It is an unfortunate fact that horses are stolen at times, but there are some measures which owners can take to prevent this from happening, as follows:
- As any responsible owner would do, make sure that your horse is freezemarked or microchipped. Sadly, neither of these procedures is pain-free for the horse, but it does at least greatly reduce the chance of theft or loss. It is easy to arrange and then your horse’s details will be on a central computer should they go missing. Most of companies that provide these services offer discounts on group bookings, so if you have a few friends who also need to have their horses marked or chipped, it is worth doing so together as it will be more cost-effective.
- Keep your horse's passport locked away securely where it cannot be easily found and stolen. It is illegal to sell, export a horse or present it for slaughter without a valid passport, so keeping it safe will help to protect your horse. Your passport also contains details of your horse’s markings, which will help the police with identification if your horse does go missing.
- It sounds fairly obvious, but keep your horse in a safe place. If your horse is kept out to grass, make sure that the paddock is secure. Although many horse owners padlock one side of the gate, it can easily be lifted off its hinges. If you put another padlock and chain at the end with hinges, it may act as an effective deterrent.
- It is unfortunately impossible to make a premises completely secure, but some simple measures such as secure fencing and locked gates can make a big difference.
- Can you possibly stable your horse at night? The nearer to home, the better. If you cannot stable your horse, look at your perimeter. A very good security investment is lights which are activated by passive infra-red sensors.
- CCTV is becoming more affordable to use these days, so if the stables are close to home they can be monitored from the house or you could install an old video recorder in the stables, which has been set to run at night. That will then show you who has been in your yard overnight.
- You can also modify a domestic alarm system for use in the stables, but do use door contacts rather than sensors, to prevent false alarms. If your budget permits, you could provide active infra-red beams which cover the approach to the stables; these can be connected up to a radio transmitter and provide a silent alarm to your house.
- Lastly, you could simply use an old-fashioned, low-tech method of security - get a guard dog!
Picture courtesy of www.handsomehomesteader.com
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