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December 29, 2011: What’s in a name?

Human beings are the only animals that have the capacity to name things, their own and the offspring of other animals included. It’s an honor of sorts, and it ought not to be taken lightly. When you name something, you imbue it with certain characteristics that will remain with it the rest of its earthly life.

This morning Pete and I were noodling around on World Fengur, the Icelandic Horse data base. We sought background information on our mare Signy, and on Pruthur, the sire of her foal. We learned she’s had five previous foals, and that Pruther has some very impressive credentials. Then Pete and I began addressing the question that we’ve been tossing around since October, which is, what are we going to name the offspring of Signy and Pruthur?

We had at first decided to name the foal Pretzel. There was no rhyme or reason


for this – it was just what we decided. I liked Quinn, as in Quinn the Eskimo. But what has stuck has been the name Drifter. This seemed fitting since the foal spent its first two months on the move. So we did a name search – typing in snow and traveler, this under characteristics. A few names emerged – the one that we liked is Hrimfari. This means frost or snow covered traveler. We both decided that this is the perfect name for an Alaskan-based Icelandic horse.

I then went outside. Oddly enough, it’s again quite cold – this morning it was five below zero. And all the horses, including Signy, were frosted over. It was HrimRaudi, HrimSiggi, HrimSigny, and HrimTinni. I took a moment and asked Signy what she thought of the name Hrimfari. No kidding, she touched her belly with her nose, this her way of saying “mine!” So I guess the name’s okay with her. Hrimfari is a male name so I for the sake of a name, I hope that Signy’s offspring is a colt.

I have a good feeling about having this foal. The name choice just makes me feel all that better about it. Pregnant Signy decided she wanted to be with us. I hope to convince her she made a good decision.

Next: 24. 12/30/11: Cup