Microchipping services

A microchip scanner is easy to use.

A horse that can be definitively ID’d is a horse who is less likely to be stolen.    Horses than can be identified can also be reunited with their owners, following natural disaster, fencing failure, or theft.   Because theft puts horses at risk for mistreatment or slaughter, Equihab is in favor of ways to prove ownership and to deter theft.


A chip is about the size of a grain of rice.  It’s implanted in the left side of the horse’s neck, about halfway up, just below the mane.    This is the standard location for scanning for any horses in the US.

The chip cannot be removed.  The standard chips are not re-programmable; the number stays with the animal his whole life.   The chip has a special coating and is inserted into the nuchal ligament; in our experience it does not migrate.   To date, we have not had any of our horses develop any sort of site reaction or abscess when injected.

There is no battery or moving parts to wear out.  The chip should work for the lifetime of the animal.

There is minimal discomfort inserting the chip. It’s loaded in a sterile syringe.  The horses react about the same as they might from vaccination or a fly bite.  Once the chip is in, it does not cause any discomfort.  When scanned, the horse feels nothing.

While it’s true that you cannot read a chip without a scanner, more and more shelters & sales barns have them.   Your local shelter/rescue can apply for a free scanner through AVID.  With the chips being so inexpensive, it only makes sense to spend a little bit for this extra peace of mind.


Equihab owns its own chip scanner & chips.   All horses directly in the Equihab program are chipped & registered with HorseTrac.  If you find a horse you suspect might be an Equihab horse, Equihab offers a reward to you, upon verifying his identity.   Equihab horses leave with a written contract and should come back to Equihab if no longer wanted.  These horses should NEVER be found at auction, dealer, feedlot, or slaughter pen.

Equihab encourages horse owners & shelters to do some sort of positive ID method for every horse.   Tattoos or brands also may provide a method of identification.  Owners are also strongly encouraged to keep copies of current Coggins tests on hand; these show your horses’ markings in detail.   It’s also suggested to take good photos of your horse without tack from the front and sides plus any unique markings or scars.


  • You may borrow the chip scanner for short term use [deposit required].
  • Your rescue or shelter may contact Equihab for advice on how to apply for a free scanner of its own.
  • If you bring a horse to us, we will scan him for you to see if he might already be chipped & registered. No charge, of course!     The same AVID scanner can detect chips in dogs and cats, too.
  • Clinics: In the past Equihab has helped to sponsor microchip clinics in our area.  If your group or boarding barn might be interested in this, contact Equihab for details.    Chips will be inserted by a licensed veterinarian (yours or ours).
  • Education: If your group would like to learn more about chipping or to see a scanner and chip syringes, contact Equihab to set up a presentation.  There is no charge for the guest speaker, but a donation is always welcome.


How to chip your horse – great 1 page PDF file

Avid Equine ID- horse chip manufacturer

HorseTrac – missing/stolen horse database for chips

NetPosse – stolen horse recovery