Choosing a Stable, Prefix, & Colors
Before you get your heart set on a name, prefix, or colors, it's a good idea to look through what's already been used on the forum. You can even do a search of the forum for a word or phrase just to make sure. And if you want unique horse names and show names, you can search before you name a horse too.
You are not allowed to pick a stable name or prefix too similar to anyone else's. The whole idea is to be unique and stand out, right? If you are a member of other Petz forums, it would also be really considerate to look there as well, to not copy someone else's that they use for cats or dogs. For instance, I use "Reverie" (the name of my Petz site) as well as "Jubilee" and "Rio" for regular pets.
Places to look through:
I'd also like to note that choosing all of this stuff is optional. If you don't want to have a stable or prefix, you don't have to!
Once you have a horse or two to show, you can request a barn/stable be created for you where you can keep all your records for your horses like pedigrees, show records, and anything else you want. I recommend taking a glance through some stables and figuring out what you like about them. Most members create either a thread for each breed or type of horse, with a separate post within for each horse, or have sub-boards added in their stable to organize by breed or type (such as Iberian, Draft, Sport etc.) and then within each sub-board, each horse has its own thread. If you want to do sub-boards, you will need to request a mod make those inside your stable for you. You can always have sub-boards added later after your stable has grown, too.
You may also create a custom image for your stable/barn thread. It can be up to 200px high and 490px wide. I highly recommend adding one so your stable will stand out a little more! If you're not good with graphic creation, you can always make a request for one in the Classifieds. If you choose to add sub-boards to your stable, you can add images to those as well.
Perhaps the most important part of creating your stable is the name. Along with a name, you'll want to think of a prefix or suffix to go with it. Many members pick something that sounds realistic, like "Blackwood Ranch" or "Briarwood Stables" but you can get as creative as you like. Mine, for instance, is just Rhapsody and whenever I feel like it I'll add the "Equestrian Center", "Stables", or "Ranch" when it suits. My prefix is also "Rhapsody" and many people just use their stable name as the prefix or suffix, but you can also have a shorter version or abbreviation. For example, Hard Tack's prefix is just "Hard Tack", Savagery Ranch's prefix is "Savage", while Polluted Stables' is "PS".
If you want some inspiration for stable names or a prefix, take a look at some real-world examples. Here's the Morgan Horse Association's Prefix Lookup. Some of those are pretty nice...
Prefix or Suffix?
A prefix comes BEFORE the horse's show name, so if you wanted its show name to be "Ready to Reign" then you would add the prefix in front of that, so it would be "Rhapsody Ready to Reign". A suffix is added AFTER the show name, so it would be "Ready to Reign at Rhapsody", but you could also end it with "from Rhapsody" (if you're not the owner of Rhapsody) or just "Rhapsody".
Once a prefix or suffix is added to the show name, it is part of the show name and must be added every time you enter a show. I couldn't just enter "Ready to Reign" in a show - a horse must be entered with its prefix or suffix, if it has one.
Just about the only time a horse won't have a prefix or suffix is if you bred/hexed it yourself and chose not to add one. Almost every hexer/breeder REQUIRES that you use their prefix or suffix when you show the horse, as a brief nod to their hexing/breeding abilities.
When using someone else's prefix or suffix, pay special attention to how to use it. In my own rules, I state how to use it. It is a prefix and it mustn't have the possessive 's. This means that I would like any horse I sell or give away to have a show name like "Rhapsody Showname". Not "Rhapsody's Showname" or "Showname from Rhapsody" (though occasionally I do allow suffix usage in breedings). Many stables at Seeing Stars do not use the possesive 's with their prefix. I don't like anyone using "Rhapsody's" because it's not my horse anymore, it's theirs!
Just make sure when you acquire a horse that you understand what its prefix/suffix is, and how to use it. Lots of members have detailed rules in the Hexer's Rules thread. If you're not sure, you can always just ask the hexer.
Some members may also allow you to add your own prefix or suffix to a horse you acquired from them. In that case, you can use their prefix or suffix as instructed and then add your own. For instance, I require "Rhapsody" for the prefix but I really don't care if you add your own, so you could do something like "Rhapsody/Prefix#2 Showname" or "Rhapsody Showname at Suffix". Make sure you understand whether you CAN add a second prefix/suffix to the horse. Some hexers/breeders do not allow it.
I, myself, typically don't use two prefixes unless the horse was a co-breeding, so I owned one parent, or if I hexed the foal but someone else owned both parents, or if I was involved in some way beyond just buying or adopting it.
It's not required, but lots of stables have their own custom colors. You can use your stable colors to create themes/designs for images associated with your stable, to use for tack or rider's outfits, and to use for racing silks if you do TB racing. Even if you have custom colors, you can still use other colors on tack and riders but it's nice to have a cohesive theme sometimes.
I recommend picking no more than four stable colors. The stables that stand out the most often only have two or three colors. Before choosing stable colors, look through what's already taken so you don't pick anything that's the same or too similar to someone else's. There are a ton of nice combinations that haven't been used yet.
At Rhapsody, I have three colors and I mostly only use two at a time except for in stable graphics and show banners. The pink and yellow is for horses acquired from other people and the lavender and yellow is for homebreds.
When you're picking your colors, don't get caught up in adding secondary colors like white, black, complimentary, or accent colors. Just pick a couple main colors to stand out. You'll be able to use black, white, accents, neutrals, complimentary colors, and gradients of your main colors in your images as long as they are enhancing your main stable colors. For instance, I didn't add white to my colors but I frequently use it in images and for tack. However, it's not a main color for me, unlike the people who chose 'green and white' or 'pink and white', where it is going to be a more dominant color for them.
Some nice combos that are not taken currently are:
Pale Pink & Dark Purple
Salmon or Peach & Dark Purple
Salmon & Navy Blue
Black & Orange
White & Orange
Navy Blue & Cream or Pale Pink
Peach & Turquiose
Navy Blue & Mint Green
Mint Green & Brown
Navy Blue, Light Red, & Deep Yellow