Need Info on Freeze Branding - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 08-19-2012, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: West Virginia
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Need Info on Freeze Branding

A few local horse people stopped by my house today. Asked if they could see my horse, I said sure, asked if my husband was home so they could talk to him about the horse, and I said that I owned the horse, not my husband. They seemed nice enough, so we walked to the gate and started talking, and the smell of alcohol on both of them started to fill the air.

They asked if he was a stud, I said, no, started to scold me on why I cut him, I told them I bought him cut (didnt mention the fact that he is not breeding quality whatsoever), but anyways, started asking how old he was and if he was for sale again and again and again. I said that he is not for sale, and never will be. They then started to proceed to ask me if I wanted them to halter my own horse, and if I wanted them to ride my horse. I said no politely, and although they were both pushy, the one was polite, and said that they were just stopping by to see fellow horse neighbors.

Long story short, I am beyond creeped out about the entire ordeal. Something about them seemed so off, and so backyard breeder/horse trader to me. I was planning on branding my horse anyways, but just kept putting it off, I feel as if this is the time I need to do it.

Any websites, info on it, procedures, ect, ect would be greatly appreciated! Ive done some research on it before, but never wrote down the good sites. I do know that there are several states where you have to register the brand, NC is one of them, so I will have to look into that again. But again, any and all info would be great!!

Thanks! Also, if anyone has any brand iron ideas, send me a pm, I want my initials, if the brand idea isnt taken, but I am at a complete loss as to how I want it done.

Thanks again!
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post #2 of 19 Old 08-19-2012, 07:08 PM
Join Date: May 2012
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That is beyond weird. I know some horse rescues have moved to microchipping but I think for horses the scanning for a microchip is not common. A brand is easier to see. I know freeze branding for the USTA (United States Trotting Association) is done around this time each year. That its kind of a major event to get them freeze branded just because its like one guy for the east coast. I am not sure if thats a fact of the tools or if thats a fact of it being a breed registry.

As I understand it, the actual brand is registered to a family or individual and they purchase the brand for the freeze iron or hot iron. Which could be quite expensive for a single horse. There may be a fair amount of wait time between ordering the design and booking the actual freeze brander.

In the mean time, get a padlock on your pasture. A current coggins with his photo and registration information. The contact information for all the auctions, rescues, animal control, veterinarians and police in your town and the towns around you.
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post #3 of 19 Old 08-19-2012, 07:26 PM
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How you get the brand design registered depends on your state. In WA state, there's a state-wide registry, in TX, I just have to go to my county courthouse and they'll see if the design is taken, and if not, approve it.

I've been looking into freeze-brand makers, and it's looking like the usual turn-around is a couple of weeks, not too bad at all.

Then it's just finding someone experienced to do it. Many vets will, there are also other skilled horsefolks that also do branding for you (unless you're branding as part of a breed registry, in which case, their person has to come out and do it).
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post #4 of 19 Old 08-19-2012, 09:40 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Georgia USA
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If you freeze brand your horse, it seems like that it would be easy for a horse thief to cover it up with dye since it doesn't remove the hair; it only turns it white.

Carpe Diem!
Celeste is offline  
post #5 of 19 Old 08-19-2012, 09:59 PM
Join Date: Nov 2011
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I had Sam freeze branded. I used my barn owners brand because his brand is registered. You need to register your brand.

I have a red dun. We branded a blood bay, red sorrel with white ticking, and my red dun.

By far, the blood bay is the most contrasting. The red sorrel took a long time to show up. The sorrel's brand looks good. My dun is a partial brand. Some of the brand is not noticeable, the hair grew back over it red.

A freeze brand kills the hair follicle color creating the hair to grow back white, hence the great contrast against solid dark colors The brand administer has to hold the brand longer for lighter shade colors. If held long enough, the hair follicle will alter more and the hair will grow back in black. Some of SAMs brand has black.

I think the area that did not take may not have been held with equal pressure.

Immediately following the branding the skin will be raised. Leave it be until it begins to scab and peel. Then brush furr-zone on the scabs several times a week For antibiotic and hair growth.

We had a vet administer the brand. All 3 horses were given a really good dose of horsey calm. We did not use the stock, once they were narced they stood deadened through the whole process. We were more concerned about them falling over.

Another member posted photos this Spring. Do a forum search. Good stuff.

You may want to make a sign stating your horses are branded and the brand is registered to dissuade the bad guys. Get lots of pics of your brand on your horse. If you have to you can email photos to auction houses and kill facilities.

Worse case scenario of course.
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post #6 of 19 Old 08-19-2012, 10:03 PM
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This is a good thread with info on freeze branding
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post #7 of 19 Old 08-19-2012, 10:07 PM
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Not every state has a brand registry. Amazing, I know.

You can freeze brand, though, and notify every auction barn withing a day's drive that you use "X" brand and, though, hopefully you never need it, it may be remembered by someone in a sale barn.

I prefer hot branding. It is more permanant and goes deeper (scarring the skin) than freeze branding, and really, even freeze brands are noticeable if a horse's ownership is questioned and whoever decides to shave.
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post #8 of 19 Old 08-19-2012, 10:09 PM
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Cameras. I'd be getting cameras and putting up "no trespassing signs", along with a driveway bell thing and motion sensor fog lights.

I know The American Trail Horse Association has a brand if you register with them. I think you buy it or something, or maybe lease it.

Whoever they were, they weren't very subtle. I'd find out where they lived.
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post #9 of 19 Old 08-19-2012, 11:34 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2010
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I've never freeze branded an animal.

The cows I am currently boarding are all freeze branded though. It's the Owner's Initial. First initial, half circle, last initial done vertically.

To save some $$$ he had the vet students at the state college do it. BAD IDEA!! VERY BAD IDEA!!

One poor cow has 2 brands, they screwed it up so badly the first time they had to put a 2nd one under it. The bull looks like someone attacked him.... I would have questioned what happened to the poor thing if I didn't know that the giant scab on his hip (which looks absolutely nothing like the brand) was supposed to be a brand.

I have no idea how they will look once they are healed (most of them are very scabby right now) but if they look really blech right now.
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post #10 of 19 Old 08-19-2012, 11:36 PM
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I'd also suggest cameras. You can get one or two real cameras and then also put up some dummy cameras to make it look like you're well covered. Make them very obvious and maybe even put up a sign saying the area is under video surveillance- it's nice if they provide evidence if your horse were to get stolen, but even better if they prevent the theft to begin with.

As a side note, my cremello's freeze brand is visible even though you can't tell a color difference. Not sure if this is always the case with freeze branding, or a result of the brand being held on longer for a lighter coat
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