How short to clip to find a brand? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-10-2013, 03:09 AM Thread Starter
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How short to clip to find a brand?

We have a 13 yr old grey pony, she is currently unregistered and while the previous owner told me what she THINKS her breeding is, I'd like to confirm it by finding her freeze brand.
As she is grey, and freeze brands are white, it was suggested to me to try clipping her shoulders to make any brand there stand out more. But how low should I clip, or will it need to be more of a shave? Anyone else done this?
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-11-2013, 04:13 PM
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I can see the freeze brand on my cremello without shaving. If I understand correctly, when they do the brand they'll hold it on longer for white or light colored horses, but if the brand was done before the horse was obviously gray (or the person doing the brand didn't consider that the horse would eventually be white) then it may not have been done that way.

You can see my horse's freeze brand on his hip, even though it's not super obvious like it would be on a dark horse:
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-11-2013, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Verona, not sure what colour she started as, but she has some chestnut bits in her mane and tail, and a few flecks on her legs, so maybe she was a lot darker to start with. She has dark skin unde the grey, does a freeze brand mark the skin or only cause the hair to go white? I've never bothered to look that closely before as the last two horses we had were bay.
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-11-2013, 09:27 PM
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Can you see it better when you wet the skin?

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post #5 of 11 Old 08-12-2013, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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Hi CowChick,
Its winter here so she's often wet, but I still can't see a brand. But as she is un-rugged she's very fluffy at the moment :) Maybe once she sheds her winter coat I might be able to see something without clipping her. Thats if she is branded anyway.
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-12-2013, 02:41 AM
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Once she sheds, her brand should become very obvious because you'll be able to see the black skin underneath. I have a gray horse with a freezebrand on his neck. In the winter, it is almost impossible to see unless you know exactly where to look

But in the summer, when he's all shed out and slick, it's impossible to miss

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post #7 of 11 Old 08-12-2013, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks smrobs, that explains a lot. Hopefully she will have a brand under all the fuzz :)
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-12-2013, 10:09 AM
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It doesn't look as though you will need to clip--but, if you do, you can hold the clippers backwards and 'rake' it across the fur to take off less.
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-12-2013, 12:20 PM
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From my experience with freeze branding, for greys the iron was held on the skin longer to actually kill the hair so there would be a bare area. You might run your hand along the neck against the coat to see if there is any bare skin. Or just wait until spring for natural shedding.
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-12-2013, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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I might just wait for summer. Ponies in Australia are usually branded on the shoulder, as are thoroughbreds, standies (trotters)are neck branded. Not sure on stockhorses or quarterhorses but think they might get branded on the hip/butt. I have managed to find an address for the stud where she was supposedly bred, so I'll send them a letter and some photos and see if they have her on record. Might not be a current address though as the stud looks like it might have closed down. I'll just have to see if they respond.
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