235 Famous Horse Names & Their Meanings

Updated December 8, 2021
Running young grey Andalusian stallion

When you're trying to come up with a name for a new horse, looking at some of the most famous horse names can be a great source of inspiration. Whether you're looking at the world's best race horses, horses from your favorite books or movies, or unusual mythological horses from different cultures, you can find some creative ideas among the world's most well-known equines.

Woman stroking horse in farm

Race and Sport Horses

If you have a horse who's fast or loves jumping, or you are just a fan of competitive horse sports like racing and steeplechase, you may enjoy perusing through some famous race horse names to spark some ideas of your own.

Race Horse Head in Bridle
  • Affirmed - A chestnut Thoroughbred who was the eleventh horse to win the Triple Crown.
  • Aristides - A chestnut Thoroughbred that was the first winner of the Kentucky Derby.
  • Arkle - A bay Irish Thoroughbred with the highest ever Timeform rating for any steeplechase horse.
  • Best Mate - A bay Irish racehorse who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup three times.
  • Big Ben - A famous chestnut Belgian Warmblood horse that was a world champion show jumper and is one of only two horses inducted in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
  • Black Caviar - An Australian Thoroughbred bay mare who won all 25 races that she participated in and was the first horse not trained in Europe to receive the title of European Champion Sprinter.
  • Desert Orchid - A grey National Hunt racer in England who won numerous events, including the King George VI Steeple Chase four times.
  • Frankel - A bay British Thoroughbred who was the highest-rated racehorse in the world and never lost any of his races.
  • Genuine Risk - A chestnut Thoroughbred filly who was the second ever filly to win the Kentucky Derby.
  • Huaso - A chestnut Thoroughbred horse that achieved the world high-jump record in Chile.
  • Kelso - A bay Thoroughbred horse who won more races against champions and horses inducted in the Hall of Fame than any other horse, and who is considered one of the top racehorses ever.
  • Kingston - A brown Thoroughbred who won the most races of any horse in the history of racing.
  • Man o' War - One of the most famous racehorses of all time, he was a chestnut Thoroughbred and was voted the "outstanding horse of the 20th century" by several publications.
  • Midnight Sun - A foundation sire of the Tennessee Walking Horse, this black stallion also was a World Grand Champion show horse in both 1945 and 1946.
  • Kincsem - A Hungarian chestnut filly racehorse who has the most racing wins of any horse internationally. Her name means "My Treasure" in Hungarian.
  • Native Dancer - A gray Thoroughbred, he was called the Gray Ghost, who became the first race horse who became popular through television exposure. He is considered one of the top 10 racehorses of the 20th century.
  • Northern Dancer - A Canadian bay Thoroughbred that won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 1964 and is one of only two horses in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
  • Phar Lap - A chestnut Australian Thoroughbred racehorse who was known as "Australia's Wonder Horse."
  • Quevega - A bay National Hunt mare who won the David Nicholson Mare's Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival six times in a row and the World Series Hurdle four times.
  • RedRum - A Thoroughbred steeplechase horse who won the Grand National three times.
  • Regret - The first filly to win the Kentucky Derby. She was a chestnut Thoroughbred horse.
  • Secretariat - A chestnut Thoroughbred who won the Triple Crown in 1973, and next to Man o' War is considered one of the greatest racehorses of the 20th Century.
  • Seabiscuit - Popularized in several books and a movie, Seabiscuit was a small bay Thoroughbred who beat the odds to defeat the Triple Crown Winner War Admiral and became a much loved horse to Americans during the Great Depression.
  • Smarty Jones - A chestnut Thoroughbred racehorse who won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 2004 and came in second at the Belmont Stakes.
  • Snowman - A mixed-breed plough horse that won the National Horse Show Open Jumper Championship in 1958. He was originally slated for slaughter and was rescued by his owner, who trained him for the competition.
  • Spectacular Bid - A brown Thoroughbred race horse who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 1979 and broke several records both for track times and money earned.
  • Valegro - The world's record holder in dressage, this horse is a bay Dutch Warmblood.
Female horseback rider jumping over hurdle

Western Movie and TV Horses

Some of the most well known horses are what were known as the "Wonder Horses." These were horses featured in Westerns who were more than just the cowboy heroes' mounts, but full-fledged co-stars and partners in their own right.

