Here in Southern California at least, most vets now automatically will scan a new horse they go out to see, especially after the fires we had a few years back where some horses were burned bad enough that even some sort of brand would have been burned off or unrecognizable. When I got my Arabian, one of the first things I did was microchip her. Even if it still isn't quite as reliable as microchipping a dog or cat, its still definitely better than nothing, and as she's a grey horse, freeze branding would be useless. For that matter, I've seen a few warmbloods that have been hot branded for whatever registry they are, and I have had to be told, and have had to get extremely close to be able to see even part of it at all. I personally think that if no one microchips their horse because it isn't "common", then vets aren't ever going to start checking to see if horses are chipped, but if you get more people asking just on the off chance that it may help, then more vets are going to be willing to get the scanners, to scan every horse they see, and to offer it as just another normal procedure like they do in most vet offices. Around here it is very standard for a small animal vet to ask you if you want your animal microchipped at your first appointment, or ask if your animal already is, and get the number for their records. I would like to see that become the practice for horses as well. Here in Southern Cali, its not as easy to get a horse branded as it is to get them microchipped. I have honestly never heard of anyone who's gotten their horse branded just for recognition, all the brands I have seen have been on working ranch horses who came generally from ranches in other states, and were already branded. Sorry for such a long post to answer a simple question lol.