Branding And The Origins Of A Name

I was sitting here this morning drinking my coffee and hoping it’s not gonna rain and the wind would stop blowing when I realized that I never once told you all why I have the name Rocking LR Equestrian. Well the Equestrian part is pretty straight forward, I think, but not the Rocking LR.

As you may know I grew up on a lovely little ranch in Colorado called Legacy Ranch….Oh hey LR….Legacy Ranch…. that parts figured out….Well we have been breeding and rasing horses since I can remember and being a ranch when I was little we (ok my parents) decided that we needed a brand to help identify our horses and just make our amazing bloodlines known as ours. Besides if you’ve ever met my dad he’s about as cowboy as they come!

Well if you have ever gone through the Colorado brand book you will quickly realize that pretty much any and all brands that are not 4 letters/symbols or more are gone. And in case you didn’t know the longer your brands are or the more complicated the look the harder it is to get the brand to come out legibly, and it’s just a royal pain in the ass to deal with.

Brands are flipped so when you apply them they will come out correctly on the horse.
Brands are flipped so when you apply them they will come out correctly on the horse.

Well after tossing around different possible combinations for weeks we just couldn’t decide on a brand. ( and yes my parents let me help in choosing the brand design! It was a family affair after all) I managed to talk them into LR for Legacy Ranch. After much debate we had it narrowed down to a few hopeful ideas.  My dad happened to be skimming through the brand book and saw a beautiful brand Rocking LR. He got the contact info of the current owner of the brand and with a little hope called the owner up. As it turned out he had no use for his brand anymore and was in fact thinking of archiving it (Basically a room of no return for brands) So for some little bit of money and a lot of paperwork we got the brand ROCKING LR! It’s a name that I have fallen in love with and while I am no longer in Colorado I still claim in as mine!

Branding itself is a very controversial topic in today’s world. It’s still very traditional, and many warmblood registries still offer branding when they pass inspections to prove their worth and of course ranches all over the United States still use it on livestock as identification. In todays technical world people belive that there are better, less invasive ways to mark a horse and I do agree there are but is also huge advantage to branding to branding people over look.

Obviously it marks an animal as yours or coming from your ranch. A very successful horse can be traced back to its breeders via a brand if the state of origin is known. So this is a plus to breeders in promoting their stock but I think one of the biggest helps is in deterring theft.

A brand on a horse is a huge identifying mark and one that is usually very noticeable to Cash western copyanyone looking at the horse. (In the picture you can clearly see the brand on Cash who has no other big identifying marks)  The only time its a little obscured is if the horse has a long winter coat. When a horse is stolen if it’s branded you can let the brand inspectors know and an alert goes out to all brand inspectors to watch out for them locally and can even go out nation wide.

I think a brand is a huge deterrent to potential thief’s because it’s so identifying. A bay horse with no obvious markers is much easier to pass off  and sell then one with a brand standing out on its shoulder or hip. Obviously if a thief is bound and determined enough they can probably still get away with it but it really helps!

Also if a horse is lost and someone finds it (such as getting out of a paddock. Getting away from a campsite…ect)  If they contact the local brand office they can usually track a horse through its brand inspections (if it’s been sold) or through the owners of the registered brand and get that horse home rather quickly.

I think other ways of identifying horses such as using a microchip are also great ways to go too. Actually I think it’s a great idea for all animals that are currently able to be microchiped such as dogs, cats and horses. It’s just another tool to help get an animal home safely should they be found lost and alone or suspected of theft. But regardless of people’s personal views on branding I personally am a huge supporter of it.

Until Next time.

P.S. Oh and for those that might be wondering yes I did brand my western saddle too. Well my dad branded it for me 😀


3 thoughts on “Branding And The Origins Of A Name

  1. Holly says:

    I work with a lady who bought a horse that she was told was a “grade” gelding. However when the brand inspector came out to transfer ownership, he recognized the horses brand and said it should be a papered horse. Long story short, he tracked down the breeder and then the owner. The owner had been told the horse died while at a trainers….um obviously it didn’t… and the trainer was charged with theft of a horse.

    Brands can be a huge help in preventing theft!

  2. rockinglr says:

    Oh wow! I can only imagine the owners disbelief at getting that call I hope that trainer got the full force of the law!

    I have noticed checking for microchips in horses is not a big trend yet either. I don’t ever see auctions, brand inspectors or vets verifying a horse isn’t chipped. It’s funny how in dogs it so common but not horses yet.

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