Unfortunately horse tack theft is on the rise. Thieves are becoming increasingly daring and think nothing of emptying an entire tack room. To make matters worse, they have no scruples about who they rob. Just last month a Riding for the Disabled centre near Doncaster was targeted by thieves. Nine saddles, nine bridles and other equipment was stolen in the raid. A safe containing cash was also taken. As a consequence disabled children were unable to ride during the Easter holidays and this caused a great deal of distress. Your horse tack is extremely vulnerable so how do you reduce the risk of it being stolen?
You should start by fitting a 5-lever mortice lock to the door of your tack room. This type of lock is fitted to the frame of the door and not just surface mounted like a bolt and so these locks are much harder for thieves to overcome. 5-Lever locks are also difficult to pick. If your tack is insured then your insurer may require you to fit a 5-lever lock. You might also be obliged to install steel bars across tack room windows. Whether your insurer demands these or not, they are certainly a good idea. If your horse is kept at livery then it could be worth talking to other owners at the yard about sharing the cost of improved security or the possibility of installing an alarm system.
All tack should be security marked. Your local Horse Watch co-ordinator will have the necessary equipment to do this. is a scheme which helps to keep owners aware of and protected from equine related crime. It is also possible to electronically tag your horse tack. Marked and tagged tack is less likely to be stolen as thieves know that they will find it more difficult to sell and that it could confirm their guilt. If your tack is still taken then at least you will have a fighting chance of getting it back. If you do mark or tag your horse tack then display warning signs to this effect as these may prove to be a deterrent.
Keep a Record
Whatever measures you take to protect your tack, you could still become the victim of theft. It is best to make an inventory of everything that you own just in case. You should record any serial numbers of the items and the details of any security markings. Take photographs of each piece and keep these together with any receipts for your purchases. Store all paperwork at a different site to the tack. This will ensure that your records are not stolen with the tack in the event of a break in. If your horse tack and equipment is well-documented then you have a much better chance of seeing it again if it is stolen or making a successful insurance claim. It is all too easy to be lulled into a false sense of security. Your peaceful yard may be in the middle of nowhere but thieves will know that it could be a goldmine and will seek it out. Do everything you can to keep them out and to make it as easy as possible to identify your treasured horse just in case it is stolen.