Thursday, December 15, 2011

WHOA Thief!

Warning: Horse Owner Awareness

Horse theft happens, and all of our horses and horse related possessions are at risk. Thankfully there are steps we can take to help prevent it.

  1. Permanently identify your horses you can do this by freeze branding, hot branding, micro-chipping, and tattooing them. I personally recommend branding as it is very visible from a distance.
  2. Register your brand(s) with the county that your horses live in.
  3. Put signs up on property, stall doors when boarding or at horse events that tell people that your horses and equipment have permanent identification...
  4. When at horse events - leave a light on, feed horse at the back of the stall, inform barn neighbors to be aware of possible theft and people who will be moving your horses, put sign on door that horse and tack have permanent identification. Do not give complete information on the breeding of the horse on the stall door. This may attract thieves to pick your horse because of the breeding.
  5. Record identification information with county, state, and national registries.
  6. Photograph your horse in two seasons. Keep photographs current.
  7. Photograph your horse dirty and clean.
  8. Photograph any identifying markings a horse has close up this includes brands, tattoos, scars, and other unique markings.
  9. Make a file with all important horse information inside including photos, brand registration receipts, and registration papers. 
  10. Padlock gates and keep fencing in good shape.
  11. Do not put halters and lead ropes by stall doors when you do not have a sign posted.
  12. Keep halters off of pasture horses.
  13. Keep barns away from road if possible.
  14. Install security lighting around the barn.
  15. Put no trespassing signs on pasture fences.
  16. Put security signs on pasture fences.
  17. Keep a barking dog or other animal that makes noise, like a peacock, donkey, geese, or guinea hen.
  18. Change routines often.
  19. Pay attention to service people on property and anything or anyone that looks different and not right or normal.
  20. Start a neighborhood watch.
  21. Keep trailer out of view if possible.
  22. Lock up tack.
  23. Buy a hitch lock and door/gate locks for you trailers (bike locks work great if you have a stock trailer or any trailer with a slide gate on the back) and always lock up your trailer and tack when you are in a public situation, such as shows, clinics, trail rides etc.
  24. Put identification info on tack - the best ID is your driver’s license number preceded by the state code. Do not use the drivers license number if it s a social security number. You can also put a microchip into your saddle but this will not be recognized like your drivers license. Or mark your saddle up out of sight and have a photograph of the mark.
  25. Record all serial numbers/ model numbers of your tack and trailers with a photograph.
  26. Have photos of your trailers and big/expensive tack items like saddles.

Please visit for lots more information on theft prevention and what to do if horse theft happens to you.  

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