1. Starting in the 2018 competition year, the USEF is requiring a microchip for horses who are competing in USHJA shows for points and prizes. Then when 2019 rolls around, they will require microchips for ALL horses who plan on competing in USHJA classes.....this includes your short stirrup pony who carts the kiddos around.
So if you are a Hunter/ Jumper competitor, your going to have to do it anyway, why not now? And for you USDF and USEA folks....it's coming down the line :)
2. It is a reliable and safe form of identification. A microchip is a small (size of a grain of rice) transmitter that is encased in bioglass that sends a number to a reader to identify your horse. They do not have any "internal battery" or mode of power, they are only activated by the microchip reader. Your horse is not wired
Since it is such a permanent and reliable form of ID, why WOULDN'T you want it on your horse? Shelters microchip dogs and cats everyday, and have used microchips to reunite lost animals. Wouldn't it be nice to know that if your horse tossed you on the trail and ran off down the dirt road that when they did stop, someone could just scan them and give you call?
3. Natural Disasters. You can't predict these things. North Carolina has miles of beautiful coast line! However, from June to November, you can bet that those picturesque coastal cities pay close attention to the hurricane forecast. It has happened. Hugo, Floyd, Hazel and Fran. Microchipping offers some peace of mind when an evacuation occurs and your animals are moved to shelters away from the storm.
If you are in an evacuation situation and are leaving your horse in the care of someone else, or at another farm used for shelter, it would be helpful for everyone that the "chestnut with the blaze" had another form of identification.
4. No one wants to think about this, but microchips are PERMANANT identification. Like the kind that can be traced when horses are sold....or bought....for slaughter. Horses that are in kill pens are starting to be routinely scanned and previous owners notified. Wouldn't you rather have the option to be notified that your one-time companion was bound for Canada or Mexico and be able to rescue or humanely euthanize that horse.
Microchipping provides another level of protection to ensure your horses welfare even after they aren't "yours" anymore.
I really can't think of a reason not to microchip your horse...or dog...or cat...or husband 😏