*Please see disclaimer at foot of page*
You should seriously consider
Freeze Marking all horses and ponies, preferably in an easily visible spot,
many horses are stolen when the marking is covered with a horse blanket. Keep
the animal well clipped out, in the area of the marking at least. Your local
Police Force may have forms on which you can show the horse markings in case of
Photograph your stock, showing in
colour all the distinctive markings which might make your horse more
recognisable to any police officer, many of which know very little about
|| Saddlery and
Professional marking is available for all saddles and tack. Contact
your local police crime prevention office for more information. All tack should
be marked with at least your post code, or full name and address. Marking can
be performed on well soaped saddles, using a set of cold die stamps. It is not
advisable to stamp your code on reins, thin pony bridles or stirrup leathers
unless the leather is reasonably thick or wide in case the stamping weakens the
leather when put under stress, and never on a padded or heavily stitched
All leather and saddles can be marked with an
ultra-violet pen, again at least your post code, this will show up under ultra
violet light. Note that all marking should be done on the reverse of the
leather work or in an unobtrusive spot. Rugs and blankets can also be stolen as
they are an easy way to make quick money at markets, these can be post coded
using an indelible ink pen or machine stitching etc. Do not forget to mark
other items that you also use such as clippers, brushes, groomers, generators,
If the tack should be left on site, it should
be kept in a secure area. It is a much better policy to keep it at home.
Consider putting Horse Watch signs on the stable warning that all property is
Again these must be in a good state of repair,
and well maintained, to prevent injury to your animal, they should be secured
with a heavy bolt and perhaps a padlock. Bear in mind the danger of fire, any
padlock fitted will be owners decision. If power is available at the site, fir
security lighting using a passive infra red detector. Windows can be made
secure by installing iron bars inside and make sure that wheelbarrows,
trolleys, etc are secure (they can be used to remove the stolen
Ensure fences and gates are in a good state of repair, this may stop
your horse getting injured. Hedgerows are better than most fences (make sure
that any hedge does not contain poisonous plants), some are very quick growers
such as Quick Thorn.
Fit a heavy duty chain to secure gates, use a good quality close
shackle padlock, consider reversing the hinge pins on the gate post to prevent
it being lifted off, or burr over the ends of the pins. Fixing a Horse Watch
warning sign on the gate could well deter the potential thief as well.
|| Horse Boxes
This should be immobilised by the use of either hitch locks or wheel
clamps, make sure that all trailer bars are secured to the trailer with
non-returnable bolts so that they cannot be replaced. Consideration should be
given to chaining the trailer to a permanent fixture, or hampering its removal
with other objects that cannot easily be removed. Have the trailer chassis
professionally marked with identifying marks or post code.
|| Keep your
Be vigilant, take note of strange vehicles seen loitering near
stables and fields, or strange callers. Record all vehicle registration numbers
of vehicles seen in strange circumstances, for future reference if needed.
Horse Watch incident report forms are provided to help pass on all relevant
information to your local Police.
Check your horses, if they are kept away from
where you live, at odd times. A potential thief cannot predict how much time he
may have to remove your animals. Always check as early in the morning as
possible, most horses are stolen at night.
|| If the worst
Please note that all above information has been
kindly given by Horse Watch groups and local police forces. All information is
meant as a general guide and owners are strongly advised to contact their local
crime prevention officer for advice on securing premises. Whilst the above
information is very general the writers or site owners can take no
responsibility for any incidents or circumstances resulting from the above
advice. The site owners neither approve or disapprove of any existing crime
prevention products and owners are again encouraged to seek the assistance of a
qualified crime prevention or community safety officer.
- Telephone the Police immediately, they may
initially think that your horse has strayed. Many horses reported stolen later
turn up as having strayed. Make local inquiries, particularly amongst fellow
Horse Watch members.
- Know the dates of sales within 250 miles of
you. Many horse thefts take place on a night preceding a sale.
- Ask the Police to also notify the Police of
the area where the sale is taking place as a matter of priority.
- Telephone the auctioneers yourself. You will
find most of them co-operative, however please remember that many stolen horses
do not enter the sale yards. The thief uses the gathering of dealers and agents
at the sale to find a buyer, and the transaction then takes place outside the
- Go to the sale yourself if possible. You can
identify the horse, but remember to take the photographs and identity documents
with you. Look closely at all horses of the same body colour, size, age and
sex. A bottle of cheap dye can alter the facial or leg markings.
- Be as quick as possible- the motorway network
helps remove your horse seventy miles further from home in every hour!
- Is your horse insured? Not all livestock
policies include theft, in many instances it can be added as an extra at a
- Know the location of slaughter-houses where
horses are killed for human consumption purposes, and advise them of your loss.