What’s in a Name?


A lot, it turns out. I imagined a name for my business in 2010 when I was dreaming of my own farm. I could see it clearly in my mind–10, 15, maybe 20 acres of land; a small house; a barn and arenas. There would be horses, chickens, goats, maybe a cow or two, and a large garden. It would be home to my lesson program, but also my CSA. That’s where the choice of “farms” came from–my work would be multi-faceted, and so required the plural to adequately convey my dream in three words. Of course, I didn’t own a farm then, but dreaming big (as I like to do!), I went with it anyway; I was quite certain that a farm was only a few years off in the future.

Today, I continue to dream about my farm and its multi-faceted aspects, but seven years into the future we still don’t own one. I have settled into a rhythm at a wonderful boarding facility where I can offer lessons and training to my fellow boarders. When I’m not working at the boarding barn, I am traveling to work with clients at their homes or the facilities where they board their horses. I also travel to Bloomington during the school year to coach the Indiana University Equestrian Team. When I’m not doing any of that, I can be found adventuring with my young son or with my fellow equestrian professional, Jen, as we tackle cross-country trail riding expeditions. So it turns out, “farms” wasn’t the word I needed after all.

I’ve been contemplating a name change for the business since Christmas 2016, but I didn’t want to lose the F. NGF has a nice ring to it. I’m used to it, and so are my clients. What then? What could convey the philosophy of my business using the letter F? I kicked around several words and brainstormed with friends a few times, but never hit upon “the one”. Finally, I sat down and just wrote down every single word starting with F that sounded evenly remotely possible. I even consulted a dictionary when I reached my limit and still had nothing. Somewhere late in the F section, I glanced over “foundation” and then thought to myself, “Wait. What if I add the s and make it foundations?” Foundations. Foundations. Foundations. It had a ring to it. It conjured up an image, like building something. I texted Jen with a few of my favorite words, including foundations. In a list of five, she picked that one too. She agreed. It had a ring to it. It conjured up an image for her that matched my work. Foundations. Naturally Gifted Foundations. I had my word.

Naturally Gifted Foundations. I said it conjures up an image, like building something. When I decided on a business name in 2010, I wanted to convey this image of using an individuals natural talents, and her horse’s natural talents, to create and grow this relationship between the two. Naturally Gifted. We all have natural gifts, but growing them into something more takes dedicated work, and I wanted to help with that process. Now I’m adding Foundations because I want to conjure this image of using your natural gifts and your horse’s natural gifts to build a strong foundation. I want to add communication skills and recognition of the horse’s body language to that foundation. I want to cement it with understanding body bio-mechanics and how our bodies affect our horses, and vice versa. Then I want to build on those foundations to learn, be safe and prepared in all situation, to problem solve, have fun, and achieve goals. Naturally Gifted Foundations. A place to begin, and place to build dreams and achieve them. 32083_10150189282765497_5487959_n

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