There are many ways to mark or identify your horses so in the awful event a horse is stolen, you have recourse through identification:
- Microchip and register it with the appropriate organization
- Freeze brand the horse
- Hot-iron brand (this is pretty rare today)
- Lip tattoo
- Document natural markings, whorls and scars
Photograph your horses from both sides plus front and back so all markings are documented. Focus close-up images on any identifying features such as scars, branding and white markings.
Retain your dated bill of sale, brand inspection, registration papers for a breed association, Coggins test paperwork, Brand inspection papers, and other documentation that identifies a horse as yours. Include medical information and insurance documents if your horse is insured.
Feed your horses as far from visible roadway areas as possible even if it means less convenience when doing chores.
Install strong perimeter fencing and gates with locks to prevent intruders. When possible, locate your barn far from the road, and even better, locate it behind your house as that is a deterrent to people wanting to access your property to get to your horses.
Install motion-detection lighting around your property. Security cameras and signage were discussed in a previous article and can deter some criminals or assist in identifying the culprit and regaining your horse or property.
Lock up all halters and lead ropes so they aren’t easily accessible to an intruder. Don’t leave a halter on your horses. In other words, make it as hard as possible for them to lead your horse away from your property and to a waiting trailer.
Insure your horse with an equine insurance company. You also should insure as much equipment as is reasonable within your homeowner’s policy.