting to keep tabs on their offspring), a name change is much less likely for practical reasons rather than superstition.


                I am not a whit "stitious"

                1st horse came to me with the barn name Vernon. Registerable w/Jockey Club as Wings of Winter. To me
                It was 1989 & the Ernest T Bass movies had just come out.
                So his show name became Hey, Vern!
                Announcers had fun with that

                #2 was DH's TWH who came to us registered (Racking) as Somebuddy's Dream. Also
                DH kept barn name Buddy, but we showed (Dressage, Eventing) him as Steppin' Out

                #3 was my TWH registered as Coin's Hard Cash. To me he was just Cash - barn & show.
                **Correction (for OldLady memory) Coin's Hard Cash was in his line, along with Triple threat - he was registered as Cash's Bay Threat

                #4 my freebie Hackney Pony.
                Registered Fox's Brownberry.
                He was such a PITA I renamed him Naraku Kouma < Japanese for Hell Pony
                He remains Kouma 10yrs later

                #5 my COTH Giveaway WB
                Registered Jaybee Altair
                Barn name Buns
                I renamed him Sam for my recently passed Dad.
                Show name Don't Tell Me - argument stopper of Dad's

                #6 TWH gifted to me by a friend when I lost Sam. Came named Harley, which I kept.
                Shown as He's My Harley

                #7 Mini I got to reward myself for getting through a difficult time.
                Breeders registered as Wyndfyre's Missing In Action.
                I renamed him Wascally Wabbit for the white linings of his ears. Barn name Bugs
                Last edited by 2DogsFarm; Sep. 21, 2020, 12:40 PM.
                *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                  Of the horses I've owned, I've changed 6 names, kept 2 names, and got 3 that came with no name (babies from auctions). No especially bad or good luck has befallen any of them, just the normal ups and downs of horse ownership. Of the 6 changed names, one was only a slight change: Tisha to Tasha.


                    I've never changed a barn name. I changed one show name, because it was an OTTB that came with a particularly awful one.


                      I didn’t know that was a thing.. recently got a horse named Amarillo... I wanted to change it to George buuut my SO said changing a horses name was bad luck haha.

                      So he’s still called Amarillo. I did change one of my OTTBs show names. It was La Purga.. went with Vargo, Vinny being his barn name. I also have a Shades Play that I almost called Sal.. Shades stuck better.


                        I am not superstitious in this regard. If you don't like the name, change it. Personal taste varies greatly, and one person's idea of a brilliant name is another's groan-worthy pun. I've even seen names I find flat out offensive. Or sometimes it's just a matter of a horse or pet coming with a name that is already in your family, or maybe a name that has bad associations with it. Whatever the reason, you are the one who has to hear, say, and write it a million times. Pick something you like.


                          I'm not one to change barn names, even if it's a fairly terrible name (I had a pony named was short for Neverland but she'd been called Never since she was a baby so that was just her name). If there's a duplicately named horse in the barn then it'll get a nickname or a descriptor attached to it's name (i.e. Little, Big, Red, White, etc.). It's a little bit of superstition and a little bit of just not wanting to change the barn name of an animal that might know who he is.


                            I am not stitious at all. My first pony was called Trixie, and was probably the least Trixie you'd ever meet. She was changed to Ki, or Miss Ki. 2nd and 3rd kept their names (Jack & Bandit). Remy came to me as Mr. Pibb (nope). And Aries they called Jordan. I tried for the 5 months before he came home but just couldn't get used to it. Remy & Aries seem to fit both of them very well. New baby coming home they call Gent, but I'll be calling him Merlyn.


                              I would absolutely change the name on a horse (or dog) that has a name I dislike. I'd change it whether show name or barn name, though I'd be more likely to keep a show name if the horse has a record and it's not toooo bad. I might keep it similar, more to give me the idea of a fresh name, or change it completely, really doesn't matter much. People will choose truly awful names IHMO (even for their poor kids!), and it would bother me way too much to keep a horrible name.

                              Personally, I tend not to like using human names for animals and prefer to give a more traditional *pet* name.
                              Proofreading is your friend.


                                I'm known to be a bit of a superstitious person. Better safe than sorry!

                                But, I've never changed a horse's name because I've fortunately never had one with a name I couldn't tolerate. I'm also not the most creative when it comes to show names, so like to keep the registered name if they have one, though I did have a couple of grade horses/horses whose papers and identities I never retrieved who ended up with show names (which were basically taken from nicknames they had).

                                I also like to keep their names in case someone recognizes them, as it would be neat to hear stories about them from someone who knew them in their past lives.


                                  I've changed the names of 5 of the 10 horses I've owned over the years. Of the 5 horses whose names stayed the same, I still own one of them, one crossed the rainbow bridge, and I sold the other three. Of the 5 horses whose names I changed, I still own one of them, one crossed the rainbow bridge, and I sold the other three. In my case, it seems it has made no difference


                                    I changed my 5-year old OTTB's name... he came with the name "Rumpus," his jockey club name. I hated it but tried to deal since it was his name.. but as soon as the kids at the barn said "His name's Rumpus...? Like a butt?" I said I'm changing it!

                                    Deep down I know the name doesn't make a difference but I had a ROUGH time with this horse - I was seriously injured when he would have episodes of blindly bolting when something like him tripping would set him off. Had to have knee surgery a year after the fall. Put him up for sale, he went on trial twice and came back twice due to weird PPE findings - different ones both times. Decided to keep him and work through it, things were going well - started colicking frequently and eventually had surgery on a 360* torsion. He shouldn't have survived but he did. Brought him home and he continued to colic chronically until I had to put him down a couple months later. Necropsy showed some serious, serious internal issues - his organs were shutting down. It was a terrible few months and that time of my life still feels like a fever dream.

                                    TLDR; yes I'm superstitious about changing a horse's name.


                                      I am not one to change names- even if I don't care for them that much. I have an appy (barn name Zip) that I am not wild about his registered name (Zip O Nonsence). Amazingly with a barn full of mostly quarter horses, he is the only Zip. My unregistered paint came with the barn name Roscoe. I don't like it so much, but he responds to it so....


                                        I changed my horse's registered name when he was (I think) 4 years old. I purchased him as a 6 month old. I took him to this first barrel race and I could not stand to hear the announcer say his registered name. He's been a fantastic horse so no bad karma yet! He is 9 this year.

                                        His old registered name was...... CK Grey Meatball
                                        It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.