Name: the horse
Other Names: unnamed horse; Bob; Bobtail; Bob Tail; Bob-Tail; a bobtailed bay
Publisher(s): Oliver Ditson & Company
First Appearance: Jingle Bells (Autumn 1857)
Creators: James Lord Pierpont
Number of Appearances: 1
Note: pulls a one-horse open sleigh
The horse described in the song "Jingle Bells" is actually unnamed. But confusion about the lyrics has led some people to interpret the song in such a way as to suggest that the horse's name is "Bobtail" or "Bob."
The line in the first verse ("Bells on bob tail ring") refers to the horse's tail as a "bob tail." These words are not capitalized, and the phrase "bob tail" does not actually refer to the name of the horse. The phrase is sometimes misheard as "Bob's tail," as if the name of the horse is "Bob" and he has bells on his tail. The line, in fact, refers to bells attached the "bob tail" of the unnamed horse.
The second verse of "Jingle Bells," which explicitly refers to the horse, refers to it only as "the horse":
A day or two ago
I thought I'd take a ride
And soon, Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side,
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
He got into a drifted bank
And then we got upsot.
Suggested links for further research about this character and the character's religious affiliation: