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67 Black Horse Names for Every Gender: Dark Elegance

Last updated: February 8, 2024

By: Miles HenryFact Checked

Choosing the right name for a black horse is an art—it’s about capturing their essence, their spirit, and their unparalleled elegance. As someone who has spent years around these magnificent animals, I’ve come to appreciate not just their beauty but the depth of their personalities.

In this guide, I’ll share with you a collection of names that I believe resonate with the unique qualities of black horses. From the majestic to the mystical, find the perfect name to match the splendor of your equine friend. Here are my top picks:

Black StallionsBlack GeldingsBlack Mares
ThunderBlackyBlack Rose
NightmareShadowBlack Diamond
BlackJackMidnightRaven
EclipseHersheyDark Star
Knight riderNightEbony
TurkNoirLady hawk
BucephalusBlack OnyxBlack Annie
SlayerCocoVelvet
Black BeautyZorroBlack Caviar
Dark PrinceColtMorticia
Picture of black horse with white socks.  Black horse names for this one could be two socks.
Picture of a black horse with white socks.

Black Horse Names, How to Choose the Right Ones

Picture of a black horse.
A black racehorse nicknamed “Darko.”

Choosing the right black horse name involves considering several factors, including the horse’s gender, breed, personality, and appearance. Here are some tips for choosing the perfect black horse name:

  1. Consider the horse’s gender: Choose a name appropriate for the horse’s gender. For example, traditional male names like Shadow or Midnight may not be suitable for a mare.
  2. Think about the breed: If you have a purebred black, consider naming them after the breed’s origin or characteristics. For instance, a Friesian horse could be named after a famous Friesian stallion or have a name that reflects the breed’s elegance and beauty.
  3. Reflect on the horse’s personality: Consider your horse’s personality when selecting a name. If they have a playful or mischievous personality, you might choose a name like Bandit or Maverick. If your animal is calm and gentle, you could choose a name like Grace or Serenity.
  4. Consider the horse’s appearance: You can also choose a name that reflects the horse’s physical characteristics. For example, one with a white star on their forehead could be named Star or Stella.
  5. Be creative and unique: Don’t be afraid to choose a name that is unusual or creative, as long as it fits your horse’s personality and characteristics. Unique names can make your steed stand out and be memorable.

Overall, the key to choosing the right black horse name is to consider the horse’s gender, breed, personality, and appearance while being creative and unique. A well-chosen name can help create a bond between you and your riding companion and add a personal touch to their identity.

The feelings surrounding black horse names run wide. For some, they represent confidence, bravery, and freedom, as described in Black Beauty. If you are interested in equine spirituality or what they mean in dreams, I wrote an article about this topic that I encourage you to read; it includes references to dreams, the bible, and art.

Importance of choosing good horse names.

Choosing a good name for your horse is essential as it helps you build a connection with your animal. This makes it feel more like an individual with a personality rather than just a generic animal.

Assigning a unique name to your horse can simplify communication about the animal. This is especially important if you intend to enter competitions or collaborate with people who may not be acquainted with your equine companion.

The tradition of naming these majestic animals has been passed down for generations. By choosing a moniker for your equine companion, you are partaking in a time-honored practice that pays tribute to the history of horse ownership.

Additionally, selecting a name for your four-legged friend can be a delightful and imaginative method of adding a personal touch and distinguishing them from others. It can be an opportunity to showcase your horse’s personality, appearance, or history.

Selecting a fitting name for your equine companion is a vital aspect of owning one, as it can foster a special connection between you and them, facilitate communication, and provide a distinctive identity.

The basics of choosing an excellent black horse name.

When deciding on a name for a dark equine, you can go a few different ways; you can relate it to the horse’s color, personality, or a fictional black horse, or choose the one you think sounds good.

If you decide to name your animal based on its color, I suggest you wait a few months after your foal is born to confirm it’s truly black. In a previous article, I detail how foals change colors soon after they are born.

