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The tack room

I called the police today.

20 replies

Pixel · 07/10/2009 19:53

I got along the field today to poo-pick in the rain again and my friend's little pony had a plait in his mane. It was very obviously deliberate, two strands of hair about 3" apart, twirled tightly into 'ropes' and then joined together at the bottom with a little plait and a knot. It was a proper knot that you tie (I was a girl guide!), not one you could accidently get in hair.

Well I'm worried now, having read several times on the internet and in magazines etc that horse thieves do this to 'tag' a horse or pony so that they can identify it when they come back in the dark. There was even a warning about it in our local paper about a month ago. I can hardly ring my friend while she is on her much-needed holiday and tell her can I? After all it could be kids (though I think it very unlikely as they would surely do proper long plaits like on human hair if they were messing about.) So I ummed and ahhed and plucked up courage to report it to the police who will hopefully keep an eye open. He is a lovely little pony and his 4 yo rider adores him, and of course there are all our horses there too, lots of cobs and shetlands which are apparently being stolen most often. Arrgh!, wish I could camp at the field with a big rottweiler.

OP posts:
MookySpinge · 07/10/2009 20:07

Yikes, can you move him? What a horrible worry

MookySpinge · 07/10/2009 20:48

Could you put an extra lock on the gate?


MookySpinge · 07/10/2009 20:48

Could you put an extra lock on the gate?


MookySpinge · 07/10/2009 20:49


Owls · 07/10/2009 20:54

That is horrible, so worrying for you. Like Mooky says, any chance you can put an extra chain or lock on the gate? Ooh, I don't know just something to deter them. Not sure you can do much more. Yes they are absolute bastards.

Pixel · 07/10/2009 21:03

There are locks on the gates and houses overlooking two sides of the field. Unfortunately there is also a public footpath that runs all the way round the perimeter and straight down the hill to a secluded slip road just off the flyover. There's not much we can do about someone cutting the fencing and going out that way. It's always worried me but most grazing round here has access to the Downs so nowhere is completely secure.

OP posts:
Pixel · 07/10/2009 21:05

The gate is close to the houses and very well-lit so that's not my main worry anyway. I'm not sure there's much to be gained by extra locks there.

OP posts:
Owls · 07/10/2009 21:25

No, there really is nothing more you can do is there. Arghh, feel for you. Maybe it was kids messing about.

MookySpinge · 08/10/2009 08:27

Hope pony is still there, I woke up in the night thinking about it all.

Pixel · 08/10/2009 15:23

All present and correct this morning, thank goodness! Mind you, it was absolutely chucking it down all last night and pitch black so that could be enough to put anyone off a bit of horse rustling. I must admit I was really worried though. As soon as everyone gets back from their hols I'm going to get the freezemarking organised, we've already put it off for far too long.

OP posts:
Nekabu · 09/10/2009 09:16

Are they freezemarked? If so put up a sign to say so and paint their freezemark on their rugs. If they aren't freezemarked then it would be a good idea to get them done when you can as you're quite right, coloured cobs and Shetlands are the most popular with horse thieves.

Pixel · 09/10/2009 16:31

The shetland is freezemarked and as she is black and never rugged it is always obvious that she is (reading it is another matter, is it a B or an 8?). Our other two are micro-chipped and we have lots of notices up to say so, but we are going to have them freezemarked as well as a double deterrent. Honestly, I'm quite tempted to get their hooves stamped and lips tattooed just to make sure!

OP posts:
StripeyKnickersSpottySocks · 09/10/2009 16:50

Maybe if it was in the local paper then some kids have done it for a "joke"

Nekabu · 12/10/2009 15:18

Freezemarking is by far the easiest as anyone can read it whereas microchips can only be read by a microchip reader. I've checked the freezemark of a horse I was buying at a market as a security measure and would have known by the end of the phone call whether it had been stolen.

iknowitsmadbutiwantit · 28/03/2010 11:09

i have heard about this new worry, but am not overly bothered. My ponies have been turned out for the winter and are pretty scruffy. The welsh pony particularly, often gets these plaits. They are known round here as witches knots. They happen quite naturally, even though they can look quite professional, twisted into ropes and knotted tightly. I have just untangled one which sounds exactly like the one reported here. the end was so well knotted i could barely undo it. She is very hard to catch, and i have no worries that anyone has done this to her. hope this helps put peoples minds at rest. x

MeowImaCatfish · 20/12/2014 14:17

I know it's an old thread, but where is this most likely to happen? Or is it random? There's a caravan park near our yard and worried about gypsies? (Not being racist at all but it's happened in the past near ours and in end turned out to be gypsies :/ xx

Christmashamster · 23/12/2014 21:50

Urban myth about gypsies plaiting a marker plait so they can be stolen later. Surely it would be more logical for someone who saw a horse they intended to steal just to report back 'yes, get the bay gelding with the blue rug on' rather than drawing attention to yourself by doing a plait (none of ours would allow a stranger that near in the first place.).

Leela5 · 27/12/2014 08:42

I can't believe this d chestnut is still worrying people! It's a myth - they are wind plaits (my horse gets them all the time coz he has long mane), police put out communications all the time saying they've never had a confirmed report of horses being stolen following plaits.

MILdesperandum · 28/12/2014 21:26

Never seen these before on horses - but my DD got one in her hair (whispy bit that had fallen out of her pony tail) after playing out on a windy day!

Stillyummy · 31/12/2014 11:57

Take photoes- both sides, front, back, head shot, and close up of any markings of all the horses in the field. That way if the worst happens you have a really up to day photo description to help police find them. I know it is really morbid but so many people forget to do this. I hope all is ok x

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