Microchipping your horse

I can’t tell you the frustration of trying to help a worried owner find a lost or stolen horse.   But the only instructions I have is to look around for a “brown mare, teen aged, a little under 16 hands”.    Even if I came across one that resembled the photograph, I may not feel confident enough about the ID’ing to call police or ask the auctioneer to stop her sale.   I, like others who would be looking for her, would need to know 100% for sure this is the horse.   She needs a permanent and unique ID.

I wanted to take this opportunity to remind everyone of microchipping.   It’s an inexpensive and permanent way to mark ownership of your horses.   

Equihab has put on microchipping clinics in the past.  Equihab sponsors the vet to come to a central location, allowing local horse owners access to affordable chipping.   If your barn or club might be interested in hosting a clinic, contact Equihab.

Equihab also owns its own chip scanner, which may be available for local loan.   If you represent a rescue or shelter organization, consider applying to AVID for your own chip scanner free of charge ( AVID’s PDF application).    If you recently got a horse you are curious about, Equihab can scan him/her for you.  There is no charge for this service, but a small donation is suggested to offset the time & gas expenses.

Horse microchips can be purchased individually or in quantity.  They arrive inside a syringe.   Inserting the chip is much like giving a vaccination, and it does not appear to cause the horse much more discomfort.   Be sure you place the chip in the universally accepted location on horses: in the nuchal ligament of the left side of the neck, halfway between poll and withers.

Equihab chips all of its horses.    Chip numbers are also sent in to HorseTrac, an independent database.  This allows law enforcement or other shelters to locate the owner’s information by providing only the chip number.   An additional benefit is that if a horse is stolen, one call to a toll-free number triggers stolen horse notices to go out.

While it’s true you can’t tell a horse’s chip number without using a scanner, the cost of the chip is low and the potential benefit is very high.    It may deter a thief who knows that your horse is chipped.  It definitely helps after the horse’s disappearance in locating and confidently identifying your horse.

For more information, contact to your local vet or horse shelter/rescue.     AVID also offers good how-to information and photos on their site.