Equestrian Needs Ltd


Your horse

  • Keep a detailed description, including up to date photos of your horse all year around. Take close ups of any unique markings and scars and photograph your horse from all angles.
  • Permanently mark your horse such as freeze branding or microchipping. Ensure the registration details are kept up to date.
  • Know your horse, have they suddenly become wary or defensive? Are they staying in the corner? Are they lethargic or thirsty or showing other signs of being drugged?
  • Check for unexplained injuries such as rope burns around the neck or legs.
  • Don’t leave head collars on or hanging over gates.


  • Keep your passport safe, whilst it is not proof of ownership, a horse cannot be legally sold without one.
  • Establish a “proof of ownership file” including any receipts, insurance details, registration papers etc which can be easily found should your horse be stolen.


  • Avoid keeping horses in isolated yards. Theft is reduced if thieves have to pass a house to gain access.
  • Lock your trailer's hitch. Thieves can hitch your trailer, load your horse and drive off.
  • Lock away yard equipment, forks and shovels can be used as weapons and your wheelbarrow can be used to carry away your belongings.

Secure boundaries

  • Check fencing carefully for any changes. Lock gates and reverse the top hinge on the gate to make it impossible to lift off.
  • Consider fitting alarms, motion sensors or CCTV and display signs that advertise that your property has been security marked.
  • Keep tack rooms locked and stables secure.
  • Don’t keep trailers and lorries parked in the same place for long periods, move them regularly.
  • Dogs may act as a deterrent but may also be subject to theft or harm.
  • An “escaped” horse may be a sign of attempted theft, a difficult to load horse may be set free.

Be vigilant

  • Check horses at least twice daily but vary visit times, liaise with other horse owners to ensure horses are monitored regularly throughout the day.
  • Be aware of your surroundings so you quickly notice if things are wrong or missing
  • Note potential livery enquiries or any interest expressed in your premises. Challenge strangers but don’t put yourself at risk.
  • Foster good relations with your neighbours. Watch for unfamiliar lorries and trailers parked in gateways or laybys and keep details of registration numbers.
  • Join your local Horsewatch Scheme or get together with other horse carers and start your own.

Social media

  • Avoid announcing when you will be away from your horse or yard at competitions etc.
  • Don’t share details of expensive tack or new transport online.
  • Don’t share details of routines or complain about activities at a yard, much information can be gleaned from casual conversation.

Selling your horse

  • Don’t publish your address and avoid websites which map your location automatically
  • Advertisements may be scanned for potential theft and quick bargains or urgently needing sold may attract unwanted attention.
  • If you yard is isolated or very rural, arrange for viewings at your local equestrian centre or livery yard.
  • Avoid unaccompanied viewings where your attention on may be diverted whilst potential “buyers” check out the stables or other horses.

Avoid buying a stolen horse

  • Generally stolen horses will not be sold through a sales ring but may be sold outside the ring perhaps from an unmarked lorry.
  • If the horse is freeze marked, check the registration to ensure it hasn’t been stolen.
  • Horses are often sold for only a fraction of their value, if it is too good to be true, it probably isn’t!
  • Ensure the passport description matches the horse being sold.

If you have been a victim

  • Write down the details of the incident immediately, your memory will fade and important details may be missed when you report to the police.
  • Prepare details of your horse to circulate.
  • Contact the freeze branding or microchip registration companies.
  • Contact your insurance company.
  • Add your details to our Stolen Horse Section
  • Share the details on social media.
  • Other helpful organisations include your local Horsewatch, horse sales, ferry ports, slaughter houses, charities and welfare organisations.

You can download this information in the attached document

Avoiding Horse Theft
Estimated Size: 281KB

Last Updated: September 2013