Protecting my horse-people with trailer outside my paddock at night
Today, my neighbor told me that she saw two people in my paddock at about two in the morning and a horse trailer parked on the road next to the paddock.
Paddock is located right next to the road, and horse is in/out of his barn 24/7/. Paddock is sand, about 1/4 acre. I have a cable lock on the front gate that people can squeeze through, but a horse cannot. I have a feeling, without that lock, my horse would not be around this morning.
I called the police, and they will keep an eye on the property. I bought a u-type bike lock to put on the gate so that people can no longer squeeze through. I bought locks for all of the other gates. I have a spot on the barn. I may add one to the road area. My bedroom looks out on the paddock, and I wake up when the spot goes on, but I had the shade drawn last night. I'll keep it open in the future.
Any other good ideas. I have heard the horror stories of stealing horses to sell for meat. Murphy is only 15.2 and a bit, but weighs in at 1000 pounds.
Can you attach surveillance cameras to the area? For instance, a low cost security camera system or camera hunters use that are triggered with motion? If so, make sure to post "smile, you're on camera" signs.
Even just the "security camera" signs alone might be a deterrant.
In addition to the suggestions offered, I would electrify the fence in such a way that the gate cannot be opened without turning off the power. Heck, I'd electrify the entire gate, not just a strand on top of it!
And I'd install motion lights by every possible entrance to the property and paddock.
HOLYSH!T!!!! was it a white ford truck? last year a truck with that description was seen with stolen trailers in our area and in pa.
this is so scary--my barn is next to the road too, and i have a double fenced
barnyard and security light so i can see the horses anytime from my bedroom window.
i'd also add a lot of debris to the gate area, leave halters off, and get a yard dog for sure.
i'm stunned this is happening so close to me.
Can you move your horse for a week or so? If not I would block the gate as suggested. They can cut through wire if your fencing is as such so be aware of that too. Honestly if I were you I would camp out by the barn for a few nights with a gun. If they are wanting to steal him they will give up after a few days.
I had a friend a few years ago who had her horse stolen and it was an absolute nightmare!!! Unbelievably she found the mare two years later safe and sound but it usually doesn't work out that way.
RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
RIP San Lena Peppy
May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010
Holy Crap!!! Horse thieves are almost as low as a child molesters in my book. There are motion activated alarms and cameras...if I were you I'd be looking into them. I'd be electrifing every part of the fence and gate so that anyone wanting to come in uninvited would get a nasty surprise and I'd get a hitch lock for my trailer and move it to a less accessible spot on the property. Locks and chains and a big ugly, loud yard dog are your friends.
"My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."
The horrified horse owner part of me suggest that you sit outside with a shotgun. But of course, responsible grown ups don't make such suggestions so forget I said anything.
The responsible grown up in me wonders if a driveway alarm might work for you. You can get them on-line.
You may want to consult a company like ADT.
Signage, varying your routine, (they might be watching your place and noting your comings and goings) blocking access to the gate (not to your home in case an ambulance or fire truck needs to get in), advising neighbors to be on the lookout and to call 911 if they see anything suspicious, and to jot down descriptions and tag numbers.
Also, think about a permanent ID on your horse. Perhaps consult your vet on branding, microchips, anything that might identify your horse if the worst happens (God forbid)
Trailer hitch lock, padlocks on gates, you can get solar powered motion detector lights and place them anywhere you want.
Horse is heavy, so he has the 24/7 in/out routine. Also 18 years old and a retired OTTB, so permanently tattooed. I will look into the driveway alarm. I still cannot believe that I need to deal with this in my neck of the woods.
I really appreciate the suggestions. We are moving our trailer to block on gate so that it cannot open and lots of heavy trash cans to block another. The road gates will be sealed with Kryptonite locks. Not to mention my bedroom window is about 100 feet away.
And JSwan. For the first time in our lives (ok the second after my daughters started to date), my husband and I are wishing that we had a shotgun.
If your house and barn are not too far apart, something easy, inexpensive and quick is to get an intercom system. My barn is ~200' from the house and I have a monitor in the barn and 4 receivers in the house in the rooms I frequent the most.
Baby monitors work as well.
Do be careful though blocking that gate if that is the ONLY way, other than to go into the stall/barn, to get into and out of that paddock. Think about the distinct possibility of fire in the barn. The only way you could get your horse out is thru a gate that's blocked! Not good. If you want to block it, just use a few rocks or rails but forget parking the horse trailer there.
Speaking of horse trailer, put a lock on the hitch so no one can back up to it and pull away.
Back in my day, we didn't have as many warning labels because people weren't so dang stupid!