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Equine crime is a continuing problem in our county. Fields and stables are generally in isolated spots giving thieves easier access to your horse, pony, donkey or mule, not to mention vehicles, trailers and tack.

The theft of a horse or its equipment can have a devastating effect on the owner, not just because of the financial loss. Horses are often a key member of the family and have an emotional and sentimental value that cannot be quantified. So it makes sense to try to protect them which can be done in several ways.

Provable security 

To improve your horse's safety and reduce the desirability of your belongings, every effort should be made to permanently mark, label or identify everything you own in your stable or yard. 

Ways of protecting your horse:

Horse passport

Your horse passport should record all the identifying marks and swirls of your horse. If you're unable to complete this yourself, your vet should be able to help you. Horses should not be bought or sold without a valid horse passport.

Identity records

Besides the passport, it is also useful to have copies of colour photographs of your horse in its summer and winter coats. You've probably got hundreds of photos of your horse or pony, but take the time to snap a few more from the side as well as front and rear. Additionally, make a note of any identifying marks, scars, swirls, habits or obvious gaits that can be circulated quickly should your horse get stolen.

Freeze marking

Freeze marking is a technique which leaves a permanent unique number on the saddle patch, the side of the shoulder for coloured horses or on the rear end for show breeds. To find out more about freeze marking, please click this link, or send an email request to Premier Equimark. The number and owner details are registered with Farmkey whose membership scheme includes a recovery service subject to an on-going registration fee.

Microchip implants

Microchip implants can be placed by a vet into your horse's neck. Transceivers are used to identify the chip and confirm the ownership of your pet. Ask your vet for more information, or visit the following sites for more information: IdentichipPet-id MicrochipsPetlog
Each service includes a recovery service subject to an on going registration fee.


Trailer and tack security

Park your horsebox or trailer in a well-lit area where you can keep an eye on it. Ensure all doors, windows and ramps are closed and locked. Colour photographs will help identify your vehicle and highlight identifiable marks. Adding your postcode on the roof with paint or stickers could prove useful, as it can be seen from the air.

At an event, plan ahead so you have everything with you and won't need to leave your horse unattended. It's too easy for someone to lead your horse into a neighbouring trailer or horsebox and drive away. Keep your tack and travel wardrobe locked and out of sight inside your car or within a secure area of your horsebox.

Sold Secure offers a variety of wheel-clamps, ground anchors and hitch-locks which have been tested and approved to offer you the best security. For added reassurance, alarms and immobilisers can be fitted along with tracking systems supplied by Data Tag and their Cesar scheme.

All items of tack should be marked and identifiable; the value to thieves is reduced when items can be traced back to their owners. Make a comprehensive list of your tack; include manufacturing details and serial numbers on saddles, bridles and clippers along with photographs of any unusual items. Where possible, keep the receipts in case you ever need to make an insurance claim.

Write your postcode on your equipment using a permanent marker or UV pen. Or get it physically engraved or treated with a forensic marking kit available from a variety of manufacturers including Selecta DNA or Smartwater.

To help look at your home, stable, tack room and yard in a fresh light, please download and complete this property survey. For further information please contact your local PCSO to find out more information on crime reduction techniques.


Road safety

If you're out hacking and need to use the roads, you must follow the Highway Code to ensure the safety of yourself and others.

Motorists should drive carefully, adapt your driving and be considerate to other road users and those requiring extra care

ICE (In Case of Emergency) is a means of helping the emergency services to contact your next-of-kin if you're involved in an accident while out riding. If you carry a mobile phone, simply store the name and number to be contacted – but add the letters ICE in front of their name. If you don't have a phone, simply write the details down and place in your pocket.

BEIDS (British Equestrian ID Service) provides a simple online means to identify you and your horse and to record your medical and emergency contact details for later use by anyone who may need them in the event of an accident or illness.

Remember - if you need to call for emergency help whilst out riding and your mobile has no signal - call 112, if 999 does not work.

Page last updated: 11 January 2018