Farmkey - I'm absolutely LIVID!!


New Member
Oct 8, 2005
I arranged for five horses at our yard (including TC) to be freezemarked this afternoon.

My friend went first, the technician did it in a three sided "corral" area about the size of a very large stable. He had my friend hold her horses head. When he applied the first iron there was at first no reaction but after a few seconds the horse became agitated, tail swishing and trying to get away and the technician had my friend circle him in tight circles around them so he could keep the iron placed.

So, next was TC's turn. He was really good for the clippers (he doesn't *do* clippers) and the technician applied the first iron. TC also became agitated much as my friends horse did and got away from me. The technician shouted at me for letting go :eek: He then reapplied the iron. The 2nd & 3rd irons were applied with TC reacting much as my friends horse did, I circled him tightly so the technican could keep the iron on. A few times the technician pushed TC harshly and muttered the ubiquitous "get on" (when does that EVER help?) but I let it go.

The last iron was place and TC tried to move and the technician made a fist, drew his arm back and whacked TC on the chest!! :eek: :eek: I was livid and said "Excuse me, do NOT hit my horse!!"
The technician replied "Huh, do you think that bothered him?" and I said "It bothered ME, I don't hit him and I don't expect anyone else to" While we were having this exchange TC was stood still.

The technican then removed the half done iron and refused to finish the marking!! He only had to have left it on for a further 10 seconds!! It was purely in retaliation for my objecting to him thumping my horse!! I was soooooooooooo angry!! :mad: :mad:

I told him I wasn't paying him and got straight on the phone to Farmkey who said they would get the manager to call me back. In the meantime old "matey" phoned them too. Next thing I know I have a message on my vociemail (signal is ropey at the yard so it hadn't rung) saying the technician felt my horse was dangerous and he was unable to mark him!! So as well as thinking hitting other people horses is acceptable this man is a LIAR!! :mad: TC reacted in exactly the same way as my friends horse only he is a lot bigger!! He didn't trample, kick, bite, rear or buck and if he is dangerous how come the technician managed to do 3 1/2 of the 4 marks necessary?!!!!!!

I was so angry that I flounced about the yard doing TC's feed and making loud and sarcastic comments.

So now I have 3/4 of a personalised freezemark on TC!!!!! Farmkey left a further message saying I can either get TC sedated and have the technician back (yeah, I'm going to let him come near my horse again) or can stick with a 3 (and a 1/2????) figure freezemark. I just hope they don't expect me to pay for it!! :mad: :mad:


New Member
Mar 23, 2006
Good for you standing up to this arse! He is a disgrace to the profession and I would no tlet this lie. Send a strongly worded letter to Farmkey then find out were he lives and stick TC's message thru his door! What a complete moron:eek:

happy highlande

New Member
Nov 20, 2005
Agree on the strongly worded letter to Farmkey - and if you have probs go to trading standards or CAB.
Keep calm tho - stay the right side of the spirit of the law and you will have a stronger case.
Get statements from anyone watching that he hit TC - and from anyone who has been involved with TC before (vet, farrier, YO, etc) that he is not dangerous.
Get this all in writing now, dated and signed.

Then sit still with your strong case.

If Farmkey decide to go for asking for payment - then come out with your evidence.

Otherwise decide if you want another person to finish the job (in which case you can use your evidence to back up your case) or if you are going to leave it.

It is the weekend now - leave them to stew - and have a glass of wine yourself!!! Decide on Monday where you are going - and go for it!!!!


Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2004
:eek: My god, the technician sounds like a right plonker. If he'd have hit my horse he'd have got a smack back! :eek:

Honestly though, if he reckons that a horse walking around in circles because theyres a burning cold brander on its back is dangerous hes off his head. Needs locking up and the key throwing down the drain. He clearly doesnt have any experience with horses. Dangerous - yes i could understand his case IF TC was rearing, bucking, and kicking out at him physically trying to get him.

I agree with the letter. Did anyone see him hit TC other than you? That is bang out of order, he should never lay a finger on someone elses horse without permission. He's not fit to be around animals, esp as big as horses. Just think if TC was really dangerous and he hit him! TC could have done some real damage, honestly. Men these days. So incompetant. Always try to fight the horse rather than work with it. :(

I agree with not letting him back near TC, and also not paying for the unfinished freezemark. Until justice is done, ie your freezemark is finished, you get some form of compensation (free banding or at least half price after his attitude) and the stupid idiot is sacked i wouldnt agree to paying a penny. If they get stronger, get a solicitor involved if possible. Make farmkey see sense, get theyre heads out from up their arses.

We were considering getting Bertha done, but after all that you had with TC i dont think im going to bother. shes nervy and if someone hits her she'll panic majorly.


New Member
Feb 20, 2005
I found both Farmkey head office and the technician rude and unhelpful when I had my mare freezemarked. I would personally use Freezemark in future.


New Member
Apr 15, 2005
I agree with happy highlande...

document the event while it's fresh in your mind (therapeutic too!); eg time, date, details as unfolded
get witnesses' evidence / details
keep calm
write a stonking letter but keep it as factual & brief as poss, no emotions, demand with a deadline to refer to legal action / whatever you decide you want. Good luck and hugs for your horse.


Jan 5, 2002
USA (((maine)))
I would be livid too!
im not against hitting a horse that bits me or is running me over...but hitting a horse that is scared or in a bit of pain WILL not help the horse at all but make the horse worse, more fightend and less apt to accept what is going on. It will make whats happening even more frightful.

you may find that next time she will be worse when they try to freezebrand her, if you want it finished i would go ahead and do it (with someone else of cource).


New Member
Jul 20, 2002
Visit site
I question his competence.
I've had both my mares done by Farmkey, one was years ago, the other about 4yrs, neither animal made any mention of discomfort, both stood quietly. I was the one - will it hurt, will it hurt.
I don't know what other people's experience's have been, but from mine I do wonder why all these animals objected. L


Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2000
I wouldn't pay!

Good advice, write it down, cold hard facts, times dates and names of folk who saw him hit the horse and the way the horse reacted in relation to the others.


New Member
Oct 28, 2005
Hi Hun,

I'm sorry I wasn't there to see it or I'd definitely be willing to give you a witness statement. It is a bit odd how B and TC reacted isn't it. How were Pepsi and Ginger - I know Jaf stood still for it. Does make you question his competancy.

I'll help in anyway I can though. How about phoning the other freezemarking company and see if they would take over the registration of the brand and finish the job?


Apr 7, 2005
Sunny Nunny
I wouldnt pay....and i thought it was totally humane? Im glad Pepsi was freezemarked before I got her, Im not sure how i would react. Good for you for standing up to him!

Ok, from what i know you will probably have to 'sort' him under the law of tort. A tort is regarded as a civil wrong. Liability in tort comes from either a breach of duty owed by members of society to each other or the infringement of a right of another person.
To prove negligence you need to prove 3 things else you wont have a case:
1. The other person owes you a duty of care (In this case he does, so does the company
2. There was a breach of that duty of care He hit your horse, he never performed the job
3. As a result of that breach you have suffered damageYes your horse has been hit and you half 3/4 of a freezemark

However this is only if you want to go down this route which can be very severe, although most people write to the comapny saying that they have grounds to sue and the company doesnt want a public scandal, therefore they revieve alot of money. In your case they should not expect you to pay and you may get a little extra :p

Ginger Thing

Active Member
Jul 10, 2003
When my boy was done (by the Freezemark ladies, who were great!) there were 4 others done at the same time. Most of them didn't like it (it's not cruel, just uncomfortable) but all she did was keep the iron on and follow the horse - mine was circling madly but she just kept with him. He must have been annoying to her as it's not easy to run round with your arms up,keeping pressure on a 16.3, but at no point did she get cross.

People like that shouldn't be working with horses - its the same with farriers, mine has the nicest, calmest manner around even difficult horses, but there's a young one who comes to our yard who I saw hit my friend's horse on the ribs with a rasp while she was standing there! I'm not even present when mine is shod, God knows what hers would do if the owner was absent if that's what he does in their presence!

I think you did the right thing in reporting him - your horse's reaction was absolutely normal, he is not dangerous, you are right and that bloke is out of order.

PS Thomas's freezemark (THOM) is a little indistinct in places where he kept fidgeting :eek: so you're not the only one!

mad mare1

This is why I will not have Crystal freezemarked, as she wouldn't stand still!!! She is Microchipped, and I am happy with that!


Cob lover
Jul 31, 2005
Ooh yes, document EVERYTHING whilst it is still fresh in your mind...

Bl**dy cheek of the man.... I was cheering you on as I read your post - way to go, girl!!! :D

How is poor TC today...???


Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2003
I had my donkeys done and they stood fine for it - no problems.

I also had two 18 month old fillies done - again they had only been handled etc, used to farrier, head collar, and they were fine - didn't like it but didn't protest.

the person who came and did mine was very quiet, not in a hurry, let them wriggle a bit, wasn't aggressive towards them. i would not have tolerated them being hit as it is a strange sensation for them, and it would be reasonable for them to be upset slightly.

he had no right to hit the horse - if he felt he could not continue, he should have asked if you had a twitch, or discussed with you whether sedation, or bringing in a bucket of feed to distract him, was an option. you could have discussed a way forward you mutually agreed.

if he had trouble with them all, then perhaps it was more his body language with the horses, rather than the actual process, which was upsetting them, i.e. if he seemed hurried, was aggressive, threatening to them.

my farrier always gives the horse a pat or stroke before he lifts a leg - he had an apprentice I never liked, he used to just dive in and grab, and they tended to dislike him, whereas the farrier, even with a nervous one, was always calm, took his time, gave them encouragement, and always gave them a stroke, tells them they are good when he is finished. someone doing freezemarking needs to do the same, rub the area, introduce himself, take it slowly get them used to being touched there by a stranger before applying the irons.


Active Member
Nov 5, 2005
Redditch, UK
I had three of mine freezemarked by Farmkey at different times, and none of them (not even the very flight Anglo) showed any great resistance - I think there was bit of fidgetting, but that's all. Al lthe people involved were fine, and handled the horses well.

So I think you've been unlucky with this particular person, who was way out of order hitting your horse, from what you say about it. I would go with HH's suggestion to document it all thoroughly, and get people like the vet and farrier (and anyone at the yard who handles him) to say they don't consider him dangerous. Then if Farmkey play up, go through the small claims court - this is easy and cheap! We did over some wrecked photos, and got all our claim settled with no problems at all...

Also make sure where you stand with his freeze mark being recorded on the database - the whole point is that he's registered as yours, and if you're not getting that, you aren't getting the service you paid for (quite apart from not getting it at the time of the marking).



Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
On an island
Ooooh, I'm getting wound up for you:mad: I would have been furious, cheeky bas*** - Ooooooooh, if he'd hit one of our two, I would have been tempted to kick him. Sorry, have calmed down now. Echo what others said, get all your facts down on paper and write a calm, efficient clear letter to their head office. If nothing happens, then contact your local Trading standards dept. So sorry to hear that this has happened to you - bet you are well annoyed.


New Member
Aug 14, 2003
Visit site
That is over stepping the mark, its fair enough to refuse to do a horse if they ARE acting dangerously but even then physical contact should be a big no no, its like hitting somebody elses child! I would not have stood for it, good on you for telling him what for.
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