Cowgirl throwing lasso on horseback
  • Beau - A horse in the John Wayne movie True Grit.
  • Buck - The aptly named buckskin horse ridden by the Ben Cartwright character in the Bonanza TV series.
  • Buttermilk - A buckskin Quarter Horse that was ridden by Dale Evans in several movies and TV shows.
  • Champion - A chestnut Mustang gelding who starred in The Adventures of Champion TV show in the 1950s.
  • Chub - Hoss Cartwright's horse in the Bonanza TV show.
  • Cochise - An Appaloosa horse in the movie El Dorado with John Wayne.
  • Cocoa - The horse of Nick Barkley from The Big Valley TV series.
  • Comet - The clever Palomino horse ridden by Bruce Campbell in The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.
  • Denny - A buckskin horse featured in the movies The Man From Snowy River and The Man From Snowy River II.
  • Diablo - A pinto horse featured in the series of Cisco Kid movies.
  • Domino - A pinto horse ridden by the Rory Calhoun character in The Texan TV show.
  • Fritz - The Pinto horse of silent film star William S. Hart and the first horse to has his name listed in the movie credits as a co-star.
  • Fury - A black horse, "the king of the wild stallions," that starred in the TV show of the same name.
  • Joe D. - The horse ridden by The Virginian in the TV show of the same name.
  • Little Blackie - A horse in the John Wayne movie True Grit.
  • Rex - A black Morgan horse who was in several silent films and was the first horse to star in his own movie.
  • Scout - The horse ridden by Tonto from the Lone Ranger TV series.
  • Silver - The Lone Ranger's white stallion.
  • Sport - The horse ridden by Adam Cartwright from the TV show Bonanza.
  • Tarzan - The horse of cowboy star Ken Maynard known for his ability to perform tricks.
  • Tony - The horse of cowboy actor Tom Mix who appeared in many films and the circus with Tom.
  • Trigger - The Palomino Thoroughbred featured in many movies and TV shows as Roy Rogers' favorite horse.

Movie and Television Horses

Film and TV have featured many memorable horses over the years, including horses from animated features, blockbuster dramas, and lovable children's cartoons.

