As the economy gets flushed further down the tubes, people will continue to find new ways to put food on the table. One of those ways, as it turns out, is horse, trailer, and tack theft right from your barn.
As 9News out of Denver reported:
Dozens of farms have been hit in the past few months. Many victims have seen their cars broken into, and in another incident, a man stole a $25,000 trailer.Source
This is going to be a bigger problem going forward, and even in the past year in our area, there was a string of horse trailer thefts. Even our local Pony Club chapter’s horse trailer was stolen and apparently parted out.
It pays dividends to figure out how to protect your barn, your animals, and any associated equipment before it’s too late. While every situation and barn is set up differently, we have put together a list of ideas to help you figure out how to protect yourself.
Farm Security System
At the bare minimum, it’s a good idea to have a few cameras set up at various points throughout your farm. Setting up a few security cameras probably has one of the biggest returns on your investment, and then you’ll be able to give the feed to the police so they can get your stuff back to you.
Get creative. Don’t just stick the camera in the obvious places by outlets. The last thing you want is for a smart thief to disable your camera so you have no proof.
Find a tree, a fence post, or anywhere else that a determined thief may not think about checking. That way, you can at least share that video coverage with the police so they can start their investigation.
Technology has come a long way and there are motion-activated cameras that are battery or solar power that also just happen to be waterproof.
Here are some good options for security cameras on Amazon.
Any of your roads in or out should be locked with a gate. Even the slightest amount of security can be a deterrent to a potential thief who may, in turn, look for an easier target.
Anyone who needs the code or key to get in should have it, but everyone needs to understand that they cannot give that information out to others.
If you have a gate, keep it closed and locked when you’re not there. If you don’t have a gate, it’s a good idea to think about putting one in, even if it is manually operated.
Behind your locked gates, should also be locked tack rooms, feed rooms, and any other room you may have inside your building. Because the truth is, locked gates can be defeated very easily on foot.
You don’t want the stuff you keep inside of your building, like your expensive saddles, stolen either. Everything should be secured to the highest degree possible.
Horse Trailer Coupler Lock
Keeping up with the “keep it locked” theme, we begin to move on to locking your trailer’s hitch coupler. These things aren’t impenetrable, but they can be a deterrent for an unprepared thief.
In the spirit of trying to not get your horse trailer stolen, this is a very low price point for keeping your trailer safe. I recommend every trailer have one of these on it regardless of where you keep your trailer because trailers are easy enough for a thief to take.
You can find the above-mentioned lock on Amazon.
GPS Tracker For Horse Trailer
Stepping it up a notch for horse trailer security is installing a GPS tracker in an inconspicuous spot somewhere on your trailer. I’m going to admit that I don’t have one of these installed and don’t have any specific ones to recommend to you.
Amazon does have several of these that you can look into, and I strongly suggest it. It is on my short list of things to do.
A Warning for Potential Thieves
Lastly, I just want to put this out there for any thieves willing to do some research on stealing horses.
Yes, horses can be worth a lot of money. But equestrians are not stupid, and most of us who have been doing this for a while wouldn’t touch a horse without the proper paperwork. Meaning, the horse you stole may be worth $50,000, but you’ll never see it because you can’t prove what you have.
Also, every horse, much like human beings, has unique markings.
Our Thoroughbred, for example, has a white sock with black patterning inside it. Meaning that if we put out an SOS in the extremely small horse world that our big guy went missing, you won’t get far because we’d all be looking for a horse with a white sock and black dots inside it.
Don’t steal our horses. It’s that simple.
The above tips don’t just help the weary barn owner from having their beloved pet or trailer stolen, but also from other forms of vandalism.
About two years ago, there was a string of barn fires that were eventually linked to arson. I can’t remember if the arsonist was ever caught, but being able to protect your barn from this, or any, type of vandalism is beneficial.
Taking the above steps should help minimize theft and vandalism to at least some degree. Make sure you take these steps now, to protect your barn.