Horse theft: how to prevent it

Sadly, horse thefts do happen - read our advice on how to keep your horse safe and deter thieves.

Sadly, horse thefts do happen - read our advice on how to keep your horse safe and deter thieves.

Things you can do to prevent horse theft: 

Ensure that your horse is microchipped and check that all details are up-to-date using the Chip Checker. You can find more information on the importance of correct equine identification on our Identification: is your horse passported and microchipped? page. 

Keep your passport securely locked away. It is illegal to sell or export a horse (or present it for slaughter) without a valid passport, so keeping this safe will help protect your horse. 

Your passport also contains details of your horse’s markings, which will help the police with their identification process should your horse go missing. It’s worth taking some good quality photographs of your horse for identification purposes too. Make sure you take some of both sides, front and back including any distinctive markings or whorls, as well as at different times of the year – just think how different your horse can look in the summer and the winter! 

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Keep your horse in a safe place: If your horse lives out, make sure the gates are secure. Many people padlock one side but lots of gates can be lifted off their hinges. Simply putting another chain and padlock at the hinged end may act as a deterrent. 

Unfortunately, it is impossible to make premises completely secure but there are some simple measures which can improve security for your horse: 

  • Look at where your horse lives. Examine the boundary – is it secure with solid fences and locked gates? Are there other owners in the vicinity who you could create a Horse Watch group with? Lights which are activated by motion sensors are a good investment 
  • CCTV is becoming more cost effective – if your stables are close to home they can be monitored from the house or you could install a wireless camera at the stables, set to run during the night.  
  • Use an alarm suitable for outdoor, stable environments – it is important to use door contacts rather than sensors to avoid false alarms. Should your budget allow, you could consider active infra-red beams covering the approach to the stables; these can be connected to a radio transmitter and provide a silent alarm to your house. 
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