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Rural Policing


Every year horses, ponies and equestrian equipment worth thousands of pounds are stolen across the country.Horses


Thieves can also target stables and other rural premises where they know security may not be so tight and where it is less likely that someone will be around. They know that there is a strong possibility that property is not marked and cannot be identified. However, there are a number of steps you can take to help protect your property including:

  • Identifying your horses through Freezemarking and Microchipping
  • Ensuring your tack and rugs are post coded, tagged, engraved or chemically marked - a tack marking service is available through Hertfordshire Constabulary.
  • Making sure tack rooms are securely locked with a five-lever mortice lock to comply with insurance policies.
  • Ensuring gates are padlocked (where appropriate) and have anti-lift locks.
  • Taking photographs of your property and registering the details onto: Web Link - if your lost or stolen property is then recovered, it is more likely to be returned to you.

Remember: Mark it – Stamp it – Chip it – Code it or Lose it!

HorsesProtecting your horse can be done in several ways:

Freeze Marking

The horse is permanently marked on the saddle patch or shoulder with a unique number and registration papers are issued to the owner.

Hoof Branding

Farriers can brand your postcode onto horses’ hooves – this will require periodic renewal as the hoof grows.


A tiny chip containing as unique number is implanted into the horses’ neck. A scanner then reads the chip and identifies the number that can be cross-referenced against a database. The chip companies can notify vets, livestock sales and abattoirs of the theft.

Horse Passports

Horse passports were established in 2003 requiring owners to obtain a passport for each equine animal - whether that is a horse, pony, mule, donkey and even a zebra!

If your horse does not have a passport then you should apply now.  If you have purchased a horse that already has a passport, then you should register your ownership within 30 days. Horses


Advice on loaning your horse

Never put horses on loan without a written agreement. Rogue dealers can prey on trusting owners. Many horses are sent for slaughter or sold on to unsuitable people. Web Link Get advice and a loan agreement form from the British Horse Society web pages by clicking here.

Horse box / trailer security

Try and park your horse box / trailer in a well-lit area where you can keep an eye on it. Ensure that all doors and ramps are secure and use wheel clamps and hitch locks where possible. Consider alarms and immobilisers.

When at events, ensure your vehicle is secure while you are away. You can also put your postcode on the trailer roof and some owners even fit a tracker system to assist recovery if stolen.

Stable yard security


  • Keep hedges, gates and fences in good repair to aid security and visibility.
  • Refrain from leaving head collars and lead ropes in fields that thieves could use to remove horses.
  • Display signs warning thieves that your tack and horses are security marked.
  • Introduce yourselves to neighbouring properties who can keep an eye on your horses and stables when you are not there.
  • Keep your yard tidy so that you can instantly see if anything is missing.
  • Saddles and bridles should be locked to their racks.


Useful contacts:


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