Apr 15

Importance of Brand Inspections

Colorado Horse Ownership Documentation

Written by: Sharon Gilbert, Riding Connection Program Manager

You wouldn’t drive a car without the registration papers proving ownership, but did you know there’s a similar requirement for transporting your horse to a show, a trailhead, or another state? Not every state requires brand inspections, but in Colorado, they’re used to establish horse ownership. Whether or not your horse has a physical “brand” is irrelevant. It’s the creation of a registration paper, detailing the year, make, model, and color of your “horse/car.” That is the earmark of the brand inspection and the responsibility of a state-funded and hired Brand Inspector to create and verify.

Brand Inspectors may seem like a thing of the Old West and relevant only to herds of cattle bound for sale, but current laws in the state of Colorado regarding proof of ownership extend to cows, horses, mules, donkeys, and burros. Even if you’re giving your horse away, a brand inspection is still necessary. Transporting your horse across state lines? A brand inspection, along with a Coggins test and likely a health certificate, is required.

Horse Brand Inspections

Why is this important? Well, you might have noticed that it’s relatively easy to halter most horses and lead them away from the barn, the neighbor’s pasture, or a sale where several horses are on display. If your horse escapes your fencing and you want to reclaim them, a brand inspection is essential. Trained personnel are in the field to protect livestock owners and the livestock industry by keeping a lookout for stolen or missing livestock.

Colorado Horse Rescue has a great, local brand inspector, Chris Mace, who has helped us and many horse owners seeking to re-home them with us. Proof of ownership is crucial for us to accept new horses and to clarify any ambiguities. We encourage all horse owners to locate their paperwork, ensure it’s up to date and accurate according to the state of Colorado. Hauling your horse around will be as easy as and “just like driving a car” if you do!

For more information about brand inspections in Colorado, please click here.






Hang tight while we go get your horse!