Are Horses Branded

Christina Perez
• Tuesday, 01 December, 2020
• 23 min read

Branding involves burning the skin with hot or cold instruments to produce a permanent design. This is due to the fact that freeze branding is more expensive because the materials are less common and can evaporate if they are not kept properly cooled.

brands horse freeze identification equine tattoos mare pmu draft multiple future ex rescue
(Source: drafthorserescueresource.wordpress.com)


Branding of cattle is a procedure in which a permanent and easily visible identifying mark is produced on the animal. During the branding process, you may feel faint, have difficulty breathing, or even pass out.

While some seek the euphoric release of dopamine during the process, it can be overwhelming, especially during long sessions. Human branding or stigmatizing is the process by which a mark, usually a symbol or ornamental pattern, is burned into the skin of a living person, with the intention that the resulting scar makes it permanent.

The brand is legible, permanent and difficult to alter; it can be seen from a distance all year long. A fairly new and less painful method, freeze branding uses irons chilled in liquid nitrogen.

Involves a cold branding iron being held on the skin for 7-10 seconds in dark horses to make a white mark, or 12-15 in lighter horses to destroy the hair growth follicles and make a bald mark. Freeze marking is not like hot branding, where the surface of the skin is seared and burnt, which is obviously incredibly painful.

If a letter or symbol is made backwards from its normal position, it's read as a reverse. If a letter lies horizontally on its face or back, it is called lazy.

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(Source: www.eastcoastequestrian.net)

Branding is important because not only is it what makes a memorable impression on consumers but it allows your customers and clients to know what to expect from your company. There are many areas that are used to develop a brand including advertising, customer service, promotional merchandise, reputation, and logo.

The act of marking livestock with fire-heated marks to identify ownership has origins in ancient times, with use dating back to the ancient Egyptians around 2,700 BCE. Among the ancient Romans, the symbols used for brands were sometimes chosen as part of a magic spell aimed at protecting animals from harm.

In English lexicon, the word “brand”, common to most Germanic languages (from which root also comes “burn”, cf. By the European Middle Ages, it commonly identified the process of burning a mark into stock animals with thick hides, such as cattle, to identify ownership under animus reverted.

The practice became particularly widespread in nations with large cattle grazing regions, such as Spain. These European customs were imported to the Americas and were further refined by the vaquero tradition in what today is the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.

The unique brand meant that cattle owned by multiple ranches could then graze freely together on the open range. Cowboys could then separate the cattle at “roundup” time for driving to market.

freeze branding brand hurt does branded being process equine hour shown within
(Source: equinequickresponse.wordpress.com)

Cattle rustlers using running irons were ingenious in changing brands. Brands became so numerous that it became necessary to record them in books that the ranchers could carry in their pockets.

Laws were passed requiring the registration of brands, and the inspection of cattle driven through various territories. Penalties were imposed on those who failed to obtain a bill of sale with a list of brands on the animals purchased.

The main purpose is in proving ownership of lost or stolen animals. In many cases, a brand on an animal is considered prima facie proof of ownership.

This industry has a number of traditional terms relating to the type of brand on a hide. Outside the livestock industry, hot branding was used in 2003 by tortoise researchers to provide a permanent means of unique identification of individual Galápagos tortoises being studied.

In this case, the brand was applied to the rear of the tortoises' shells. This technique has since been superseded by implanted PIT microchips (combined with ID numbers painted on the shell).

branding freeze brand branded ranch being spur colt iron animal skin hair nitrogen using headquarters annual colts rejoin mothers pen
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The traditional cowboy or stock man captured and secured an animal for branding by roping it, laying it over on the ground, tying its legs together, and applying a branding iron that had been heated in a fire. Modern ranch practice has moved toward use of chutes where animals can be run into a confined area and safely secured while the brand is applied.

Two types of restraint are the cattle crush or squeeze chute (for larger cattle), which may close on either side of a standing animal, or a branding cradle, where calves are caught in a cradle which is rotated so that the animal is lying on its side. The calf is then pulled up to several sloping topped panels and a post constructed for the purpose in the center of the yard.

The unmounted stock men then apply leg ropes and pull it to the ground to be branded, earmarked and castrated (if a bull) there. With the advent of portable cradles, this method of branding has been mostly phased out on stations.

However, there are now quite a few bronco branding competitions at rodeos and camp drafting days, etc. Regardless of heating method, the iron is only applied for the amount of time needed to remove all hair and create a permanent mark.

