Vary your visits to the yard and keep an eye out

By Your Horse

Stable management advice

26 May 2011 15:09

Thieves will often stake out a target for several days or even weeks, watching the daily patterns at the yard and getting a feel for when it will be empty and at its most vulnerable. Simply by varying the times you visit, you can help make your yard less of a target.

Be your own private investigator

If you see anyone suspicious loitering on or around your property, make a detailed note of their description.

Likewise if you see any vehicles that arouse your suspicion, make a note of the make, model and licence plate. Recently, there have been increasing concerns about ‘steal to order’ tactics used by some horse thieves, so if you see anyone videoing your horses, report it to the police immediately.

It’s also in your interests to build good relationships with neighbours and local residents so they can help you to keep an eye on the yard when you’re not there. “Good neighbours are to be nurtured, especially if your horses are kept in an isolated area,” says Gina. “Ask them to report suspicious circumstances and provide them with phone numbers to contact in an emergency.

“A common modus operandi for thieves is to park their vehicle some distance from their target and lead horses back,” Gina explains. “So ask locals to keep an eye open for trailers or lorries parked in local gateways. You should also ensure they know that the sound of horses moving at night, away from their usual fields, is suspicious. “Finally,” adds Gina, “always remember to thank neighbours if they do report anything to you, even if it turns out to be a false alarm.”