Heartland has become a favorite among horse lovers. This series, which is also available on Netflix, follows the life of Amy Fleming, and her family who all live on a cattle farm called Heartland.
After her mom is killed in a tragic accident while saving the life of a horse (Spartan), Amy is compelled to take over her business of fixing broken horses.
Amy soon makes a name for herself as “The Miracle Girl”. While she works with a variety of horses, some of which are never named, these are the horses that play pivotal roles in the series.
“Heartland started as using horses to heal human lives; it has progressed to how human lives can heal horses,” said Shaun Johnston, the actor who plays Jack Bartlett in Heartland. It is without a doubt that the many equine actors are just as important as the human ones!
Here is our list of 30 horses named in Heartland:
Spartan is the horse that Amy and her mom were saving when the tragic accident happened in season 1 episode 1 “Coming Home”. He is a black Quarter Horse that was severely abused by his previous owner.
After the accident, he was even more traumatized, but Amy works with him as an ode to her mother. Spartan becomes her horse and together they do various things, including showjumping and even liberty work.
In the show, Spartan is mainly portrayed by the Quarter Horse gelding Stormy. He was only 5 years old when the directors of Heartland cast him as the main horse character and he’s been around ever since!
Amber Marshall who plays Amy Fleming in Heartland always talks affectionately about Stormy. “He knows his job, and he really enjoys it.” she said in one of her interviews. The actress pointed out that she’s known the horse for as long as Amy’s known Spartan, which is why their bond is so special in real life.
However, Stormy is not the only horse who plays Spartan in Heartland. He’s had many doubles over the years to perform scenes that are beyond his training. In the season 5 finale, for example, it was Zyada and Sonny who played Spartan during Amy’s audition for Dark Horse.
Read more: 7 Facts & FAQs You Didn’t Know About Spartan
Phoenix is a grey gelding that shows up at Heartland in season 6 episode 1 “Running Against the Wind”. He loves jumping, and together with Georgie (also a runaway at the time) they build an amazing show jumping partnership.
In reality, Phoenix is played by the Quarter Horse Jag and the jumping horse Ghost. Jag is the one you’ll see standing around in the barn and during Western riding scenes, while Ghost does all the jumping.
Interestingly, Jag and Alisha Newton who plays Georgie in Heartland didn’t have a very good relationship in the beginning. As Alisha was still a young girl, she would go up to the horse and touch his face all the time, which made him grumpy.
As time passed, however, their relationship has gotten much better. “We have an interesting bond now that we’ve been together for so long,” says Alisha.
Also read: 7 facts & FAQs you didn’t know about Phoenix
Copper’s first appearance was in season 1 episode 4 “Taking Chances”. Originally, he belonged to Lou (Amy’s sister), but Mallory eventually “buys” Copper through “sweat equity”.
Mallory helps out at Heartland ranch, but everyone views her as family. She and Copper share a special bond. Copper’s name in real life is Midget and he is a very calm and loveable horse.
The pair go on various adventures from getting stuck in an abandoned well to being trapped by cattle thieves. Copper is a laid-back chestnut gelding that’s always willing to help.
Paint is a white and red American Paint Horse gelding that was gifted to Jack (Amy’s grandfather) when he retired from the rodeo circuit. We first see Paint in season 1 episode 7 “Come What May”.
Jack and Paint have an extremely close bond, probably due to the many hours they spend together rounding up and moving cattle. After a long working life, Paint sadly succumbs to his arthritis in season 9. Jack will refuse to ride again until he meets the buckskin horse Buddy.
Buddy was trapped at an abandoned farm where Georgie finds him in season 9 episode 3 “Riding for a Fall”. His friend Bear, a chestnut gelding, has previously escaped his paddock and gets attacked by a bear. Luckily, Amy and Georgie find him and take him in.
It was Bear who led Georgie back to the farm to rescue Buddy. After Paint dies, Buddy becomes Jack’s new working cattle horse.
In real life, Buddy’s name is Bullseye and he is a trained western horse. Bullseye is actually Alisha Newton’s favorite horse on the set!