Horse Running On Shore At Beach
  • Achilles - The horse ridden by Captain Phoebus in The Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney movie.
  • Aldebaran - One of the four chariot horses named after a star from the movie Ben-Hur.
  • Altair - One of the four chariot horses named after a star from the movie Ben-Hur.
  • Amigo - The horse ridden by Chuck Norris in the Walker, Texas Ranger TV show.
  • Angus - Meridia's big black horse in the Disney movie Brave.
  • Antares - One of the four chariot horses named after a star from the movie Ben-Hur.
  • Applejack - An orange and yellow pony associated with honesty from the My Little Pony Tales series.
  • Argo - The palomino horse ridden by Lucy Lawless in the Xena: Warrior Princess TV show.
  • BoJack - As in BoJack Horseman, of the cartoon TV series of the same name.
  • Brego - The horse of Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings series of films.
  • Bullseye - Woody's horse in the Disney movies Toy Story 2 and 3.
  • Buttercup - The unicorn from the movie Toy Story 3.
  • Captain - A horse in the Disney movie 101 Dalmatians.
  • Cisco - The buckskin horse ridden by Kevin Costner in the movie Dances with Wolves.
  • Flurry Heart - From the My Little Pony Tales series, a baby alicorn (a mixture of pegasus and unicorn) with wings.
  • Fluttershy - A pink and yellow pony associated with kindness from the My Little Pony Tales series.
  • Frou Frou - A horse from the Disney movie The Aristocats.
  • Fun Saiki - A horse in the anime TV series Mobile Fighter G Gundam.
  • Hidalgo - A paint Mustang featured in the movie Hidalgo.
  • Khan - A horse in the Disney animated movie Mulan.
  • Khartoum - The horse in The Godfather who met an unfortunate end.
  • Kleo - The main character of the Kleo the Misfit Unicorn TV series.
  • Li'l Sebastian - The miniature horse from the TV show Parks and Recreation.
  • Major - A horse in the Disney animated movie Cinderella.
  • Maximus - The horse from the Disney movie Tangled.
  • Mister Ed - The star of the classic TV show, a "talking" Palomino.
  • Noble Heart Horse - A horse in the Care Bears TV series and movies.
  • Pharfignewton - A white horse that is the girlfriend of the character Pinky from the Pinky and the Brain cartoon series, as well as The Animaniacs.
  • Philip - The talking horse ridden by King Edmund in the movie version of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
  • Pinkie Pie - A pink pony associated with laughter from the My Little Pony Tales series.
  • Pokey - The horse from the cartoon The Gumby Show.
  • Princess Cadance - From the My Little Pony Tales series, an alicorn who is pink and purple.
  • Princess Celestia - From the My Little Pony Tales series, an alicorn who is white with a rainbow mane.
  • Princess Luna - A dark purple alicorn pony associated with the night from the My Little Pony Tales series.
  • Princess Skystar - A yellow and blue seapony from the My Little Pony series of movies and TV shows.
  • Queen Chrysalis - An evil dark pony who is the changeling queen in the My Little Pony series of TV shows.
  • Queen Novo - A pink and purple seapony from the My Little Pony series of movies and TV shows.
  • Quick Draw McGraw - A sheriff horse from the Hanna Barbera cartoon.
  • Rain - Spirit's girlfriend, a paint horse, in the movie Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.
  • Rainbow Dash - A blue winged pony with a rainbow mane associated with loyalty from the My Little Pony Tales series.
  • Rarity - A white and purple pony associated with generosity from the My Little Pony Tales series.
  • Rigel - One of the four chariot horses named after a star from the movie Ben-Hur.
  • Samson - The Prince's horse in the Disney animated movie Sleeping Beauty.
  • Sophie - The horse belonging to Colonel Potter from the TV show M*A*S*H.
  • Spirit - The buckskin Mustang from the Dreamworks animated movie Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.
  • Sunset Shimmer - From the My Little Pony series of TV shows and films, a yellow pony with red and yellow flaming hair.
  • Starlight Glimmer - In the My Little Pony series of TV shows and films, a purple unicorn who goes from villain to protagonist.
  • Swift Wind - The unicorn steed of She-Ra from the cartoon series.
  • Tempest Shadow - A villain in My Little Pony The Movie, she is a purple and magenta unicorn with a broken horn and facial scar.
  • Tír na nÓg - The white horse from the movie Into the West.
  • Tornado - The black horse ridden by Zorro.
  • Twilight Sparkle - A purple alicorn from the My Little Pony Tales series. She is associated with magic.
  • Wildfire - The lead horse character from the TV show Wildfire.
Palomino welsh mountain pony stallion

Famous War and Military Horses

Horses have been helping humans fight and win wars for centuries and their courage and strength has made them beloved companions to some of history's famous warriors.

Equestrian Statue of George Washington
  • Babieca - The Andalusian war horse of El Cid, the famous Castilian military hero.
  • Black Jack - A black American Quarter horse/Morgan mixed horse that was a member of the Caisson Platoon of the third U.S. Infantry Regiment. He participated in over 1,000 funerals as a riderless horse, including the funerals of Presidents Kennedy, Hoover, Johnson and General MacArthur.
  • Blueskin - A gray half-Arabian stallion that was one of George Washington's horses that he rode during the Revolutionary War.
  • Bucephalus - The horse of Alexander the Great. The name means "ox-head."
  • Chetak - The horse of the King Maharana Pratap at the Battle of Haldighati in India in 1576. The horse is always pictured as blue and was a Marwari, a type of horse bred to fight elephants.
  • Cincinnati - Ulysses S. Grant's horse during the Civil War who also loved by President Lincoln who rode him often.
  • Comanche - A Mustang horse from the U.S. 7th Calvary that was said to be the only survivor of the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876.
  • Copenhagen - A chestnut Arabian/Thoroughbred cross who was the war horse of the Duke of Wellington.
  • Kasztanka - The horse of Polish Marshal Józef Piłsudski during World War I. The name means "chestnut" in Polish, which was her color.
  • Marengo - Napoleon I's gray Arabian horse named after the Battle of Marengo.
  • Palomo - A white horse who was the war steed of Simón Bolívar during his battles in Latin America.
  • Red Hare AKA Chì Tù - The red war horse of the famous Chinese military leader Lü Bu.
  • Sergeant Reckless - A decorated Marine war horse that became the first Marine Corps horse to be involved in an amphibious landing and had an official military rank.
  • Tencendur - The war horse of the French King Charlemagne.
  • Traveller - A grey American Saddlebred horse that was ridden by Robert E. Lee during the Civil War.

