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How To Read A Brand
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This is a non-commercial, independent website, owned and written by Nancy Kerson, for the benefit of actual and potential adopters of BLM Mustangs and Burros and similar animals.

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Working With Wild Horses, Second Edition
Working With Wild Horses
(book)
Second Edition 
Printed Book $23
 or
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Now available on iTunes!

This website is owned and created
by Nancy Kerson, a private
citizen - I am not the BLM or anyother branch of  government!

Information about BLM adoptions
is offered as a service, to help
mustangs find homes and to
promote public appreciation of
wild horses and burros.

For information about the BLM
Wild Horse & Burro Program,
please call (866) 4MUSTANGS
or Click HERE

Please direct adoption questions
to the BLM, not to me.

And I sure as heck am not a
Mustang car dealership!

I have NO horses or burros for
sale and am not interested in
buying or listing or otherwise
promoting your sale animals!

This website:
Copyright 2001, 2002, 2003,
2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008,
2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
All Rights Reserved.
I am happy to share, but please
give me a credit when you
"borrow" things off my website!
Thanks!

VIDEOS OF INTEREST TO MUSTANG & BURRO ADOPTERS:


Kitty Lauman:
From Wild to Willing:
Using the Bamboo Pole to Gentle Mustangs
More from Lauman Training available now!

2-DVD set: almost 3 hours of instruction!

$39.95 plus $5 shipping/handling = $44.95 total

BUY 2 DVD Set:

Can't Order Online?
No Problem!
Just email us and we'll tell you
how to mail order


Lesley Neuman:
The First Touch
Gentling Your Mustang
$45.00

Lesley works with 3 wild horses at a BLM adoption, and very clearly explains what is happening, what she is doing, & what she sees in each horse as it progresses. Study this video and you can learn "pressure and release" gentling techniques to gentle your own new mustang!

Format:


Help for Burro adopters!
Crystal Ward
Donkey Training

All the basics of gentling, handling, and training. A MUST for new burro adopters! Good for domestic donkeys, too!

FORMAT


 

 

Working With Wild Horses e-Book | Should You Adopt? | Where To Adopt | How to Select Your Mustang Wild Horse | Adoption Requirements | How To Read A Brand | Our Mustang Heritage

HOW TO READ A BRAND
(Freeze mark, Freeze Brand) On A BLM Wild Horse (Mustang) or Burro

All wild horses and burros who have been gathered off public lands by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) are breeze-branded on the left side of their necks, with a unique set of symbols. De-coding this brand will tell you (1) that the animal was the property of the United States government, (2) the animal's age, (3) the state where the animal was first brought after capture (usually but not always the state of origin), as well as (4) an individual 4-digit code (which corresponds to the neck tag that the animal wears before adoption). These symbols uniquely identify each individual, similar to a human's social security number. If you can read the brand, you can ask any BLM office to look the animal up for you in their computer database, to tell you more about the animal's history.

One thing a brand will NOT tell you is the animal's specific HMA (Herd Management Area). This information can be obtained from BLM if you know the brand.


Additionally, on the original adopter paperwork that is issued for each adopted animal, there is a "signalment code" that gives a more complete description of the animal, for identification purposes. The signalment code identifies the animal's species, gender, and coloring, as well as facial whorls and white "chrome" markings on leg or face.

Location Codes:

Arizona
80001-160000

California
160001-240000

Colorado
240001-320000

Idaho
320001-400000

Montana
400001-480000

Nevada
480001-640000

New Mexico
640001-720000

Oregon
0-80000

Utah
720001-800000

Wyoming
800001-880000

Eastern States
880001-880100

 

This indicates the field office where the horse was branded. It does NOT tell the specific Herd Management Area.

 

SALE AUTHORITY HORSES:

When a horse is put into the Sale Authority program (dues to age or having three "strikes"), it is identified with an extra large "US" symbol, in addition to its regular brand:
(note the large symbol at lower right)
 

OTHER SIMILAR BRANDS:

Arabians, Standardbreds, and some others use the same alpha-numeric angle system for their horses, although Arabians and Standardbreds are branded on the right side of the neck, not the left. Here is an Arabian brand:

Here is another brand that resembles a BLM brand but is not. It is also on the right side of the neck.

PROBLEM BRANDS:


And once in awhile, things don't go well in the freeze-branding process. Here is Harley, a Jackson Mountain HMA colt with a "unique" brand, to say the least.

When young horses carrying gray genetics that are not yet obvious are freeze-branded, they are sometimes hard to see as adults. When horses are known to be gray, BLM generally holds the freeze-marker on the neck a few seconds longer, to make a clear brand that can be seen even on a white or near-white background.

Something went wrong with this guy's first brand, so he was re-branded.

Brands on pink-skinned pintos can be very hard to see. If you know you are looking for it, the brand is there, but it can easily be overlooked if you aren't expecting it.

DEMAND THE BRAND! While some people find the BLM brands unsightly or embarrassing, most adopters take great pride in it. It shows that they have a genuine American Mustang, born wild, and now their friend.

OTHER BRANDS THAT MAY APPEAR ON MUSTANGS:

Numbers or letters freeze-branded on wild horses' hindquarters or lower necks are usually to identify animals who have been treated for fertility control, or who have been in some specific study group, such as a migration study. Such numbers are easily identified from the air or through binoculars.

CLICK ON A SUBJECT AREA FOR ADOPTING A MUSTANG (WILD HORSE):
Where to Adopt l Selecting the Right Horse for you  l  Housing and Fencing  l  Sale Authority Horses   l 
 Adventures in Halter Training l How to Read a Brand l Mustang Link to History

 

copyright 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014  Nancy Kerson, all rights reserved - I'm happy to share, just need to be asked and have credit given where due.

Disclaimer: Horses are inherently dangerous. Use the information contained within this website at your own risk.