Freezemarking in 2021!

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All my older horses were done but then micro chipping became a thing so didn’t bother but I now have some rather nice hairy cobs that are just the sort that are getting stolen on a regular basis and in a worst case scenario, I wanted something to identify them that even a non horsey person could recognise a mile off/ not need equipment eg a scanner or God forbid, get cut out or digitally destroyed/replaced

So I’ve booked them in for freezemarking Saturday 23 October 2021 in South Oxfordshire if anyone here wants to join! I stuck up a FB post in local groups to say we are having them done and does anyone want to join in - now got a ton of posts really anti the subject - at worse - it’s horrific horse cruelty/ unnecessary maiming of a sentient being type stuff and at best - why bother if they are chipped

I’ve shown at National level inc HOYS on several horses , all with a freeze mark- never had a judge comment or had any issues post marking

Please enlighten me on what I seem to have missed?!
 
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MuddyMonster

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I decided not to get mine freeze marked due to the pain/discomfort it would inflict. He has a breed specific marking (clearly bodged from where I presume for the second marking he realised it hurt) so already had a visible marking.

He is microchipped but also a devil to catch for a stranger and doesn't load well so hopefully he won't be an easy target. She says, whilst touching all the wood.

I might possibly re-consider for a different horse & even if I didn't, wouldn't berate someone on SM for it though.
 

meleeka

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I’m a fellow cruel owner in that case. It had my mini shetland done a few years ago. He’s microchipped, but I don’t think that’s an awful lot of use it he gets stolen. He looks the same as thousands of other mini shetlands and just the sort that a traveller would want as he’s so good (he originally came from travellers). I know freeze marking is a deterrent as the local traveler commented on it when he bought his child to supposedly say hello.

We inflict all sorts of necessary mild discomfort on our horses, (vaccinations, teeth etc) and I think it’s worth it to make sure they don’t end up tethered in a muddy field.
 

Goldenstar

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I had a terrible experience years ago having two ponies freeze marked the handling was rough and completely unacceptable and no warned me how much pain the ponies would suffer afterwards if I had know I would have arranged pain relief in advance .
I had to have Fatty done when his owner took loss of use , the person doing it was much much better but he suffered the same degree of discomfort afterwards but this time I had drugs ready to give but the freeze marking failed so it was all pretty
pointless .
Out of the three I have done all suffered pain to the degree I felt they needed drugs to relieve it .
I would not dream of having a horse done now .
 

Laurac13

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I had my first horse freezemarked he was a grey and was marked on his shoulder still remember it was H4B7 he didn’t suffer any issues or pain it was about 1995, my current horse and pony are on a private very small yard away from the public and passing traffic and are only microchipped.
 

Quigleyandme

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I had my Dales pony microchipped way before it was a thing. This was followed up with an omega sign freezemark to indicate he was microchipped. The surface area of the freezemark symbol was small being only one symbol and he didn’t show any discomfort. You might want to check if that option is still available as a compromise?
 

Supertrooper

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I had my last pony freezemarked, I was told it wasn’t painful but to be honest I felt it was and the healing process wasn’t very nice at times BUT it all healed well and I was glad I had it done. He was a nice looking pony but similar to a lot of others and I wanted a visual deterrent
 
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I’m a fellow cruel owner in that case. It had my mini shetland done a few years ago. He’s microchipped, but I don’t think that’s an awful lot of use it he gets stolen. He looks the same as thousands of other mini shetlands and just the sort that a traveller would want as he’s so good (he originally came from travellers). I know freeze marking is a deterrent as the local traveler commented on it when he bought his child to supposedly say hello.

We inflict all sorts of necessary mild discomfort on our horses, (vaccinations, teeth etc) and I think it’s worth it to make sure they don’t end up tethered in a muddy field.
That’s exactly my thought, my boys on a missing poster would look like 100’s of others 😟 they still do the microchip omega mark so maybe that is a good compromise as not many will have them these days and it would make them stand out still.. my boys are well handled, rock steady with clippers and the sort to not even notice if heads are in food buckets
 
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I had my chestnut mare done years ago. She had no microchip back then and freezemarking was commonly seen. The lady that did her mark was very good and CM happily ate some treats while it was done. It was a bit sore when the skin on the mark lifted and fell off but less sore than when the same mare had a small lump removed surgically. So in the scheme of things not awful IMO. I haven't had my others done as they were microchipped as foals, but I would consider freezemarking again if I felt that there was a good reason for it.
 

Errin Paddywack

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We had all ours done back in the 70's and 80's. I wouldn't say it was cruel. Uncomfortable may be. We were advised to use coconut oil on the brand to help it heal well and that really worked. I wouldn't have it done under the saddle again as we couldn't ride till it was fully healed. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. I liked the fact anyone could see it and identify my horse if it went missing.
 
