In many areas, cattle producers remove the horns from horned cattle when they are calves. This makes the cattle safer and easier for cowboys to handle. The cattle are also less likely to hurt each other with their horns. One way of de-horning was to cauterize the horn stub with a hot iron.
Mrs. Marion Flynt Chancellor was kind enough to share with us these photos of an old horn iron used in this procedure and a little of its history.
Mrs. Chancellor says:
"This particular "Horn Iron" came from my husband's grandparent's ranch. His grandfather's name was Marion Flynt. Marion Flynt was famous in the cutting horse world, having been president of the National Cutting Horse Association for a total of 12 years, between 1956 and 1971. He was also a well-known West Texas rancher for many years. The iron came from the Square Top 3 Ranch, which is actually one of the Holt ranches (outside Midland, Texas).
Back in the 1940's Marion married Faye Holt and thus began his running of all the Holt ranches and raising of his still famous line of cutting horses. Prior to that, he had already established himself as a leader among Hereford cattle breeders. Marion Flynt passed away at age 83 in 1987. Faye Holt Flynt had preceded him in death, the year before. At that point, Faye's two children (whom she had adopted with her deceased first husband, Mr. Holt) inherited all the ranches, so we cherish the few memories of ranch life that we have.
Marion had a very full & colorful life and was solely responsible for making the Holt ranches famous worldwide. He was quite a character, to boot. His most famous cutting horses were "Marion's Girl" (who was 2-time World Champion Cutting Horse), "Freckles", and "Freckles' Flynt", among many others whose bloodlines continue to win today."