Branding irons are applied for a longer time to cattle than to horses, due to the differing thicknesses of their skins. If a brand is applied too long, it can damage the skin too deeply, thus requiring treatment for potential infection and longer-term healing.

horse identification horses branding neck freeze markings brands brand marking crest types livestock wikipedia cows keeping
(Source: www.wikiwand.com)

Horses may also be branded on their hooves, but this is not a permanent mark, so needs to be redone about every six months. In the military, some brands indicated the horses army and squadron numbers.

Merino rams and bulls are sometimes fire branded on their horns for permanent individual identification. Because this persists only until the animal sheds its hair, it is not considered a properly applied brand.

Other temporary, but for a time, persistent marking methods include tagging, and nose printing. Tagging usually uses numbering system as a way to identify animals in a herd.

It does this by putting together a letter and number to represent the year born and the birth order, then the tag is either attached to the animal’s ear or to some form of neck collar. Nose printing or use of indelible ink elsewhere on the skin and hair is used at some farms, sales and exhibitions.

As hair or skin cells shed, the mark eventually fades. Microchips are used on many animals, and are particularly popular with horses, as the chip leaves no external marks.

freeze brand branding horses branded process obsession months later final equine hurt being does shown
(Source: equinequickresponse.wordpress.com)

Ear marking or tattooing are usually used on goats under eight weeks of age because regular branding would harm them. Temporary branding on sheep is done with paint, crayons, spray markers, chalk, and much more.

Rather than burning a scar into the animal, a freeze brand damages the pigment-producing hair cells, causing the animal's hair to grow white where the brand has been applied. At this time, hogs cannot be successfully freeze branded, as their hair pigment cells are better protected.

Also, freeze branding is slower, more expensive, less predictable (more care is required in application to assure desired results), and in some places does not constitute a legal brand on cattle. When an animal grows a long hair coat, the freeze brand is still visible, but its details are not always clear.

Thus, it is sometimes necessary to shave or closely trim the hair so that a sharper image of a freeze brand can be viewed. This is because hair is an excellent insulator, and must be removed so the freezing of the freeze branding iron can be applied directly to the skin.

The iron, made of metal such as brass or copper that removes heat rapidly from the skin, is submerged into the coolant. Immediately before the iron is applied, the animal's skin is rubbed, squirted, or sprayed with a generous amount of 99% alcohol, then the freeze branding iron is removed from the coolant and held onto the skin with firm pressure for several seconds.

brands horse brand freeze challenge teresa baldwin rescue forever
(Source: www.horsenation.com)

The exact amount of time will vary according to the species of the animal, the thickness of its skin, the type of metal the branding iron is made of, the type of coolant being used, and the color of its hair coat. Because a freeze- branded hair follicle regrows as white hair, a light-haired animal will have a freeze brand kept on the skin longer than does a dark-haired animal, to eliminate the hair follicle altogether and allow bare skin to show the brand.

Besides livestock, freeze branding can also be used on wild, hairless animals such as dolphins for purposes of tracking individuals. The brand appears as a white mark on their bare skin and can last for decades.

In Australia, all Arabian, Part Bred Arabians, Australian Stock Horses, Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds, must be branded with an owner brand on the near (left) shoulder and an individual foaling drop number (in relation to the other foals) over the foaling year number on the off shoulder. Thoroughbreds and Standardized in Australia and New Zealand are freeze branded.

In the United States, branding of horses is not generally mandated by the government; however, there are a few exceptions: captured Mustangs made available for adoption by the BLM are freeze branded on the neck, usually with the Arabs or with numbers, for identification. Horses that test positive for equine infectious anemia, that are quarantined for life rather than euthanized, will be frozen branded for permanent identification.

Some breed associations have, at times, offered freeze branding as either a requirement for registration or simply as an optional benefit to members, and individual horse owners may choose to brand as a means by which to permanently identify their animals. As of 2011, the issue of whether to mandate horses be implanted with RFID microchips under the National Animal Identification System generated considerable controversy in the United States.

freeze branding horse protect equine heart phoenix
(Source: heartofphoenix.org)

Branding iron from Swedish stallion depot. Most brands in the United States include capital letters or numerals, often combined with other symbols such as a slash, circle, half circle, cross, or bar. Brands are called from left to right, top to bottom, and when one character encloses another, from outside to inside.

