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Brands II
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Horse Brands and Cattle Brands today: 

Brands Today

Louisiana Laroux Quarter Horses

Thomas Laroux
299 Daisy Lane
Opelousas, Louisiana. 70570

According to visitor Mark T. Warnberg, "In Spain they brand the Male Horses on the Left Side and Females on the Right. This is to see at a distance the gender of the horse.  Also they Freeze Brand the dark horses and Fire Brand the lighter colors."

This is the story of my Brand. I wish I had a story of some epic brand that has been pasted down from my grandfathers but my family has never been in ranching or even farming. There is no history in my brand, at least not yet. I grew up in south Texas and I always wanted to own a ranch and spend time cowboying. The closest I got was building fence for a local guy who had cattle, and raising pigs for the FFA. I started marking my stuff with my initials ZLD or ZD like a brand sometime around high school it was on my books and back pack, even on my shoes. At some point I was putting a  Z D on something and the letters ended up offset and connected I continued the lower line of the Z through the D and it formed an L,  the Z hanging D was born. Since that time it has become my symbol, I have it registered in my county and I put it on anything I can. One year for my birthday my Mother had a fire brand made for me, and last year I had a freeze brand made for my horses. I donít know what it is about brands but having mine lets me feel connected to a simpler time when all you needed was a rope and an iron to make a living.
Thank you for your time.
Zachary Lott Douglas

Herd of 2 and growing
Schertz Texas

Shield H brand:  
The earliest record we have of the Shield H brand is a Bill of Sale showing that William H. Clifton, Jr. of Hat Creek, County of Niobrara and State of Wyoming, received payment of $1.00. On this date of March 20, 1954, the brand was sold, transferred, and delivered to John W. Bryant of Hat Creek, County of Niobrara and State of Wyoming.   We also have the original Brand Certificate from the State of Wyoming, Wyoming Livestock and Sanitary Board. On March 30, 1954, the Shield H brand was recorded for John W. Bryant, Hat Creek, Niobrara and recorded in Bill of Sale Record Book 18 on page 141 by then Executive Officer, G.H. Good.   We have records of the Shield H brand being renewed on the following dates:   January 10, 1956 for a $5.00 fee by John W. Bryant, Winchester Bay, OR September 8, 1965 for a $5.00 fee by John W. Bryant, Douglas, WY March 24, 1976 for a $5.00 fee by John W. Bryant, Riverton, WY March 17, 1986 for a $25.00 fee by John W. Bryant, Riverton, WY   A letter dated April 11, 1979 from the Wyoming Livestock Brand Board shows that the Shield H brand was first recorded in their office on August 10, 1917. In this letter, the Wyoming Livestock Brand Board indicated that they had received a request to sell the Shield H brand from Mr. Bryant.   A Bill of Sale dated May 20, 1994 shows that Steve Husted of Riverton, County of Fremont, and State of Wyoming purchased the Shield H brand.  
The location of our brand on both cattle and horses is on the left hip. We carefully freeze brand our horses, ensuring a clean, easy to read brand. Our registered black angus cattle are hot branded, also easy to locate and read. The Shield H brand has a long history, and we intend to keep it prominent in our livestock and their offspring.
Steve Husted and Peggy Peterson Shield H Quarter Horses Riverton WY 307/856-0589

Our brand for our livestock and horses is the "Flying 45". My husband and I both grew up with farming backgrounds, and when we married we knew that we wanted nothing more in this world than to have our own farm and raise livestock together. Considering we met when we were 16 years old, I think you can safely say we both knew what we wanted our entire lives. However, the one thing we didn't know, was what brand we wanted. We argued and fought over what brand to register for nearly ten years. The issue ended up resolving itself. We discovered and currently compete in the sport of mounted shooting, and use forty five caliber colt replica firearms to shoot targets with blank ammunition while running a course in an arena. Since our sport is similar to barrel racing with guns, speed is the key to winning. Put the two together and the natural fit was the "Flying 45" brand. Its a new brand, we just branded our small herd of twenty angus cross cattle with it two weeks ago, and our herd of seven performance horses as well. But one we hope to pass on to both our children someday. Hopefully, us both holding out for the "perfect" brand means that it will be one that will start its own legacy.
Laura Flynn-Smith
Stonepoint Forge Farrier Service
Show Me Mounted Shooters
The American Trail Horse Association has an association brand, shown at the right, that is available for use by members.  It is registered in 10 states.  Their thinking is that an association brand is more recognizable especially across state and international borders.
Are we having FUN yet?FUN brand

Texas shaped brandTexas mare

Do you have an interesting brand?  Do you have a story about a brand that has been in your family or area for a long time?  We would like to hear from you and would like to feature your brand or story.

Contact Cowboy Showcase e-mail

Check back often for more brand pictures.