Famous Horses in History

Some horses have stood out throughout history for unique traits, fascinating back stories, or popular media appearances. Others are remembered for founding important breeds that we cherish today.

Wild White Horses
  • Beautiful Jim Key - This horse was famous in the early 1900s for its purported ability to read and write and do math and he performed regularly at events, including the 1904 World Fair in St. Louis.
  • Cholla - A Mustang horse that became famous for painting watercolors and had some of his artwork exhibited at a competition in Italy in 2008.
  • Clever Hans - A horse that was said to be able to do math and solve complex problems in the early 1900s. It was later found he was responding to his trainer's body language and the term the "Clever Hans effect" was coined in psychology to describe this form of animal cognition.
  • Figure - A bay stallion that was the founding horse of the Morgan breed.
  • Incitatus - Roman Emperor Caligula's horse that he wanted to make a senator and consul.
  • Lady Wonder - A horse that provided psychic readings in the early 1900s, though this was later shown to be her responding to her trainer's cues.
  • Thunder - The name of the mascot for the Denver Broncos, which is usually a gray or white Arabian.

Horses From Literature

Books, short stories and poems have featured amazing horses ever since the written word began. There are many horses in literature that can make excellent names for your new horse and demonstrate your reading prowess.

black Trakehner stallion
  • Alfonso - A horse in the Pippi Longstocking series of books.
  • Arod - The horse of the elf Legolas in the Lord of the Rings series of books.
  • Artax - The horse of Atreyu in The Neverending Story.
  • Athansor - The horse from A Winter's Tale.
  • Banner - A horse from the book My Friend Flicka.
  • Bayard - A magical bay horse from French medieval stories that could get bigger or smaller depending on the number of his riders.
  • Bill - A pony packhorse from the Lord of the Rings series of books.
  • Black Beauty - The main horse in the classic children's story.
  • Boxer - One of the horses from Animal Farm by George Orwell.
  • Bree - The horse from the Narnia book The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis.
  • Clover - One of the horses from Animal Farm by George Orwell.
  • Dagobaz - A horse from the book The Far Pavilions.
  • Felaróf - A horse known as the father of horses in the Lord of the Rings series of books.
  • Firefoot - The horse ridden by Éomer of the Rohirrim in the Lord of the Rings series of books.
  • Flame - A horse from the Black Stallion series of books by Walter Farley.
  • Flicka - The sorrel filly from My Friend Flicka.
  • Fru Fru - A horse from Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.
  • Gabilan - The horse from the Steinbeck story The Red Pony.
  • Ginger - A horse from the book Black Beauty.
  • Grane - The name of the valkyrie Brünnhilde's horse in Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung.
  • Gringolet - The horse of Sir Gawain from King Arthur's court, who is often pictured as a white charger.
  • Guido - A flying horse from the Percy Jackson series of books.
  • Gunpowder - The horse ridden by Icahbod Crane in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
  • Hengroen - One of King Arthur's horses.
  • Highboy - A horse from the book My Friend Flicka.
  • Hwin - A horse from the C.S. Lewis book The Horse and His Boy.
  • Jewel - A unicorn from the Narnia book The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis.
  • Joey - The horse from the book War Horse.
  • Kholstomer - A horse featured in a story and play by Leo Tolstoy.
  • Llamrei - A mare that was one of King Arthur's horses.
  • Marigold Heavenly Nostrils - A unicorn from the book Unicorn on a Roll.
  • Merrylegs - A horse from the book Black Beauty.
  • Misty - The main horse from the book Misty of Chincoteague.
  • Mollie - One of the horses from Animal Farm by George Orwell.
  • Napoleon - A horse from the book The Black Stallion.
  • Nico - A unicorn from the children's book Nico the Unicorn.
  • Passelande - One of King Arthur's horses.
  • Phantom - Misty's mother from the book Misty of Chincoteague.
  • Pied Piper - Misty's father from the book Misty of Chincoteague.
  • Pilgrim - The horse from the book The Horse Whisperer.
  • Porkpie - A flying horse from the Percy Jackson book series.
  • Roach - The name of all of Geralt's horses from The Witcher series of books.
  • Rocinante - The horse from Don Quixote.
  • Rocket - The mother of Flicka from My Friend Flicka.
  • Shadowfax - The Lord of Horses, ridden by Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings books by J.R.R. Tolkien.
  • Sham - Named for the sun, this horse is the star of King of the Wind, which tells the story of the Godolphin Arabian's journey.
  • Silver Blaze - A horse in the Sherlock Holmes series of stories.
  • Snowmane - The horse of King Théoden, who died in battle with him, from the Lord of the Rings series of books.
  • Stranger- The horse ridden by Sandor Clegane, also known as The Hound in the Game of Thrones series of books.
  • The Pie - The horse from the book National Velvet.
  • Thunderhead - The foal of Flicka from the My Friend Flicka book series.
  • Topthorn - A horse in the book War Horse.
  • Veillantif - The battle horse of Roland from The Song of Roland.
  • Whisper - A unicorn with wings from the sticker books Whisper the Winged Unicorn and Whisper's Golden Friend.
  • Yulong - A horse in the novel Journey to the West, who is actually a shape-shifting dragon.
Stallion Zenta

