Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Renaming a Horse

When the world changed its axis back in mid-March, I looked at my 400-odd herd and said to one of them, You gotta change yer name.  A horse called Corona Corona is not gonna be welcome.  This was extremely low on the totem pole of necessities, and time went by.
Unlike most of my horses, I'm not sure how this girl got her name.  Since we don't drink, a direct association with beer wasn't the source.  (However, we have named our cars after drinks.  'Nother story.)  Corona, after all, refers to the rays around the sun, an encircling crown;  it's a good name for a horse with an association with the silver screen.  Perhaps there was a little tack-taste in there too:  In silver saddles, the word refers to a specific type of blanket which encircles the saddle.  (This is one place where I'm not going to quibble with the word today.)  However improbably, Corona Corona stuck to the gray.  She is abbreviated in my Digital Warehouse of pictures as Cor.

The Breyer name of this horse is Stage Mom.  She was the first BreyerFest SR release on the Giselle mold, which came out in 2008.  Stage Mom and Child Star were issued in 2010, in a run of 1200 pieces.  I loved the mold from the moment I saw it, and wanted it enough to consider getting a gray.  (For some reason, I didn't get the pinto Melange.  Not sure why - perhaps I wasn't lucky.)  (I did get the chestnut porcelain Giselle, and since I don't collect porcelains any more than grays, that tells you something abut how I desired her; but she was a different size.)  There were only 2 problems with my obtaining Stage Mom.  I didn't like grays all that much; and this was the first year (2010) I was ever prevented from going to BreyerFest, for medical reasons.  <very wrinkle nose plus glare>
So the gray mare and her smokey foal came to me under pioneering circumstances.  Good friends interceded for me, picked them up in Kentucky for me, went to the trouble of shipping them to me -- a first.  Of course I paid them back.  That sort of thing makes a horse precious.
The foal had its name changed in the intervening years, from Starchild to Smokin Ash, (after visiting the site of a forest fire).  Changing a name is usually an attempt to foster more attention, more 'liking' to a particular horse.  Sometimes it works.  Sometimes it doesn't, and the model winds up in the sales box.
One might naturally ask why I didn't trade in Stage Mom for Valentine.  I loved that warm bay, especially the glossy!  But I had spent the fall of 2010 and the spring of the next year making a bridle and breastcollar under unusually intense emotional conditions on this horse.  This was A. Giddings' set, and it was a trailblazer (below).
TSII #432, A Giddings bridle & bc
When a tackmaker pours more than the normal amount of attention and effort into a piece of tack, they bond with the horse more deeply than normal.  That is what happened with Corona Corona.  This was a bridle that saw me through some of my darkest times.  I survived, and some of the intensities of the journey were embedded, as they can be, in the tack... and in the horse.  There was a lot of emailing during the long making of this piece; Angela was going through a dark time herself.  We comforted each other across the miles and the months.

So I had reasons for keeping this particular pony.  Breyer's habit of releasing horses in multiple colors is very hard on those who need the molds for tack purposes but don't have space or money or psychic energy for keeping multiple copies.  I bond with the first color (that I like) out of a usable new mold and then have to make a decision, sometimes several decisions, later on, when more desirable colors come out.
I can conga some horses, and I have done so... but I cannot justify multiple copies of the same mold in every case.  This is a recurring problem, and it only gets worse over time (through proliferation of molds).
TSII #432, A Giddings bridle & bc

Corona Corona was taught to drive, and assisted in the creation of a spectacular collar harness in 2012.
The collar and bridle were some of the best harnesswork I've ever done.
Here she is showing off on the front sidewalk.  That's my Wood Wiz Meadowbrook Cart kit.

Previous to that, I'd used her in the formation of a Four-in-Hand Chuckwagon Racing Team Harness.  This was in 2011.
Oh yes, there were lots of tackmaking memories in this horse.  The photo record showed her being active for the first few years, and then she quietly retired.
Until now.

My husband has formed the habit of watching South African and other African wildlife webcams.  I peered over his shoulder the other day and saw he was on the Maasai Mara.  What to my wonder should appear but a most beautiful name:  Kalangala, one of the towns or campsites there.  It sort of leapt out at me.
I also happened to be reading one of Laura Crum's Gail McCarthy Cutting Horse mysteries.  I decided to pronounce the 'gal' as "Gail."
I wanted to keep as many elements of Corona as I could, given how long this mare had been living with it, and how many records there were in my files.   I changed Kalangala to Korongala.  This necessitated changing pronunciation a bit:  "Core-Oh"  became "Kore-On."  But it could work.
It could work.


  1. Fascinating article. I'm not a tack maker but I totally understand being bonded to a model in one particular colour. And I've had to change a few names along the way too -- usually because I made a mistake trying to follow a breed's naming conventions when first naming the model.

  2. The horse yet to be renamed (fka Corona Corona) looks great in harness. Loving her with the Wood Wiz meadowbrook cart.

  3. I low-key want to show a horse under the name Corona, even if it is frowned upon. ��

  4. Carrie Sloan MeyerJuly 6, 2020 at 10:26 AM

    That harness, collar and bridle are truly beautiful- you are right on that! Someday I hope to make a harness- I have a few SM carts in my to finish sets pile... haven't tackled them yet.

  5. I sort of like the name! Lovely setups. Thank you for sharing them!