Freeze brand...upside down M R combinedFreeze brands, made with an iron cooled by liquid nitrogen, usually change the hair color to white, making a clean distinct brand      
Upside down (or inverted) M R combined.

National Park Service Brand
Lazy G T M
This fine freeze brand was made for us by the proprietor of Moonlight Welding in Las Vegas, New Mexico.  I'm sorry I cannot remember his name but he did an excellent job with the design and materials I supplied.  It is a registered New Mexico brand and the only one of it's kind.  Also know as the buffalo skull brand.  We live in south central Utah now where we operate mixed animal practice my wife Anne being the vet and the force behind the business.  Terry M Gwinn

bucking horse with number brands
Bucking horses often carry number brands.

Broken Bone Brand
Broken bone brand on a horse from Wyoming

Rocking Horse Southwest Jewelry
I have a brand that my father registered in 1936.  We used to have horses when I was younger.  It now is a trademark for my Indian jewelry business.  I tell my customers that I brand our jewelry.  I also have kept up the registry since my father retired.  I was thinking I might sell it sometime but would not know how to do it.  For now I continue using it for my business and may use it at some later date for a ranch.
Voice: (602) 265-1061

Diamond J reverse J ???
"The brand you show read as "Diamond J reverse J" I have seen as "flying
diamond". The owner in Washington is Beard Rodeo Co Ellensburg" 
Thanks to Dave Wickham

The bar N brand on the left shoulder,
, is the brand of the Navajo Nation in Arizona and New Mexico.  That, along with the three character brand on the animal's left hip designate the grazing permittee that owns the stock.

For more information contact:
     Navajo Nation Veterinary and Livestock Program (928) 871-6615
     Navajo Nation Switchboard (928) 871-6000

Jaw brand...looks like a lazy P
Jaw brands on a horse

two brands on this horse
lazy J R combined
on the left and a pitchfork brand on the right

Mexican Freeze Brand

Answers to Callin' Brands Quiz :

1.  Slash lazy C

2.  Reverse R V combined


3.  D hanging C

shoulder brand on a longhorn steer
Shoulder brand on a longhorn steer.
King Ranch cattle with running W brand
The famous King Ranch of Texas uses the "running W" brand, probably the best known ranch brand in the United States.

hashknife brand on a two year old Babbitt Ranch filly
Babbitt Ranches Hashknife horses brand courtesy of Vic HowellThe Hashknife brand from northern Arizona was established in 1884 and the Babbitt Ranches still brand their excellent ranch horses with the iron.

Mustang Brands: 
Angle code used by the Bureau of Land Management to mark mustangs with age and registration numbersBureau of Land Management angle code for branding mustangs

Mustang brand example:
example of brand code

The registration numbers for mustang brands fall into these number ranges depending on the state where the horse was gathered.
Arizona                 80,001 - 160,000        (08-16)
California        160,001 - 240,000    (16-24)
Colorado          240,001 - 320,000    (24-32)
Idaho             320,001 - 400,000    (32-40)
Montana           400,000 - 480,000    (40-48)
Nevada            480,001 - 640,000    (48-64)
New Mexico        640,001 - 720,000    (64-72)
Oregon                  0     - 80,000          (00-08)
Utah              720,001 - 800,000    (72-80)
Wyoming           800,001 - 880,000    (80-88)
Eastern States          880,001 - 880,100  

BLM Website
Here are telephone numbers for BLM offices with local jurisdiction.

AZ 888-231-2582
CA 916-978-4637
CO 719-269-8500
ID 208-373-3822
MT, SD, ND 406-896-5223
NV 775-861-6400
NM, KS, OK, TX 800-237-3642
OR, WA 541-573-4400
UT 801-539-4057
WY, NE 307-352-0292
East of the Mississippi River 703-440-1560

Mustangs are freeze branded on the left neck by the BLM after they are captured.  Details such as age and registration number can be deciphered from the brand. 

This bay gelding is a 1991 model from Nevada.
1991 mustang with a freeze brand on the left side of his neck
1998 gathered horse with a Wyoming registration number.
black mustang brand
1994 black mustang mare
dun mustang brand
some brands are a little hard to read, but the brand looks like 1994 on this buckskin gelding
Lip Tattoos
All race horses in the United States are required to have lip tattoos for identification.  That includes thoroughbreds, quarter horses, standard breds, appaloosas, Arabians and mules.  The tattoos vary by breed.
This is a permanent manner of identification, however not easily seen. 

Click here for a Good video on how to read a lip tattoo.
lip tattoo on a thoroughbred horse Tattoo on a thoroughbred horse.  A letter and five numbers are tattooed on the inside of the upper lip and registered with the Jockey Club. 
Standard bred tattoos can be researched at They consist of a letter and three or four numbers.

For racing quarter horses, four numbers and a letter, call AQHA for free research.
Arabian horses - six numbers has a one day fee, if you are not a member, for research on brands and tattoos.
Livestock brands


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