Comic Book Horses

Comic books have been known to feature some unusual and noteworthy horses that can help spur some name choices for your new equine friend.

Welsh pony looking over a drystone wall
  • Comet - The horse of Supergirl from the DC Comic.
  • Fergus - A cartoon horse by author and illustrator Jean Abernethy popular on social media.
  • Hero - The Phantom's horse from the comic book.
  • Hortense - The name of Scrooge McDuck's horse.
  • Nightmare - A horse from the Casper the Friendly Ghost comic.
  • Princess Amore - A crystal unicorn from the My Little Pony comic book.

Horses From Video Games

If you're a gamer, there's plenty of inspiration to be found among the steeds of popular video games. Some are typical horses while others are imbued with special powers and have magical names to match.

portrait of bay sportive horse
  • Agro - The horses in the Shadow of the Colossus.
  • Arvak - A horse from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim that appears in a skeletal form surrounded by blue fire.
  • Boadicea - Arthur Morgan's former horse in Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Buell - A veteran's horse available later in Red Dead Redemption 2.
  • Despair - Death's steed in Darksiders II.
  • Epona - Link's faithful horse in the Legend of Zelda series of games.
  • Frost - A Palomino horse in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
  • Geryon - A demonic horse from Devil May Cry 3.
  • Invincible - An undead horse in the MMORPG World of Warcraft that belonged to the Lich King.
  • Ixion - A unicorn summoned by Yuna in Final Fantasy X.
  • Ludwig - The name of a boss in Bloodborne that was a were-horse.
  • Rapidash - A fiery steed from the game Pokémon.
  • Ruin - War's horse in Darksiders.
  • Shadowmere - A horse that can be obtained from the Dark Brotherhood in The Elders Scrolls IV: Oblivion and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The horse has glowing red eyes, is all black, and invincible.

Famous Mythological Horses

The importance of the horse to civilization is apparent in the fact that the mythologies of most cultures have special horses or horse hybrid creatures. For some really unusual names, look at the folklore and ancient tales across countries for horses that range from the heroic to the supernatural.