Pegasus was Amy’s dad Tim Fleming’s horse, first appearing in season 1 episode 2 “After the Storm”. He is a grey gelding that Tim rode on the rodeo circuit until they had an accident. After the accident, Pegasus was also sick, but Amy’s mother Marion nursed him back to physical and mental health.
After Marion dies, Pegasus becomes depressed, but gets better with Amy’s help. He eventually dies from strangles in a heart-wrenching episode in season 3 where Tim reminisces about the good old days.
Sugarfoot is a miniature horse who’s the elderly lady Mrs Bell’s companion in Heartland. He is a cream mini that lives with her in her house. As his name suggests, he loves sweets and in one episode he upsets an entire retirement home when he runs into a party to eat the carrot cake.
Sugarfoot is often seen pulling Mrs. Bell’s cart, which is usually filled with home-made treats and healing herbs. He also helps various horses to overcome their fears, from going through water to pulling a carriage.
Sugarfoot is played by Little Chief, who’s a little horse with a big presence. He was actually Graham Wardle’s (Ty Borden) favorite horse on set for a while. Sugarfoot first appears in season 1 episode 7 “Come What May”.
Apollo is the showjumping horse ridden by Ashley in the first few seasons when Ashley and Amy are still arch enemies. He’s owned by Ashley’s mom, Val, who uses him as a bargaining chip to control her daughter. Apollo lives at Val’s equestrian center Briar Ridge and first comes into the show in season 1 episode 1 “Coming Home”.
After a fight, Ashley finds Apollo on a meat truck with a bunch of other horses and begs Amy to keep him at Heartland.
Don’t forget to take our Heartland quiz which features a question about Apollo!
Champ is Tim’s palomino working ranch horse who first appears in season 1 episode 3 “Breaking Free”. They have a strange relationship throughout the show. Tim always counts on him, and Champ is always trustworthy.
Tim doesn’t name Champ until Season 7, despite Champ making numerous appearances on the show from the first season.
Red is Ben Stillman’s chestnut showjumper. He lives at Heartland for a while when Ben is busy training for showjumping. We first see Red in season 1 episode 7 “Come What May”.
But while Red is a great horse, his owner isn’t always the most forgiving rider. It takes a hard fall and some harsh words from Ty for Ben to realize that he is in the wrong. His aunt, Lisa, sends him to learn some alternative techniques from Amy.
Shorty is Caleb Odell’s original roping horse, first appearing in season 2 episode 1 “Ghost Horse”. Mallory also rides Shorty when she decides that she wants to try being a cowboy (a very short-lived dream).
Shorty is a grey Quarter Horse who is in fact quite short. But he is also quick and very dependable, especially on the rodeo circuit.
Storm is the massive grey jumper that Tim buys Amy for her sweet 16th birthday in season 2 episode 2 “Letting Go”. Unfortunately, Amy has too much on her plate already and realizes that Spartan needs her more than Storm.
She makes the decision to sell Storm to Nick Harwell, a jumping coach and polo player who makes a few appearances on the show.
Slick and Betty
These two make a quick appearance in season 2 episode 4 “Dancing in the Dark” when Lou’s old friends come to the dude ranch. Betty is blind and always sticks close to Slick’s side.
Intended as a gift for Amy, Ty buys Harley, a Spartan look-alike, at an auction in season 2 episode 16 “The Ties That Bind”. But Amy refuses to accept that Spartan won’t come back and Ty takes on the task of breaking the dark brown colt, after which an inseparable bond is formed.
Kramer is Jake’s (Mallory’s friend) brown and white cow pony that develops a love for jumping in season 3. Mallory then uses Kramer to learn showjumping. He first appears in season 3 episode 3 “Man’s Best Friend”.
Lightning Dexter is a chestnut racehorse that develops a problem with entering the gate. His owner at the time, Lisa, approaches Amy to help in season 3 episode 7 “The Starting Gate”, but she’s too busy.
Tim then buys Lighting Dexter from Lisa and eventually Lightning Dexter is trained as a hunter jumper after an injury.
Pal is not called Pal because she’s a palomino. She’s called Pal because Tim’s illegitimate son, Shane, becomes best friends with her when his mom brings him to Heartland for the first time in season 4 episode 17 “Burning Down the House”.
