Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Party In the USA (also, we have a name)

::::::::::::::PSA - Gray Brad's flight got moved up a day, and he arrived safe and sound (courtesy of KLM airlines) in Los Angeles yesterday.  So far it looks like he's traveling well and should be on his way north on Wednesday.  He'll enjoy the holiday in Oregon, but should be tucked into our barn on Saturday!!!! Merry Thanksgivingmas indeed! :::::::::::::::::

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 Christmas Saturday and getting this guy all settled in!


  1. Just call him Bradlebois (Brad-Le-boy, in my terrible French pronunciation) and be done with it. ;)

    I like all the names, but yeah. Some French horseman is probably killing himself, but the house of Windsor is actually a branch of the German House of Wettin (specifically Saxe Coburg and Gotha) which also has ties to Belgium...so...maybe not so bad, eh?

    1. Good point! I figure they're all cousins (of some sort) anyway... but you're right... someone is rolling over in their grave.

      And Belgium is where his previous owner is based... so.... it works!

  2. Great naming! So excited for your now super exciting holiday weekend!

  3. I shall call him Windsor and he shall be mine. (Well, yours. But you know.) Names are important. I am also terrible at them.

    I love what you came up with!

  4. Great names! I can name other horses and never my own. New ponies are exciting!

  5. Good name combo - love it!!

    "Deadly Hurricane Rage" cracked me up. Mostly because my guy's registered name is Sinister Wind, and then he was blessed with the barn name of Augustus.

    One evening flicking through movies, after months of brainstorming, I became inspired by Val Kilmer - Tombstone era. Explaining that seemed embarrassing, so it was lengthened to Valentino. ;D

  6. Squeee! How thoroughly exciting and what good names that you picked out!

  7. LOVE Heir Apparent! Brilliant show name.

    When I got my little rescue/project last spring I had a hard time naming him. He raced as Sheldon's Crusader and was dubbed Sheldon, which I hated due to the reference to Big Bang Theory. However, once I brought him home there really was no other option- Sheldon just suited him so well! So he got dubbed Shelly Pony. Not very macho, but perfect for him.
    On the other hand, the show name was easy- Crusader. Fits with my C theme (Cadence, Crusader) too, but he's now showing under Big Bang Theory in his new home. I don't think there's too much need to worry about him living up to that name... he's one of the laziest horses I've ever worked with!

  8. I think Windsor suits him! Especially since the Windsor Gray is the official breed of the British monarchy.


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