Unicorn on hilltop
  • Angitty - From Philippino mythology, a creature with a human female torso and head and the body of a horse (in other words, a female centaur).
  • Arion - A horse sired by Poseidon in Greek mythology who was very fast and could talk.
  • Baima - A white horse associated with Buddhism in China.
  • Balius - One of two immortal horses in Greek mythology who pulled Achilles' chariot. Balius' name means dappled and the horse is depicted as a grey horse.
  • Black of Saingliu or Dub Sainglend - One of the chariot horses of Cúchulainn from Irish and Scottish mythology.
  • Buraq - In Islamic mythology, a winged horse that the prophet Muhammad rode which is sometimes depicted with a white horse's body and a human female's face.
  • Ceffyl Dŵr - In Welsh mythology, a white water horse similar to the Celtic Kelpie.
  • Centaur - In Greek mythology, a horse with a human torso and head.
  • Chollima - In Chinese and Korean mythology, a winged horse.
  • Énbarr - In Celtic mythology, the horse of a sea god.
  • Glashtyn - From Celtic mythology, a shape shifter that can appear as a man or a grey horse and lives in the sea.
  • Grani - A gray horse given to Sigurd by Odin in Norse mythology that is a descendent of Sleipnir.
  • Grey of Macha or Liath Macha - One of the chariot horses of Cúchulainn from Irish and Scottish mythology. This horse was also considered the king of horses.
  • Gullfaxi - In Norse mythology, a horse whose name means "golden mane."
  • Gulltoppr - The horse of the shining god Heimdallr in Norse mythology. The name translates to "golden mane."
  • Hayagriva - An avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu with a horse's head on a human body and represents wisdom.
  • Helhest - A three-legged horse in Danish mythology that is seen with Hel, the Queen of the Dead.
  • Hippogriff - From Greek mythology, a hippogriff has the body of a horse and the head of an eagle with wings.
  • Hófvarpnir - The horse ridden by the Norse goddess Gná, who could fly and run on the sea.
  • Hrímfaxi - The horse of the god of the night in Norse mythology whose name means "frost mane."
  • Indrik - A creature from Russian mythology that was called the king of all beasts. It had the head of a horse, body of a bull, legs of a deer and a rhino's horn.
  • Kanthaka - In Buddhism, this was a white horse beloved by Prince Siddhartha.
  • Kelpie - In Scottish mythology a water spirit that can appear as a horse or a human.
  • Keshi - A demon in the form of a horse in Hindu mythology.
  • Kirin - A unicorn in Japanese mythology.
  • Longma - In Chinese mythology, a horse/dragon hybrid that is usually depicted as white.
  • Nuckelavee - A demon from Norse and Scottish mythology that is half human and half horse that lives in the sea.
  • Pedasos - One the horses of Achilles from the Illiad.
  • Pegasus - A white flying horse in Greek mythology.
  • Phaethon - In Greek mythology, an immortal horse belonging to Eos, goddess of the dawn.
  • Shiuanaba - In Central American mythology, this creature is a demon that can have the face of a long-haired woman, skull or horse who lures men and children to their deaths.
  • Skinfaxi - The horse of the god of the day in Norse mythology who pulls the sun across the sky. The name means "shining mane."
  • Sleipnir - The grey, eight-legged horse of Odin in Norse mythology.
  • Sterope - In Greek mythology, the horse belonging to Helios, the god of the sun.
  • Svaðilfari - The father of Sleipnir in Norse mythology. The horse helped build the walls of Asgard.
  • Tianma - In Chinese mythology, the Tianma were winged horses associated with heaven.
  • Tikbalang - A creature from Philippino mythology that is a "were-horse" with humanoid horse form.
  • Tulpar - A winged horse in Turkish mythology.
  • Uchchaihshravas - From Hindu mythology, a flying horse with seven heads who is known as the king of horses.
  • Xanthus - One of two immortal horses in Greek mythology who pulled Achilles' chariot. Xanthus name means blonde.
Horse in the fog

Choosing a Horse Name From Famous Names

Looking at the names of famous horses can give you many ideas for your own horse's name. Whether you choose one of these names as a tribute to the famous horse, or because some aspect of your horse fits their namesake's description, you can find a name that really stands out and makes a statement. Or take some creative ideas from these famous names and develop a new name for your horse that blends the old and the new.

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235 Famous Horse Names & Their Meanings