Microchipping your horse is the easiest way to locate your horse in an emergency!
In 2020 the United States experienced twenty-two weather disaster events with a total of one billion dollars of loss. The events are broken down as follows:
1 drought event
13 severe storm events
7 tropical cyclone events
1 wildfire event
With this many disasters happening in one year, it gives you even more incentive to get your horses microchipped. For all of us here in Arizona we escaped these disasters this year.
For those of us who have lived in Arizona for a long time, we can remember the Rodeo-Chediski fire in 2002, Cave Creek Fire in 2005, Schultz Fire in 2010, and the Doce Fire in 2013 (this was in my back year) just to name a few.
These are the types of disasters when you need to have your horses microchipped. When you are in an emergency and you are given only minutes to evacuate you do not have time to paint your phone number on your horse, you are only concerned about getting somewhere safe.
Microchipping your horse is now a requirement for many of the equine associations. The FEI (Federation Equestrian International) was one of the first organizations to require microchipping. They were joined by The Jockey Club, USEF (United States Equestrian Federation), the US Hunter Jumper Association, and the Retired Racehorse Project. I am sure there will be many more to follow as equine owners realize the value and peace of mind that having their horse microchipped brings.
Microchipping of horses is also being used for the tracking of infectious diseases when there is a breakout.
Microchipping your horse also helps during a disaster if your horse has to be left behind during evacuation or runs off during a fire and winds up at an emergency holding area for lost pets and livestock. We have all seen this on television after a hurricane or fire. If your horse is microchipped and is at one of these facilities just think how much faster, you can be reunited with your favorite equine!
Yes, this does include all of us that drive our horses!
There are those times at show grounds when your horse unties himself and wanders around and you are in a state of panic!
This happened at the rodeo grounds in Oregon while my son was stationed there during the fires. The other side of the rodeo grounds was being used for a horse show and one of the horses untied himself and took off. He wound up on the opposite side where the firefighters were camping. My son was able to get control of the horse, and eventually, the owner showed up. If they had not and if the horse was microchipped, they would have been able to get in touch with the owner.
I think all of us drivers have seen the proverbial runaway horse and carriage! They can run faster than us and can be gone in a nano-second. Having them microchipped will help to get them returned to their owner.
The other runaway horse and carriage is if you are trail driving and your horse gets scared and runs off, wouldn’t it be nice to know that a “Good Samaritan” who stops your horse, can have a veterinarian scan him, and be able to get him back to you?
Microchipping your horse
So, what is involved in microchipping your horse? First, you need to have your veterinarian come out equipped with the chip and scanner. Microchipping is safe, simple, and inexpensive! The cost is about $75, and they stay functioning for 25 years or longer. The chip is a lot smaller than the chip in a computer. It is about the size of a grain of rice, after all, it must fit into a needle!
The veterinarian will implant (inject) the chip halfway between the poll and withers, in the nuchal ligament on the left side.
The microchip is encapsulated in a glass with a unique one-of-a-kind number. This number can be read by the scanner and it will be the number you will put on your horses’ papers.
The chip then needs to be registered:
Without it being in the Equine Protection Registry it will just be a chip in your horse. So you need to go online and register. If you need to check a chip number there is a universal pet microchip lookup site https://equinemicrochiplookup.org/ or https://www.horselookup.org/ set up by the American Horse Council or https://www.petmicrochiplookup.org/ set up by The American Animal Hospital Association just to name a few.
To sum up the reasons for microchipping your horse:
- A permanent and effective way to identify your horse.
- When you can compete again and decide to go to an FEI/USEF show you will be ahead of the curve.
- It can prevent the dishonest seller from portraying the wrong horse.
- Microchipping is easier to read than a tattoo, especially in older thoroughbreds.
- Stollen horses can be identified quicker, to be able to get them back to their owners.
- Microchipping is invaluable during a natural disaster especially if the best thing for the horse is to let him free.
My horses have been microchipped for many years before it was the right thing to do. I have been at shows where horses have been taken, along with harnesses and if your horse is microchipped you have a real chance of getting him back.
We all think that the proverbial bad thing will not happen to us but unfortunately, it can, so be prepared and Microchip Your Horse.