Choosing names for your model horse collection and your Breyer horses reflects your personal tastes. Yes, many model horses come with a name such as Faith, Hickory, and others in the Breyer horse catalog. Yet if you show your Breyer horses in either live or photo shows, you'll need a unique name for your particular steed. After all, if the judge announces, "First place Faith!" and 10 people rush forward to the table to collect their ribbons it's not going to be too pleasant!
Horse Models Come with Release Names
Breyer horses, Lakeshore Collection porcelain horses, and Artist Resin model horses are usually issued with names rather than numbers. No one really knows how this tradition started, but most sculptures are named by their creators and it's another factor that lifts the mundane plastic horse model from toy status to collectible status.
Names may or may not reflect a real horse. Breyer often issues portrait models of famous race horses: Man O'War, Secretariat, Seabiscuit, Ruffian, and others. They also issue horse models and books together as a package. You'll find the entire Black Beauty family from Beauty to Merrylegs and famous horses like Misty of Chincoteague, Sea Star and others immortalized in favorite books among the Breyer offerings. Artist Resins model horses bear the original name issued by the artist. Some horses just get a prosaic name, such as "Old Timer" for the old horse with the hat in the Breyer line or EquinArt Creations Tennessee Walking Horse or Quarter Horse series of Artist Resins.
Stable Names and Identification
Serious model horse collectors and competitors often choose a stable name. Like a racing stable, a stable name identifies the group belonging to you and collectors may develop colors, logos or other factors to identify their herd. Such collectors may name all their horses with the stable name or initial first, then the individual name of the model. "GMS Castravalva" stands for "Grazing Meadows Stables Castravalva," the name of a Thoroughbred yearling resin shown in the 1980's.
Some artists demand that models they customize bear a special name or initial. Kollean Gouyton of Stone Wolf Creations, Alaska, a model horse painter, affixes the initials "KG" to the names of all her painted horses; horses are issued an identification card and registered with the artist before they ship to the customer. Likewise, Kathy Maestas of Double Diamond Ranch used to insist that any horse she customized bear the word "Diamond" in his name. If purchasing a customized horse, it's best to honor the artist's wishes and include their initials, name or word in the horse's name.
Choosing Names for Model Horses
After learning whether or not your horse model has to have initials or words in his name, how do you go about picking a name? Some breeds require special naming patterns. Lipizzan horses, for example, follow this convention. Stallions take two names, drawing from the animal's pedigree. The first name of the newborn colt is the line of the sire, tracing back to six foundation sires in the breed, while the second name comes from the dam. Fillies (females) are taken from the dam or mother's pedigree. It's important when naming model horses to determine the breed you wish to show the model as and then use a good reference book to learn all you can about such intricacies of the horse world. Breed registries and associations for real horses also offer a great deal of information to guide you through such breed-specific conventions and restrictions. Other breeds may not have a strict requirement like the Lipizzaner horses, but using the sire's (father) or dam's (mother) pedigrees to create new names is a tradition found throughout the real horse world, and one which model horse collectors often emulate. Model horses also have pedigrees, so you may want to explore creating pedigrees for your models, then 'breeding' them - in name only, of course!
Many collectors admit to choosing names from favorite song titles, movies, television shows, books or other characters. Whatever you choose, have fun, and use some system to record the names. As your collection grows, you may find yourself with two Scarlet Pimpernels in your collection!