Branding your horse?
When is it acceptable to brand a horse?
I know with Warmbloods, when they're registered they get the breed logo thing branded on them. And I know that people who raise quarter horses put their ranch's brand on all the horses they raise...
But if someone just buys a horse, do they ever brand all the horses they buy with their own brand? What are the pros and cons of branding your horse?
P.s. I'm not asking about whether it's HUMANE or not, and I don't want to start an argument over it. I just want to understand the point of brands, and why people do it, when they do it, the pros and cons, etc...
I have known several people that have branded horses they didn't raise. It makes identification much easier if the horse ends up lost or stolen. All you have to do is register your brand with the state and buy a branding iron or a freeze brand. If you have never done it before find someone to help you that has branded a HORSE. It's different than branding a cow because the hide is much thinner.
Also, will the state be able to tell you if the brand you chose has already been taken? Or is there a way you can look that up online?
I like the idea and my previous horse was freeze branded by our vet.
A freeze brand is usually mad eout of brass or copper to draw the heat out of the skin more efficently and a branding iron is made out of steel to hold the heat and burn the hide better. I don't know if there is an online brand book but if you contact a brand inspector they can look it up for you. You can register the same brand for different quaters of a horse ie, left shoulder or right hip, so if the brand you want is registered for the left hip you can still put it someplace else.
My friend's parents brand all their horses (all freezebranded). It's really good if the horse gets lost or stolen (especially since they ride alot in the mountains where it's easy for a horse to get lost if it gets loose).
I've heard vets tend to recommend freezebranding over the iron as it's supposed to be less paintful & heal faster. More expensive, though i'd think.
This is all very interesting!
My dad has made a few iron brands, but we've never used him, he just tests them on dead hides and sells them. I'll have to ask him if he's able to make one out of copper or brass...
On a more personal level, if its a matter of branding your own single horse, it's a little silly. I had at one point considered getting a brand for my horses(I bred miniatures), but ended up deciding against it. It's all a personal reason. Unless you are seriously commiting to a large number of animals, I wouldn't put the money into it.
For a freezebrand, it would be much easier to buy one because the copper/brass has to be thick enough to hold the cold for long enough without warming up from touching the skin. This is about the cheapest place I have found that you can buy them.
Also, one of the reasons why freezebranding is so popular among horse owners is that on darker colored horses, they are very visible from a distance since they grow back in white. Plus, they seem to be relatively painless where there is some pain with a hot iron.
I plan to get a freezebrand made one of these days and get all my horses branded. Mostly because it just looks cool but also for the safety reasons.
On our ranch growing up any horse we raised or bought we freeze branded. I like the practice and think it's a good idea, since microchipping isn't exactly well spread throughout horses. It's a bit harder to hide a freezebrand (or any brand for that matter).
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