Over the course of my life, I’ve owned three horses. My first horse came from a field of nameless long yearlings, when my grandmother fell in love with her during an autumn hunting trip and brought her home for me the next summer. She had no name, so I hemmed together an unwieldy, poorly spelled moniker for her and spent the next three years teaching everyone how to pronounce it—cringeworthy, I know.
When I started shopping for a horse last year, I had a ball picking out nicknames. I imagined walking into the barn and calling my new horse by his new name to celebrate our new partnership. When I stumbled upon Ezhno’s advertisement I decided on the name Amos, after the man that designed a $1.2 million dollar bottle of champagne. But when I went out to meet him, it just didn’t seem to fit.
I couldn’t find it in my heart to take away Ezhno’s entire identity, even if I spent the first couple of weeks struggling to remember if it was EZ-NO or EN-ZO. Not only that, but the meaning behind his name (“solitary” or “he walks alone”) fit him too well for me to change it. It’s a sad name, and it reminds me of how sad his face was when I first met him and how far he’s come since then.
Likewise, Ezhno’s show name is something he’s stuck with, since most of the shows he’d ever perform at would be APHA or PtHA (where his registered name is JMJ Rockin Champagne). If I had it my way he’d be “Break out the Bubbly” or “It’s All EZ” or “PopCork”.
By the time I went to look at Raglan, I’d come to accept that I didn’t really like the idea of changing a horse’s name. It helps that I find his barn name cute, even though I think his registered name doesn’t fit him very well—he’s very goofy, not at all as serious as “Arms War” suggests.
The other day I started thinking about all of the cute names I’ve been hearing at shows (names like Colonel Fish, Double Click, and Water Cube), and I suddenly realized that all of the shows that I want to do with Rags aren’t breed shows, which means that I don’t have to show him under the name Arms War.
With our first schooling show somewhere on the horizon, I’ve been determined to find the right show name for him. I wanted something unique that was related to his barn name, but I also wanted it to have my own personal flavor. It had to be something goofy (to fit his personality), but with the potential to be intimidating (as in “oh my god, that’s [SHOW NAME]!”). Bonus points if it was nerdy!
So without further ado, let me introduce Raglan’s new show name:
Ragdoll physics is a video game term that originates back in the 1990’s, when video game developers attempted to simulate real-world physics in character death animations and instead got a whole bunch of floppy corpses. The result of the deadly combination of gravity and player interaction was this:
Sometimes ragdoll physics are funny, but when used right they can be scary, too. What a better combination for my goofy but occasionally intimidating gelding? I’m very excited to get the chance to take him out to his first show so that we can take his new name for a test drive! 😎