Horse Naming at the Four Sixes Ranch

Take some tips for naming your horse from a ranch renowned for its horse-breeding program.

Choosing names at registration time poses a challenge for many people. I would like to share some of my thoughts regarding how we name foals each year here at the Four Sixes Ranch. As you all know, everyone is limited to 20 characters or spaces when filling out the registration application.

AQHA members receive a variety of benefits and perks from AQHA, as well as our corporate partners. Sign up today for your AQHA membership and learn about the potential benefits that are waiting for you!

I plan way ahead and make notes on my iPhone when a name comes to mind in preparation for the upcoming registration process. Many times, these ideas come to me when traveling and I get an idea from a road sign, landmark, weather event or conversation. Some of the things I consider are:

  1. Is the horse destined to become a stallion or broodmare?
  2. I prefer a one-, two- or no more than three-word name.
  3. I decide whether to use some combination of sire and dam’s name in the foal’s name.
  4. I decide if there is something of historical significance from the ranch, region or western lifestyle that I want to utilize in the naming process.
  5. In some instances, I rely on an event involving the foal itself that creates a name idea.

Show your passion in everything you do - including your purchases! Earn a $100 cash-back bonus after qualifying transactions and show your support for the American Quarter Horse Association with the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit card

The sex of our foal crop is usually split about 50:50. At or about weaning time, we can usually get an idea which foals, based on pedigree and conformation, are destined possibly to become a stallion for someone or a broodmare in our broodmare band. Geldings receive a barn name or nickname, so names at registration are not as important. Short names are preferred and often more easy to remember. Sometimes a name that includes the sire and/or dam’s name is used if it is available and can be kept short. Landmarks (rivers, creeks, canyons, bluffs, ridges, windmills and water tanks) are often used in naming of broodmares destined to remain here at the Four Sixes.  In addition, I utilize our region and unique happenings with respect to weather events to provide naming ideas. Western lifestyle items (cowboy clothing, tack, chuckwagon components) are also utilized from time to time. Sometimes there is a unique event that occurs during the mare’s pregnancy, at birth or while the foal is growing up on his mother prior to registration that brings to mind a good name. Some of my all-time favorite names are: Sixes Sixgun Bridge Canyon Little River Lady Bridles Quahadi Cynthia Anne West Texas Moonlight The Cowgirl Wall Canyon Gins Latigo West Texas Sunshine Oats And Cream   AQHA Is At Your Service Need help registering your foal? Visit, and we’ll guide you through the online process. Or you can call us at 806-376-4811 or message us on Facebook for additional help.