Then when I was grown, and married, with children getting interested in horses at around age 7 or 8, I got Noble, my wonderful old Quarter Horse gelding. His registered name is Walla Bars Bonanza (he's got Three Bars three times in his pedigree and by my calculation is 35% Thoroughbred) - where they got Noble from that I don't know, but he is definitely Noble and I never thought of changing his name.
My older daughter's first horse was a little bay Thoroughbred named Dawson (his registered name was Slick Sheik, which is just dreadful). Then we got Norman the pony for my younger daughter. His show name was 14 Karat, which suited him perfectly and was well known, so we kept it. But "Norman"? We hated it (if there are Normans out there, please don't take offense). We wanted to change it. We tried different names. He's just . . . Norman. So we're stuck with that.
I had a wonderful unregistered Thoroughbred mare named Promise. She came to me as Promise and stayed that way. The name said a lot about her personality and ability. To my great sorrow, we lost her in 2001 at the age of 10 to a fractured leg in turnout.
Then I got Lily. Her barn name was - get ready - "Lulu" (hope there aren't any Lulus reading). She didn't have a show name, and we believe she showed very little, although she improbably turned out to be an amazing jumper. We just couldn't deal with Lulu. So I came up with Lily, which sounds sort of the same, and she is almost white. Her show name, Capriole, just came to me in a moment of inspiration while watching her do one with another rider on her. Yes, she can do true caprioles under saddle, and will do them when excited or stressed. She can even do them from a complete standstill. I've been on her once when she did one, and it wasn't that hard to ride - not at all like a buck (for one thing, your reins go loose since the head comes up and back, not down) - but rather exciting! Capriole just expressed her fire and athleticism.
Dawn is a off-the-track Thoroughbred, and her registered name is Silent Dawn, which is sort of awful - makes me think of dead birds or something. But Dawn's OK, and that's how she came to us.
I got Maisie after my older daughter started riding Lily in jumpers (Lily made it very clear that she wasn't interested in the hunter thing). Poor thing, she came with no name. Almost instantly, though, the name Maisie struck me - I can't imagine why as I know no one named Maisie and don't even think I know of anyone named Maisie. It just seemed sweet and old fashioned to me. Her show name was harder - I'm partial to one-word, easy-to-pronounce show names. I made a long, long list of possibilities - and came up with Intrigue. Don't know where that came from either, but it works.