The Naming Of A Horse

Continued from “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”

Naming of my rescue horse

The next few times I ventured to the barn I sat with Gramps.  By the second visit I decided I could not stand his name.  Rescue organizations often make up names on the spot, never intending them to be kept, especially if they do not know the animals’ name.  I suspect he was called “gramps” because he was an old horse.

“What do you want me to call you?”  Gramps responded as he usually did when I talked to him by studying my face trying to understand.  A lot of horses will look you in the eye and hold your gaze, and it is a wonderful feeling of connection when they do.  But Gramps did more than that, he studied my facial expressions in a way similar to how people study each other’s faces searching for meaning and hidden emotions.  He was trying to read me; that much was clear.

I had given some thought to the name thing the previous night.

“How about Bob Marley?”  I half joked.  For whatever reason when I Google searched “horse names” that one came up a surprising number of times.

Gramps was not interested and pulled his head back into his stall to sniff for possible pieces of missed hay.

“Blaze?”  After a horse in a book I loved as a child.

No reaction.

I rambled a list of several more possible names.

Finally, I offered, “Charlie?”

With this suggestion, the horse responded.  He put his head up and looked at me, spitting out a mouthful of bedding that apparently did not have any hay bits left.

“Charlie?” I asked a second time.  I liked it; my mom would sometimes say I looked like a lonesome Charlie when I was blue.  He did look lonely.

He nickered softly, before returning to his treasure hunt for lost pieces of hay.

I took that as a yes, and began calling him Charlie from that moment on.

Next:  “Charlie, My New Project Horse”