So with an ETA set, my anxiety over picking a name has only continued to grow. I'm quite sure that no one else is overly concerned about the naming process for Gray Brad (whaaa??), but every time I'm at the barn and see his future stall with an empty nameplate holder I hyperventilate a little and get back to brainstorming.
|I've literally got a Blank Space _____________|
My poor friends have born the brunt of this ongoing question - getting endless text spewing possible names... "How about mr. wompum-pants? Mark? what about Henri... that's French.. he's French... but I found him in Germany, should his name be German? OOOHHHH FREDERICK. no... not that..."omg, the endless texts. Bless them for humoring me. I really shouldn't be surprised that I have been an indecisive stressball since we had the (exact) same problem naming our daughter...
I am not kidding when I say that our "beautiful birth story" involved walking around the deserted hallways of a hospital until 4am literally reading every baby name list online from A-Z out loud with my poor, tired husband.... His patience knows no bounds...
Or maybe it does... He's done a good job of feigning interest in the horse naming process, but this weekend when I finally blurted out an option for Gray Brad that caused him to stop and say "That one. I like that one, that's the winner. Just name him."
a) he's right, I should just name him, and b) if it's the wrong name we'll just change it later. We are allowed to do that. (it turns out name plates are not what is actually expensive in this process...)
The show name was the easy part. There were only a few final options that we both loved, and the winner gradually rose to the top. Once it became clear that both sleeping on it and wine (along with lack of wine) didn't change my enthusiasm for it - we made it official with USEF, and you will officially find us in the Hunter Ring showing under "Heir Apparent."
Why Heir Apparent? Well... for a while I was trying to stick with the one-word-adjective style name but was striking out. I didn't want anything to pretentious like "Perfection" (actually a noun, I know), and it's hard to think of good adjectives that are both inspiring and humble... so I gave up.
Then I enlisted my brother for help brainstorming obscure (or maybe not so obscure) monarchs and military leaders. He did a great job, and I had a fabulous list of potential names, but none of them seemed to fit perfectly with the refined little Gray that we ended up with. I loved Churchill, but aside from the fact that there are a bazillion Churchill's already registered with USEF, I feel like Churchill needs to be a large, square, stately horse. Not a feminine, tidy, little guy....
So, then the search widened... I tried to keep to the Royal/Military theme, and stumbled upon Heir Apparent, and it just rang true. I like that it's still regal in reference.. but it's also aspirational, not declarative. We are not going to assume that we are/will be some great emperor and conquer the world... Instead it's more like "someday" we might "maybe" be something cool.
I do believe in the manifest destiny of naming... I think if you name your horse something like "Deadly Hurricane Rage," you might get a whiff of that personality. Pia's name was originally P.I.A. and stood for Pain In (the) Ass. I'd love to claim that she didn't live up to that.. but... well.... she's a feisty one.
So, something slow... something simple... something that implies maybe we'll be awesome.. That's why I like Heir Apparent.
Which brings us to his barn name. My initial intent with Heir Apparent, was to find a cute French Prince to name him after, so that we had a nod to his Selle Francais registration. My problem started with the fact that there are only like 12 names used (ever) for French Princes. Not exactly a wide swath of variety (though I knew this going in). After I weeded out the idiots and assholes., that short list got even shorter.. and the only two names left that I sort of liked, (Louis and Henri) were already taken by horses I know and love.
So once again, the search parameters widened... to regions, other countries, and.... pretty much anything.
Finally, in what is probably a slap in the face to his French heritage, we crossed the pond, and landed on "Windsor" as a barn name.
It still ties to his show name, it fits within the maximum two syllables allowed, and most importantly, The Boy gave it his blessing. I figure this is important since it's his retirement fund I (maybe) spent (a little) of.
And so, the great Naming Saga of 2015 comes to a close.
But never fear! Brad, Gray Brad, and Bradley are all still totally acceptable. I'm sure they will stay in the nickname rotation... they just won't be engraved on anything ;)
Now the countdown is on for