This is the palomino trick riding gelding that Amy didn’t want to rehome. Chaplin knew his job and this inspired Amy to convince his owner, Sandra, to get back into trick riding in season 5 episode 5 “Never Let Go”.
Ghost is a very special horse in the Heartland storyline. The grey appaloosa appears in season 1 episode 10 “Born to Run” as part of a wild mustang herd that is bound for the slaughterhouse.
Amy does everything she can to prevent Wes from selling the herd. She eventually gets him fired and releases the mustangs back into the wild.
After he got his freedom back, Ghost keeps reappearing at Heartland ranch. He becomes a metaphor in the show and always turns up when major events happen like someone getting sick/hurt or when Amy gives birth to her daughter Lindy.
Budget Buster is Olivia, Georgie’s arch rival’s grey showjumping pony who lives at the training center Hillhurst. He and Olivia share a shaky bond because Olivia doesn’t spend enough quality time with him. We first see Budget Buster in season 9 episode 8 “Reckless Abandon”.
Pogey is a little white and bay pony who was a gift from Tim to his granddaughter Katie. She named the pony after her favorite stuffed horse from when she was little. Katie and Pogey go on lots of adventures together, including getting lost in the forest.
Pogey first appears in season 7 episode 3 “Wrecking Ball”.
One of the top jumpers in the world, Zeus was almost unrideable until Prince Ahmed gets Amy to start working with him. He comes into the show in season 7 episode 9 “There but for Fortune” and is kept at Hillhurst for the time being.
Success with Zeus leads to Amy touring Europe for a summer with Prince Ahmeds’ showjumping team.
Checkers is Georgie’s original trick riding horse. He’s a piebald that Caleb gives to her. Although he doesn’t feature much, he is a very reliable and relaxed horse.
Trouble was definitely a handful when he first arrived at Heartland in season 8 episode 18 “Written in Stone”. Georgie had to spend a lot of time getting him used to being ridden in tandem with Phoenix for her Roman Riding trick.
Mitch, who eventually becomes the new farmhand, arrives at Heartland with Maverick in season 9 episode 14 “No Regrets”. Maverick is his brown gelding who is giving him trouble. Jack suggests that he takes the horse to Heartland for Amy to look at.
It turns out that Maverick just missed his owner while he was away at war. They go on to form a formidable team on the ranch.
Originally intended for the dude ranch, this palomino mare becomes Lou’s after she mistakenly thought the horse was a present from Mitch intended for her. We first see Venus in season 10 episode 7 “Riding Shotgun”.
Minnie is a bay mare that Georgie spots at an auction in season 10 episode 1 “There Will Be Changes”. Mitch agrees to buy the sweet-natured mare.
When she gets to Heartland everyone jokes about her being fat, but upon further inspection, Ty finds out she’s actually pregnant. With twins. Mother and both foals survive the foaling. Thank goodness!
Taking care of the foals was actually Amy and Ty’s first test for parenthood. As we found out in the previous season, the couple is expecting their first child!
While Amy is pregnant she goes to teach a clinic in season 10 episode 12 “Sound of Silence”. One of the attendees abandons Chance at the clinic, whom Amy decides to take home with her.
Amy, Georgie and Tim get into an accident on the way home and Chance is trapped in the trailer, compounding his fear of being confined to small spaces. But he’s saved and a year later he’s one of the most gentle horses at the Dude Ranch.
A retired trick riding horse, Boots is rescued from an unhappy home and becomes Luke’s pleasure horse. He first appears in season 12 episode 5 “Change of Heart”.
Jade buys a chestnut gelding called Ringo from a dealer as a new roping horse in season 13 episode 3 “Rearview Mirror”. However, after letting Amy and Ty have a look it turns out that Ringo has spinal issues.
After a few equine massage lessons from Amy, Jade is able to handle Ringo’s problem.
That’s it for our list of Heartland horse names. These are by no means ALL the horses featured on Heartland, but they are some of the favorites.
If you know a horse with a similar story or color it could be cool to start calling them by their Heartland doppelganger’s name.