How to keep your horse safe and your yard crime freeWith the current economic climate making life financially difficult for most people, the dishonest members of the population are turning to crime to fund their lifestyles. Keeping horses has always been seen as an expensive hobby with expensive accessories and thieves have started targeting horse owners to make a quick buck. There are many ways you can help prevent becoming a victim of crime as we highlight below.
Protect Your Horse against crime
Horses are valuable animals and experienced horse thieves can have a horse away in less than 5 minutes. The best way to protect your horse is to make him unappealing to thieves. Make sure your horse is freeze marked or microchipped and place a sign on your horse's stable door or yard to say you have done so. A freezemarked horse is distinctive and thieves will be put off if they think someone might be able to trace the horse. Ensure you have lots of up to date pictures of your horse in case he goes missing and make sure that your horse's passport is up to date.
Protect your yard, equipment and tack againt crime
Make sure that the entrance gate to your yard is secure and padlocked at all times. Gates should have a padlock and chain round them to ensure they cannot be lifted off their hinges. Consider installing floodlights with movement sensors and an alarm on your tack room. Lock away any tools especially wheelbarrows as these are often used by the thieves to make their job easier. If you have the money, the best way to deter thieves is with a high quality CCTV system but unfortunately these don't come cheap.
Never leave your saddles or tack in an unlocked shed as it is just asking to be stolen. This also applies to your car as it is easy to smash a window and grab a saddle in a matter of seconds. Mark your saddles with engraving or a stamp to deter thieves and ensure they can be identified as yours if they are stolen.
Mark your rugs, buckets and headcollars with your postcode to make them less appealing to thieves and ensure they are locked away when not in use.
Protect your horsebox or trailer
Always use a wheel clamp or hitch lock to deter thieves and if possible chain the hitch to something solid. Consider painting your postcode on the roof to enable the police to recognise it from the air. If your horsebox can be registered with datalog make sure your details are up to date. If you have a horsebox, consider installing an alarm and immobiliser to prevent it from being stolen.
Horse Crime Insurance
A good insurance policy will cover your horse, horse box and tack so make sure you are covered and your details are up to date. Shop around for insurance to make sure you get the best price but remember that a low price usually means less cover so ensure that any policy covers everything you need.
National Equine Crime DatabaseThe National Equine Crime Database is an online database where you can register all your horse's equipment and tack as well as your horse box and even your horse itself. Should your horse be stolen, the NECD will notify the police, ports and auction houses to help ensure that your horse cannot be sold on. You can also search the database before you buy anything equestrian to make sure it is not registered as stolen. Their website can be found at http://www.necd.org.uk/
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