Tag Archives: marking horses in an emergency


A few weeks back I wrote about Emergency Tagging Methods for your horses during evacuations.  Here is that post.

After writing that blog, I ordered a few of the items I had written about.  One of those items was LIVESTOCK MARKERS or they are also called LIVESTOCK CRAYONS.

Hooray!  Last week, my markers arrived in a simple manilla envelope with a hand written label.

I loved the fact that they were around a buck fifty each and inside the homey pouch the markers were stored in a grocery-store bought ziplock baggie.  It had  ‘home grown, USA Ranch supply, packaged by someone’s Mom’ written all over it.  I liked that!

They arrived in a simple ziplock baggie…


I decided to apply the crayon marker on any one of my horses in any condition.  I figured ‘any condition’ would be how it would be if there was an emergency… basically, you grab a horse and mark!

So, I marched out there and start marking.

But first, I grabbed Hubby’s dog, Shiva.  I tried to write on him and discovered that the marker had some sort of film over it because nothing was working.

Hmmmmm.  I stopped and contemplated my actions before I pressed any harder.  Poor Shiva was becoming upset…  I must have been doing something incorrectly…  It shouldn’t be this hard.

Aha!  Perhaps reading the directions would help.

Printed on the cardboard slipcover were the instructions to ‘peel away the protective cover’.  Duh.

So, I stuck my nail in the crayon and discovered that yes indeed, there was a film on the crayon…  the film felt just like dried but pliable paint.  Hmmmm.  I took off about an inch worth of film protectant.

Then I grabbed Shiva again and started to mark him.  He didn’t like it.  I think I was still pressing too hard.  Then I realized that there is a technique to livestock marking…  One should really practice before an emergency because I was having a devil of a time trying to write anything on him.  Finally, I discovered that if you:

–put the crayon on its edge

–write the way the hair lies, not against the way the hair grows

it is much easier.

Finally, I was able to write S-H-I-V-A.  The “A” didn’t work so well because his neck was too soft and the hair grew every which way.

Shiva was my first attempt demonstration model.


I figured, after my Shiva experiment, that the horses would be easier since they have big, firm rumps and their hair is less thick…  Or so I thought…

Here is my first attempt on a horse.  This is Gwen.  She has shed out and she wasn’t totally dust bathed-out.  So, the marker went on easily.  But…

Here is Gwen. She is shed out and wasn’t too dirty so the marker applied easily.


Then I went over to my next victims, the ponies and Norma jean the donkey.

First, I tried Norma.  I knew to avoid her still hairy parts.  And, since she has been in the barn getting extra special supplements (Equion), her new coat underneath was rich and dark.  Perfect for writing!  Except she hadn’t shed out a long enough patch for me to write her entire name.  I should have started out printing smaller…

I printed on Norma’s shed out part – but it wasn’t large enough to get her full name in there…


Then, I moved on to Dodger.

Dodger has shed out but he likes to take dirt baths every 10 minutes or so.  He is filthy!  Luckily he is a brown pony because you really don’t notice that he is all dirt until you get up close.

Anyway, the markers would hardly write on him at all.

Dodger was shed out, but very dirty. The marker wouldn’t work on him. I gave up.


Last, I chose Slick.  He hasn’t fully shed and he was dirty.  Basically, I got one letter and gave up.  Almost impossible to write on a hairy, dirty horse.

This is Slick. It was a good thing he has white parts because his thick coat and dirty self wouldn’t take the colored markers.


So I realized that the markers wouldn’t work all that well in an emergency for me since my horses are outside all the time, dirty and only sleek during high summer.  Of course, high summer is fire season… but I’m sure they would all be dirty.

Ah well… I thought that since I had several of these colored markers, I might as well have some fun…!

I added flair to Norma’s ear…

And had great fun making Slick’s ears ‘cute’ which I’m sure he would hate if he could see them… (snigger)


I think cows are easier to write upon than horses.

Your horses need to be clean and shed out to get a good mark.  (But, if they were clean and shed out, you will get a good mark.) I didn’t try it on a horse that had Show Sheen or any other type of coat enhancement…

I concluded that for me, I needed to use regular ID tags that could clip into their manes easily…


These are my twelve imprinted ID tags with keepers and rings. I figure these would work better but I don’t think I want to braid them in – who would have time in an emergency?!

These are gator clips.  I could clip the tags in like hair extensions.


So, since I had already ordered all the ID tags for my horses, it was just a matter of figuring out how to attach them in a hurry.  NO ONE is going to want to braid manes on a herd of nervous horses…

My bright idea was to clip the ID tags into the manes like hair extensions.  I figured that would last a while.  But, since I have never had hair extensions and I have no beauticians in the family, I needed to do some research.

I decided upon ‘gator clips’.  They were cheap on Ebay.  I figured it was worth a try.  I’d rig up some sort of suede ribbon through the ring and then clip the suede piece into the hair.

And then, lo and behold, I found these fun clips, already adorned and they came with gators on Ebay.  So, I purchased a few of those, too.

So, very soon, I will tell you how my Gator Clip Tagging Extravagana transpires!

Until then… in case of emergency, use a Sharpie to write your phone number on their hooves

I purchased a few of these feather clips from Ebay. I’m going to weave the ID Tags I have into these and clip them into the manes or tails. There. Easy. Done.  And they look pretty, too!


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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!