Horse Watch

Horse Watch LogoHorse watch logo

North Wales Horse Watch has been set up to prevent, reduce and detect equine related crime.

The success of the scheme relies on the dedication of its members. Their commitment to horses provides a basis on which to build a range of measures to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime.

The following information gives general guidance on a whole range of security measures covering horses, tack, trailers, horseboxes and stables. (Pdficon Small Download information leaflet)

Horse Identification
  • Take colour photographs of your horse in summer and winter
  • Take photographs from the side, front and behind
  • Ensure that it is standing correctly as shown in the horse passport
  • If the horse has a particular mark or scar, then photograph that separately, making sure it is clear where on the animal the mark or scar is. Have several prints ready, and save on to a computer for quick circulation if your horse is stolen.
  • Ensure marks and scars and such are shown on a suitable diagram
Security Marking

Horse Watch North Wales offer free tack and equipment security marking to Horse Watch members across North Wales. We are happy to attend Pony clubs, feed merchants, tack stores and liveries.

For further information, please see the information and contact details below.

Have your horse and valuables security marked. Marking your horse and tack deters thieves.

Recognised methods of security markng are:

  • Microchip implant: This is implanted in the horse’s neck. The RSPCA and certain other organisations have transceivers which can detect the signal from the microchip if the horse is stolen.
  • Hoof branding: This involves having your post code branded on your horse’s hooves. You purchase the branding irons and have your farrier apply the brand. It requires periodic renewal as the hoof grows.
  • Freeze marking: This is done humanely by freeze marking a number on the horse’s body (usually on the saddle patch) with chilled irons. This leaves a unique number for life. Records of freeze marked horses are kept and registration papers are issued to owners.
  • SmartWater Forensic Coding System: A colourless forensic liquid that can be used on all your valuables including your horse tack; saddles, stirrups, headgear, harnesses, breastplates.
Horseboxes and Trailers
  • As with other equipment, photograph your horsebox / trailer
  • Consider having your trailer security marked with your post code
  • Personalise your vehicle(s)
  • Ensure vehicles are immobilised when parked, but still available in an emergency
  • Use wheel clamps, hitch locks, car alarms, car immobilisers
  • Park them in a well lit area at night where you can keep an eye on them
  • Modern security devices make it difficult for thieves
Stables and Paddocks
  • Consider installing burglar alarms and security lighting
  • Use substantial padlocks on doors (do not padlock a horse in their stable)
  • Display signs that advertise that your property has been security marked
  • It is good practice to visit paddocks and stables at least twice a day and to vary the times if possible
  • Hedges and fences should be kept in a good state of repair to deny the thief any opportunity to gain access
  • Gates should be padlocked and hinged
  • All saddlery should be security marked. You can have your tack post-coded using a metal punch or engraving tool.
  • It is not advisable to stamp your code on reins and thin bits of leather
  • Do not be tempted to engrave your post code on any bits - this could leave your horse with a sore mouth
  • Photograph your saddlery, especially if it is unusual. This helps with detection of stolen goods
  • Keep a comprehensive list of all your tack. Include all necessary details as this will help identification
  • Stolen tack is difficult to trace without the saddle’s make or identifying numbers

For further information contact Helen Lacey, Horse Watch North Wales Co-ordinator:

If you see anything suspicious report it to the police on 101.
In an emergency dial 999.

Useful Links

Download the Pdficon Small Horse Watch Record Form.