A true black horse has only black hair in its coat; some coat colors resemble black but often have other color hair interspersed with black. I’ve owned several dark bays that looked black and a dark blue dun that could pass as black, but they weren’t truly black.

There are two types of black coats: those that fade and others that remain constant. The reason for this inconsistency isn’t understood but is widely accepted to have a genetic cause.

Picture of a black horse.
Black Thoroughbred

Black Horse Names for a Male Horse.

Stallions and geldings are male horses known for their strength and power. Choosing a name that reflects these qualities can be an excellent way to showcase your horse’s personality and characteristics. Here are some of the best black horse names for stallions and geldings:

  • Phantom
  • Beau
  • King
  • Scout
  • Captain
  • Diablo
  • Black Knight
  • Darko
  • Titan
  • BlackJack
  • Hank
  • Angus
  • Boots
  • Reaper
  • Gatlin
  • Gunner

Good Names for a Black Mare

When choosing a name for your black mare (female horse), you’ll want to consider options that embody grace and beauty. Here are some of the best female black horse names:

  • Empress
  • Queen
  • Black Betty
  • Black Dahlia
  • Gypsy
  • Storm
  • Blackberry
  • Black Rose
  • Ebony
  • Licorice
  • Luna
  • Galaxy
  • Nightmare
  • Calamity
  • Nova

Gender-Neutral Black Horse Names

  • Midnight
  • Smoky
  • Blackie
  • Boo
  • Stormy
  • Panther
  • Coco
  • Black hawk
  • Crow
  • Knight

Mythical Names for Black Horses

Looking for mythical horse names, several black horses have been featured in stories, legends, and folklore throughout history that offer good choices. Here are a few examples:

  • Nightmare: In Germanic mythology, the Nightmare is a black horse ridden by a supernatural being to cause bad dreams.
  • Kelpie: A Kelpie is a mythical Scottish water spirit often depicted as a black horse. According to legend, Kelpies can shapeshift into horses to lure unsuspecting people into the water.
  • Sleipnir: In Norse mythology, Sleipnir is an eight-legged black horse ridden by the god Odin.
  • Black Beauty: While not technically a mythical name, Black Beauty is the name of a fictional black horse in the classic novel of the same name by Anna Sewell.
  • Shadowfax: In J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” series, Shadowfax is a large, black stallion ridden by the wizard Gandalf.

Overall, there are many mythical black horse names to choose from, each with its unique history and significance. Whether you are naming your animal for a fictional story or simply looking for a unique name, these tales and myths can be a great source of inspiration for names.

Picture of a black horse.

Names of Famous Black Horses.

Throughout history, black horses have influenced the world through fictional characters such as Black Beauty or real-life battle steeds like Bucephalus. If you choose to name your horse after a famous black horse, you have many options. Here are ten notable black horses with suggested nicknames:

Bucephalus (Boo)

Bucephalus is the horse Alexander the Great broke as a child and rode into battle. He had a shimmering dark coat with one blue eye and a white mark on his head.

Historians differ about his breeding, but many suggest that he was an Akhal Teke, a desert breed known for endurance and athleticism. However, they most commonly have light-colored coats.

Bucephalus died in Alexander’s final battle, and in his honor, the great ruler founded a city and named it after his beloved horse.

Picture of a black racehorse.
“Blackie” young black horse

Byerley Turk- “The Turk may have been dark brown.”

Byerley Turk was an Arabian stallion and one of three foundation sires of the Thoroughbred breed. English captain Robert Byerley took him from a Turkish officer during the siege of Buda in Hungary.

Captain Byerley often raced his good black steed between battles and won the Down Royal contest in Northern Ireland, a top racing prize of the period. He sired great running horses, which became the Thoroughbred breed’s foundation along with the Darley Arabian and the Godolpin Barb.

The Byerley Turk was a dark male horse that passed his color to his progeny. Some describe him as dark brown, but others consider him ebony; he had no markings.

If you’re interested in Thoroughbreds, I suggest you read this article: Thoroughbred Horse Breed: Facts, Height, and Characteristics.

Black Caviar (Blackie)

Black Caviar is a racing filly from Australia. She competed in twenty-five races and was never bested. She even traveled to England and captured the crown at the Diamond Jubilee, Europe’s premiere race.

Black Caviar was named world champion sprinter for four consecutive years, in 2010,  2011,  2012,  and  2013, and was Australia’s horse of the year three times.

Black Caviar was actually a dark bay. I’ve owned a few horses with similar coats, and they are difficult to differentiate from black horses. The only way to confirm the difference between a black horse and some dark bay horses is by closely examining the fine hairs around the eyes and muzzle. The hairs around the eyes and muzzle of a black horse are black, and they are lighter on a dark bay.

Eclipse

Eclipse is a preeminent horse name in the breeding community. He is one of the greatest racehorses ever and won every race he entered. As a sire, he passed his running ability to his offspring, and even today, his blood pumps through many champions.

Eclipse won races at a variety of distances. During his eighteen-race career, he averaged 3.3 miles per race with a length of four miles. Eclipse is listed as a dark chestnut; however, he is often described as ebony.

Dark chestnut horses, like dark bays, are often perceived as black, but there are differences. Like a dark bay, a dark chestnut has lighter-colored hair on its muzzle and around its eyes.

Picture of an old black horse.
Not true black.

Black Jack (BJ)

BlackJack was a Morgan/Quarter horse cross that served in the military for twenty-nine years. He was known as “the riderless horse” and was the last Quartermaster–-issue horse branded with his Army serial number.

He participated in state funeral processions for President Kennedy, General Mac Arthur, President Hoover, and President Johnson during his military service.

Black Beauty (Black or Beauty)

Black Beauty is a fictional novel about the life of a black stallion. The title character, Beauty, narrates it. The story takes us from his playful, fun-loving days as a foal living in the country to the dire conditions he endured pulling a taxi on London streets.

Regardless of how poorly the owners treat Beauty, he always gives them his loyalty and best effort. The novel was written in 1877 and is one of the most widely-read books of all time.

Beauty is a stallion with a predominantly Thoroughbred pedigree. His sire was a Thoroughbred, and his dam was a Thoroughbred cross. Today, we would consider Black Beauty a warmblood.

Beauty is called various names by its masters in the novel, including, Darkie, Black Auster, Jack, Blackie, and Old Crony. 

The Black (Black)-Arabian horse

The Black is an Arabian horse and the lead character in the fictional novel and movie “The Black Stallion.” It’s a story of a young boy and a wild horse stranded together on an island.

During their time on the island, they rely on each other for survival. The bond they create on the island endures after their rescue. Once in civilization, they train to race, and Black is matched against a champion.

I love horse names that are simple, descriptive, and one syllable, like “Black,” I have a big dark horse I named “Dark.”

Picture of a dark gray filly that could pass as black.
Dark dapple gray, almost black.

What genes produce a black horse?

Without getting too deep into genetics, two genes work together to produce a black coat. They are the MC1R, the extension gene, and the ASIP gene, or agouti. All black horses have at least one allele, “E,” at the extension locus.

The black extension gene (E) is dominant over red and produces black. So if a horse has a black extension and a red extension (E/a), it will have a black base color.

The agouti allele gene only affects black pigments; it doesn’t produce black but controls its distribution. A dominant (A) pushes black pigments to a horse’s points, resulting in a bay pattern. But if the animal has two recessive alleles, “a,” it has a wholly black coat.

A black horse is beautiful.

A black horse is a sight to behold and is often considered a symbol of elegance, power, and mystery. The contrast between the dark black coat and the bright eyes of a black horse creates a striking and captivating image.

A black coat can also create a sleek and smooth appearance, emphasizing the horse’s muscular and athletic build. Additionally, black horses have been featured in art, literature, and pop culture, further solidifying their status as captivating and beautiful animals.

They have been depicted as everything from regal and refined to wild and untamed, making them a subject of fascination for many people. Furthermore, a black horse’s beauty is not limited to just its appearance.