Reading of complex brands and picture brands depends at times upon the owner's interpretation, may vary depending upon location, and it may require an expert to identify some of the more complex marks. In general, the following usage of the term “symbol” usually means a capital letter.

For example, a short horizontal line over an M or before an M would be read as “Bar M”. Similarly, a short horizontal line under an M or after an M would be read as “M Bar”.

“Rail” is alternative terminology to “bar” in some areas referencing a long horizontal line. For example, a long horizontal line over an M or before an M would be read as “Rail M”.

Similarly, a long horizontal line under an M or after an M would be read as “M Rail”. Similarly, a symbol turned 90 degrees, lying on its back (or left-hand side) can be read as “Lazy Up” or “Lazy Left”.

brand equestrian terms horse breed identification body connemara exmoor appaloosa
(Source: themanepoint.blogspot.com)

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Livestock branding. And Mufti, O., “The Hot History and Cold Future of Brands”, Journal of Managerial Sciences, Vol.

1, 2007, p. 76 ^ Eva D'Umbra, “Racing with Death: Circus Sarcophagi and the Commemoration of Children in Roman Italy” in Constructions of Childhood in Ancient Greece and Italy (American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2007), p. 351. ^ Examples of hoof brands and what they look like when applied (commercial site) ^ “Falkland”.

“Methods of Livestock Identification”, Farm Animal Management @ Purdue. Purdue University, 2 December, 9 October 2012. Extension.Purdue.edu ^ Bureau of Animal Welfare, Atwood.

“Code of accepted farming practice for the welfare of goats.” Of Food and Agriculture statement on freeze branding cattle, Accessed September 19, 2007 ^ Odell, Dan.

^ Alpha Angle Branding System Archived 2008-09-08 at the Payback Machine Retrieved on 24 October 2008 ^ UStrotting.com Retrieved on 24 October 2008 ^ Standard bred Brands Retrieved on 24 October 2008 ^ Article on reading and recording Livestock Brands Hieroglyphics on Egyptian tombs dating back at least 4,000 years portray the branding of oxen and cattle.

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(Source: www.horsenation.com)

The Romans and Greeks also branded working animals, including oxen, horses, and donkeys. To this day, the practice requires a deft hand, as infections can result from unnecessary pressure and deep wounds.

Initially, when Castilian shepherds prepared their flocks for their migration from summer to winter pasture, they would ceremonially ?brand? Early Spanish brands were usually ornate, in keeping with the era’s elaborate silver and leather work designs displayed in tack, weapons, and vaquero attire.

With the arrival of the vaqueros in northern Mexico and the southwestern U.S. (notably, Texas), the symbolism of branding was further codified. Livestock from multiple ranches grazed on open range and ranchers had to register their brands (regulated by state or private agencies) and submit to inspections.

It became standard practice to brand horses or cattle on their left or right hip or shoulder using capital letters and/or numerals, instead of pictographs, often in combination with symbols. Tattooing, microchips, ear notching, tagging, iris-recognition technology, and semi-permanent paint branding are all slowly being implemented, as well.

Some farmers, however, are beginning to use branding cradles, portable restraining devices that tilt young animals on their sides. To be sure of identifying each horse as an individual it is essential that the real marks of signalmen are backed up by a human-made system of identification.

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In this article, you will get a detailed idea of horse branding procedure. Different societies have different regulations and owners are referred to the various organizations for more information.

The alpha angle freeze horse brands are applied to Standardized on the right neck under the mane. The alpha angle coding system is virtually unalterable.

These symbols are rotated to produce the complete set of ten numerals as follows. These branding symbols can be combined to give a great deal of information.

The S = Standard bred 7 = Tasmania (postcode prefix) 87 = Year of birth Other symbols = Registration number. Even with missing or indistinct symbols, the freeze brand is a unique identifying mark enabling the rapid identification of individual animals.

By merely contacting the Registrar of the local Harness Racing Authority and quoting the registration number of the horse from its freeze brand, the identity of the horse and its owner can be quickly ascertained. A hot branding iron is used to cauterize the skin, and this produces a permanent scar.

horse brand horses livestock cattle
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The hair then grows on the raised surface of the injury, and the brand can usually be read when turned towards the light. A complete set of ten numerals from ‘‘0” to ‘‘9 will be needed before branding.

Mild steel brands are very susceptible to rust and corrosion. This should be a flat surface, and suitable positions are the shoulder, thigh, and buttock.

Removing the hair lessens the application time needed and helps to ensure that the branding iron is in total contact with the skin. The usual method of heating is by open fire or gas blowtorch.

