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Bolting the stable door: Keeping horses and equipment safe
Preventing theft is a major concern for horse owners and those running stables due to the high value of horses, tack, and equipment.
The theft of horses and equipment has become a major problem, with thousands of pounds worth stolen each year both here and overseas.
Tack theft is also prevalent, with saddles, bridles, and related items fetching considerable prices on the market. Furthermore, there has been a notable increase in the theft of trailers, including those specifically designed for transporting horses. With rural crime on the rise, it is essential to take proactive measures to protect horses and equipment from theft.
Here are some tips to help prevent theft. It’s no use closing the stable door after the horse has bolted!
Documentation and Identification
Take photographs of your horses, equipment, and vehicles for identification and proof of ownership. Capture clear images of license plates, VIN frame numbers, and any distinguishing marks on the equipment. Keep receipts, registration papers, and other relevant documents carefully organized
Microchipping and Marking
By law, horses, ponies and donkeys must be microchipped.
Additionally, consider other marking methods such as freeze branding to provide additional identification. Engrave your name or initials on expensive equipment like saddles and bridles in a visible location. Include these markings in your photographs and consider signage on your premises or vehicles highlighting the security measures you have taken.
When transporting horses and equipment, be extra vigilant.
If possible, have someone supervise the items at all times. Unattended items can be snatched in seconds by opportunistic thieves.
Explore options like transponder tags for vehicles and trailers, which can be small and difficult to remove.
At your stable or base, avoid hanging halters and equipment over gates or stall fronts. Instead, keep everything securely locked up. Invest in sturdy perimeter barriers like fences to deter vehicle access and slow down intruders on foot. Depending on your site’s geography, other obstacles to vehicle traffic may also prove useful.
CCTV is increasingly recognised as an effective crime prevention tool, recommended by organisations like the College of Policing.
It has been found to significantly reduce crime, with some studies indicating a 51% reduction in car parks. Many companies that offer fences and barriers also provide CCTV systems for purchase or hire.
By following these preventive measures, horse owners and stable managers can enhance the security of their horses, equipment, and premises, reducing the risk of theft.
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