Many black horses are known for their spirited and lively personalities, which can add to their allure. The combination of a striking appearance and a bold personality makes black horses a favorite among equestrians and horse enthusiasts alike.

Overall, the beauty of a black horse is undeniable. Whether you are admiring one from afar or have the privilege of working with one up close, there is no denying the allure and charm of these magnificent animals.

A Black Horse is Uncommon.

While black horses are not necessarily rare, their frequency depends on several factors, including breed, geography, and selective breeding practices. Some horse breeds, such as the Friesian, Andalusian, and Shire, are known for their black coat color and are more likely to produce black horses than other breeds.

Additionally, some breeds with black coat color variations may be more commonly found in certain regions or countries than others. Furthermore, selective breeding practices can impact the frequency of black horses.

Some breeders may specifically select for black coat color in their breeding programs, while others may not prioritize this trait. It is also worth noting that black horses can sometimes be less desirable to certain buyers or breeders, particularly in disciplines such as racing, where specific coat colors are believed to be more lucky or auspicious.

This can impact the number of black horses bred or sold in certain areas or disciplines. Overall, while black horses are not necessarily rare, their frequency depends on many factors, and they may be less common in certain regions, disciplines, or breeds. However, black horses remain a stunning and captivating sight and are a favorite among horse lovers and equestrians worldwide.

black.thoroughbred edited
Black two-year-old

Black Horse Breeds

Horse breeds have evolved over thousands of years to adapt to their environments. For example, breeds that originated in hot, dry regions typically have light coats, which reflect sunlight and help keep them cool.

On the other hand, breeds that come from colder climates have denser bones and dark coats, which help them retain heat. These breeds have adapted to their environment to not only survive but thrive, and their black coats are a testament to their success in doing so.

Here are several horse breeds that are known for producing black coats, including:

  1. Friesian: The Friesian horse is a breed that originates from the Netherlands and is known for its thick black mane and tail, as well as its elegant and powerful appearance.
  2. Black Forest: The Black Forest horse is a German breed known for its black coat color and long, flowing mane and tail.
  3. Andalusian: The Andalusian horse is a Spanish breed available in many coat colors, including black. They are known for their athleticism and striking appearance.
  4. Shire: The Shire horse is a British breed that can have a black coat color. They are known for their massive size and strength.
  5. Thoroughbred: While Thoroughbred horses are typically known for their bay or chestnut coat colors, black is also possible.
  6. Arabian: Arabian horses are considered an exception to the rule. Despite originating in the hot, dry regions of the Arabian Peninsula, Arabian horses commonly have dark coat colors.

In general, the coat color of a horse is determined by genetics, and while some breeds may be more likely to have black coat colors, it is possible for horses of many breeds to have black coats.

Below is a YouTube video with the 30 most popular black horse names.

YouTube video

Conclusion

Choosing a name for your black horse is an exciting and essential part of horse ownership. It can help create a bond between you and your horse, make communication easier, and add a personal touch to your horse’s identity.

When selecting a black horse name, consider your horse’s gender, breed, personality, and appearance. Be creative and unique, and choose a name that fits your horse’s individuality. Whether you prefer traditional or modern horse names, there are plenty of black horse names to choose from, including options for stallions, geldings, and mares.

By following the tips and insights shared in this article, you can find the perfect name for your black horse and celebrate its beauty, strength, and personality.

FAQs

What are the big black horses called?

The most popular large black breed is the Friesian horse breed. They are known for their feathered feet, muscular bodies, long flowing tails, and mane. Because of their striking good looks, they are often featured in films.

Are all Friesians black?

Technically, all Friesians are black because it’s the only accepted color for registering a Friesian horse. But there are different shades of black, from dark brown to true black. Their coats may change color when shedding or become sun- or sweat-bleached.

Are black horses rare?

Black horses are not considered rare, but the frequency of black coat color in horses depends on the breed. Some breeds, such as the Friesian, are known for their black coat color, while others are less likely to be black.