My horse's freeze brand is a series of symbols on her neck, under the mane. Not a recognizable number. I'll try to remember to get a picture of it when I see her this evening. It was done in Colorado and she is registered with someone, who I think is a private company, not the state (obviously she has a CO brand inspection card as well, with the symbols carefully inscribed on it). I had this done about 10-11 years ago as an identification measure. So yes, in the US you can brand a horse with a number *specific to that horse* for identification purposes and it does not matter what, if any, breed association the horse is registered with.
I never thought about registering this brand with anyone in the UK. I don't know what they'd make of it, as it's not like anything you'd see here.
She also has a hot brand on her left hip from the American Warmblood Society when her previous owner got her inspected and approved as a two-year old.
This is what her brand looks like. It's a bit blurry, as the light in the stable wasn't great and she was in more of an eating hay mood than standing perfectly still while I fiddled with my phone mood. Ach well.
I hope people don't think freeze branding is painless. It is at the moment of application but then it hurts like hell. Research states that cortisol levels are elevated (indicating pain) for up to an hour.
Saddlebag. Stan my connie stood beautifully for the entire thing and thenwas just as cuddley and happy as ever afterwards. He was a pony who would show you when he was in pain with his back. He happily let me prod and poke it afterwards He was ridden 3 days later.
The presence of Cortisol does indicate pain. Cortisol has a lot of other functions in the body. It is also the bodies (equine or human) own anti inflammatory and immune suppressant. Now freezebranding does cause swelling of tissues, it would make sense for the body to respond to it with increased levels of cortisol so that it prvents excess swelling.
A hot brand hurts a lot more, for a lot longer and opens the horse up to infection.
When I lived in PA I created a brand and registered it with the DA. It was to be used on the left hip or shoulder and registration had an expiration date, so that it had to be renewed every few years.
I still have the branding irons and still use the brand on leather goods, which is very unique, and even though I am now in SC, I intend to use it for my horses down here. Bonnie is APHA and when I finally get around to sending in her transfer papers, it will include the brand and location.