Horse Breeds Young Rider

What’s in a Name: Pony Prefixes

A pony and its foal
Photo by Nigel Baker Photography/Shutterstock

Have you ever met a pony with a prefix? A prefix is a funny name or word that comes before the horse’s actual name. Maybe you’ve stopped to wonder: What’s the point of that?

Some examples may be Farnley or Stonegate for Welsh Ponies, or Tara or Saralin for Morgans. While a prefix may sound silly attached to your horse’s name, they carry a lot of importance and can provide you with valuable information about where your horse came from.

The easiest way to think about a prefix is to consider it like your last name. He was given the prefix by his breeder, who most likely owned your horse’s dam (mother) and possibly his sire (father) as well.

A prefix is usually (although not always) the name of a breeder’s farm, which they then attach to all the horses they breed so that they can be identified and traced back to that breeding program. A prefix registered with a breed society, such as the Welsh Pony and Cob Society of America, is specific to one breeder, which makes it even easier to find out about your pony’s heritage.

If you ever come across another horse at a show or Pony Club event that has the same prefix as your pony does, introduce yourself to his rider, because there is a good chance your horses are related—they could even be brother and sister!

While some may find prefix names to be really long, a horse with a prefix is actually a very special animal that has a family and a farm that he can always call home.

This article about prefixes ponies’ names appeared in the November 2021 Mini Digital issue of Young Rider magazine. Click here to subscribe!

Vivian Laughman


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