For young horses, heat the brand to a brown or slightly red hue. Heat to a brighter red color for older horses as their skin is more stringent.

Check that the horse brand is the correct way up and use it with firm pressure for 1 to 2 seconds. If applied correctly, the brand should be a dark brown color.

branded habitat horse natural horses grassland plain area fodder mustang environment stallion grass field prairie animal mammal feed herd pasture
(Source: pxhere.com)

If the skin is broken due to an overheated iron, use some dressing to prevent infection. Its disadvantages are that it may cause pain to the horse when applied and it can often be hard to read.

Freeze branding is now the most common method of identifying horses. It uses intense cold to destroy pigment-producing cells in the skin and hair of the horse.

White hair result, which permanently outlines the brand. Thoroughly wet the area with methylated spirits just before applying at the brand.

Dry ice and methylated spirits in an insulated metal container will chill the irons to -70 degrees Celsius in 20 minutes. Liquid nitrogen will cool the irons to -200 degrees Celsius in a few minutes.

The brands are cold enough when the liquid nitrogen stops bubbling. Check that the brand is the right way up then apply it with firm pressure for 10 to 30 seconds.

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White hair will appear in a few months on the brand site. Traditional methods require ten numerals, “0’’ to “9’’, and an own horse brand.

The branding procedures need careful attention by the owner and you must be made by experienced persons. There may be some little problems that may arise and veterinary first aid may remove the ailments.

Please subscribe to our website and share the article with your friends via social media. Some horse owners have decided that hot iron branding is “cruel”.

However, hot branding a horse properly results in little discomfort for them and a lot of peace of mind for you. And don’t think these horses are only rustled from big pastures far from the home quarter.

Some very expensive performance horses were stolen from secure barns. They were walked right out of their home pastures or barns and into a waiting trailer, never to be seen again.

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(Source: heartofphoenix.org)

Cam Camden of the Alberta Livestock Identification Services says, “Without a registered brand on their horse, an owner has a limited chance of recovery.” Distraught owners approach the RCMP and brand inspectors with a mitt-full of photos for identification of their unbranded horses.

To dispel the myths and to learn from the savvy, I recently asked a number of experienced cowboys for their advice. We spend about eight or nine days halter breaking, getting them used to the barn, picking up their feet and then the last thing we do is brand them, castrate the stud colts and pull wolf teeth.

We just spent a week teaching them that we’re not real bad people, so we don’t want to rope them and what not and that be their last association with us before we turn them out until their two-year-olds,” states Stan. “We have a setup where we can swing two wooden gates together that have some give, but solid enough that a horse can’t stick a leg through.

Then I put the hot iron on there and it doesn’t need to be left very long on the horse. Most horse owners tend to prefer a subtle brand. In winter, the V7 brand is more prominent.

By January there are no flies around, so we’d bring the colts in and halter break them. We clip the patch right down; it makes everything so much quicker and cleaner and in January there’s no infection around.

brand horse mustang brands decoding gray read
(Source: www.helpfulhorsehints.com)

“Theft” is the reason why the Alkali crew brand their horses. The Alkali horse brand is a single iron that measures 2?½” x 2.

“I take two lengths of 1 × 4 wood and stack them with the top board stepped back about half an inch and nail them together. I’ll stand the horse in a stall and push on the hip a time or two with this board.

Gap at the top of the boards and the irons will slide flat onto their hide.” This is a similar process to freeze branding but a very hot brand is used rather than a freezing one.

A breeder's distinguishing brand which consists of letters or symbols that meet Department of Agriculture requirements in each State and Territory a sequence (serial or foal drop) number which signifies the order in which the foals were branded with the distinguishing brand, and a year number which signifies the foaling season the foal was born in. The Australian Stud Book for thoroughbreds has more information regarding Branding Protocols.

Branding conducted by the state controlling authority is one of the primary methods of identification used on standardized. A freeze brand is usually applied to the off side of the horse's neck by an authority officer.

horse brand branding
(Source: mseda.org)

In Australia the alpha angle system is used rather than normal numbers or letters so that the brand cannot be modified by anyone. To ensure the integrity of the brand it is applied by an authority officer while the foal is still with its mother; this way the identify of the mare can also be reviewed.

The brand is applied using a freeze brand which is so cold that it causes the pigment in the hair to turn white. The 1st of August is known as the horses birthday; to make it easier for competition, all horses in Australia (apart from standardized) become a year older on the 1st of August each year.