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I had two of mine done in the mid 90's and early 2000's didn't think either were particularly in pain after it was done (yes they moved around for the initial marking) both scabbed over nicely and were left with nice easy to read freezemarks. Everything I have now is microchipped obviously but would freezemark again if I thought I was necessary
 
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Thanks everyone 😀 I had my others done in the 80s and 90s and none of them were any more concerned than if they’d scraped themselves in the field
Plu I figure a bit of discomfort now would be an absolute fraction of the terror and distress they would feel if stolen never mind the potential horror of the chip being cut out so they could be rechipped & new passports etc
 

Nasicus

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I had two of mine at the time done a couple years ago (following some attempted horse theft over the road), and had my current youngster done about 3 months ago (as she is a very generic looking horse).
None of them even realized what was happening, I just stuck a horselyx in front of their faces and they went to town whilst the lady did her thing. I used Premier Equimark both times, and would use her again.
All healed without issue, two of them had it under the saddle area and one had it on her flank, 3 letters and a Micromark so show they're chipped. Just kept them covered to keep the flies off.

I'd say mine get more upset having their yearly jabs and they ever did getting freezemarked.
 

CanteringCarrot

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I mean, it probably isn't pleasant or something they'd volunteer for, but I think if done and managed right, it isn't so terrible. You could also keep pain meds on hand.

I think it isn't a bad idea when theft is a real concern. Someone messed up my horse's brand a bit, so he must've moved and/or realized he wanted no part in it, perhaps.

I think it's some short term unpleasantness that could help ensure safety in the long term.
 

HappyHollyDays

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I had my dun horse marked on his shoulder in the 80’s and automatically had DP Freezemarked when I go at him as has absolutely no identifying marks on him and is one solid colour. I can’t say he seemed in any discomfort even though he is very thin skinned. I went for a personalised mark which incorporated the three initials of his registered name and the horseshoe sign to show he is chipped which ties in nicely with his passport.
 

Ratface

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My horse's previous owner had him freeze-marked Loss of Use. He did a tendon in his professional career. Instead of turning him away for a year and then reviewing his soundness, she sold him to me from a less-than-accurate advertisement.
Now semi-retired and in his twenties he's keen to bounce about with anyone else who'll join in. Being sensible, they generally ignore him.
A brilliant hack, he puts his Flounce Central attitude aside when it's necessary and just gets on with the job.
 

rabatsa

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I have had both my donkeys done this year. To most people a donkey is a donkey that is donkey shaped and donkey coloured. Now my two stand out as different donkeys. Neither can be lost in a herd of donkeys. I have had them done on the shoulder so it is not hidden by any tack.
 

splashgirl45

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i had both of mine done in the 70's and he did them in the stable loose, neither of them seemed bothered and there was no soreness afterwards but as they were marked under their saddles we didnt ride for a week..one of mine had no markings and there had been a few horses stolen in our area which is why i wanted her done...
 

ycbm

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have some rather nice hairy cobs that are just the sort that are getting stolen on a regular basis

I don't think any horses are getting stolen on any sort of regular basis. The only horses I've heard of being stolen in absolutely years were taken be people who were connected with them in some way. The last time I looked at a stolen horse register it hadn't been used for years. If you are seeing lots of stuff come through Facebook, it's because the horses reported as stolen have actually strayed and are almost always found.

I'd save your money and your horses the pain. I had two done decades back. One never noticed, they other it definitely hurt.
.
 

Kaylum

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it really is a good way to stop them getting stolen also identification for those that are passed around dealers etc.

Never had a problem with the actual freezemarking.

We had a coloured mare stolen and never found her. She wasn't freezemarked. Drug dealers trade horses so everyone is valuable and they dont buy them.
 

Fjord

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I had my fjord freeze marked when I first got her, I didn't fancy trying to identify her amongst other fjords if she were stolen. She had her head in a bucket the whole time and took absolutely no notice of the process.
 
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Is it possible to freeze mark with a branding design rather than a generic numbered brand.

I have in mind like a European or USA horse stud brand where each horse has the same brand.
 

Gloi

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Back in the 80s and 90s I had all mine done after there had been thefts in the area. I had the first done under the saddle but a bit was left bald and tended to get a bit sensitive after long rides so after that they were done on the shoulder. None really bothered about being done or had other problems. I have however had a problem from a microchip which caused an abscess with a fistula with pus coming out at the crest. Tried antibiotics a couple of times but in the end the fistula needed surgically removing.☹️
 

Lady Jane

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In the 80s/90s I had 2 freezemarked on the shoulder and I don't recall it being traumatic for them or me. And one of mine was very twitchy about anything. I had them done on the shoulder as I didn't want time off riding and I didn't show.
 

conniegirl

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I had 4 freezemarked in the early 2000’s not one of them ever seemed in any discomfort.all of them done under the saddle patch.
 

Peglo

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Is it possible to freeze mark with a branding design rather than a generic numbered brand.

I have in mind like a European or USA horse stud brand where each horse has the same brand.
My new haffie has one. I had no idea until a certain point through the summer. It usually isn’t on show. It’s quite cool though but had to do a google search to know what it is.

fortunately having to get a ferry off the island is a decent deterrent here 🙌🏻
1A077D43-9E15-4FCF-A2D6-0D4F5BAD1864.jpg
 

Nudibranch

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My big wuss of a gelding didn't even flinch when he was done as a drama queen 2 yr old. I have thought about getting my Dales mare done as quite honestly they all look very similar. If I were I your area OP I would definitely join in.
 
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