Mainly because these dates are close to the beginning of spring when fresh good quality pasture should be coming through so that the mares can produce enough milk, the weather is milder and the foals should get the best start to their new life. This means that if a foal is born early (say the 2nd of July 2004) it will officially turn one year old on the 1st August 2004 even though it is really only one month old.

The breeding season was devised to try to have all horses born in any given year to be close to the same developmental age. The chart indicates the 1st August thoroughbred horses official birthday (standard bred is 1st September).

Freeze branding uses freezing to kill the cells in the animal's skin that produce pigmentation, or color. Freeze branding a horse (or other animal) is permanent, and is done for identification purposes.

horses horse ears gaskin miniature they pony vs whips difference crops training appaloosa scared tools brand branded branding neigh hear
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We have a related page on this site showing photos of the freeze branding process on horses. This identification works not only as a theft deterrent, but has also helped animals get returned to their rightful owners after they have accidentally gotten loose or after natural disasters.

There simply isn't enough contrast between the white hairs of the freeze brand and the surrounding light colored hairs to make the freeze brand stand out. The three most common coolants used to make a freeze branding iron very cold are: 1) A combination of dry ice and 99% alcohol, or 2) A combination of dry ice and acetone, or 3) Liquid nitrogen.

Hair is an excellent insulator and needs to be removed so that the freezing of the freeze branding iron can be applied directly to the skin. After the area is shaved, the freeze branding iron is submerged into the coolant.

Immediately before the freeze branding iron is ready to be applied the animal's skin is soaked with a generous amount o f 99% alcohol, then the freeze branding iron is removed from the coolant and held onto the skin with firm pressure for several seconds. The exact amount of time the freeze branding iron will be held on the skin varies according to the kind of animal, its age, the type of metal the branding iron is made of, the type of coolant being used, and other factors.

We have a related page on this site showing photos of the freeze branding process on horses. The more open a symbol or letter is the more likely it is the brand will show up clearly and be easily readable.

freeze brand horse brands horses letters rescued due again three february second gave chance recently news2017
(Source: www.eastcoastequestrian.net)

Some images and/or other content on this website are copyright © their respective owners. Hundreds of years ago knights put pictures of rearing horses on their coats of arms in a hope that it would bring them luck, success and glory in tournaments and on the battlefield.

Today companies fight for the attention of customers and market share in showrooms, on shelves and, occasionally, in courts. I deliberately didn’t include some very well-known and beautiful logos of equestrian companies like Piker, FEI, British Dressage, etc.

It will bring you good luck.” The horse was, and still is, black, and I added the canary yellow background which is the color of Modena. The most popular ones: 1) the designer, Phil Clark, was left-handed and drew the logo the way that was natural for him; 2) the mustang is shown running in the opposite direction that racehorses run around a track, as a symbol of free spiritless; 3) the most interesting, yet most unlikely, is the story that the logo was originally drawn running from left to right, but was reversed when it was used to mold the physical emblem.

Did you know that Hermes started as a modest horse harness shop back in 1837? And now the iconic logo, created in the 1950s, comprises a Due carriage attached to a horse, perhaps trying to remind us of the company’s humble origins.

Unfortunately, since 1940 the official version of the brand hasn’t included horses, but you still can see the old one on the back of Levi’s jeans sometimes. Most likely you’ve never noticed it before, but there is a Latin word “Pro sum” on the flag, which means ‘forwards’.

freeze branding horses branded pride take bedonna
(Source: www.bedonna.com)

You wouldn’t believe it, but the history of these gorgeous bags goes back to a small tobacco shop inherited by Jean Cross-grain in 1948. Ralph Lauren Polo was established in 1967, and today it is registered in over 70 countries of the world.

Ralph Lauren lawyers think it does, and in the world of marketing it is called a “confusingly similar trademark” and is a big no-no. That’s why for the last 30 years these two companies have regularly met in court arguing over very complicated issues like is it ok for USA to use the word POLO on their shirts and perfume bottles, which is funny because the USA (U.S. Polo Association) was initially established in 1890 as a sport organization and obviously has a stronger connection to actual polo than the Ralph Lauren fashion brand.

The Holstein brewery was established in 1879, which means that it’s not the oldest one in Europe, but certainly old enough to proudly display the year on every can. In the XVII century there were no street names and building numbers (mostly because of a largely illiterate society), so businesses used different symbols to attract the customers.

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