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Protecting my horse-people with trailer outside my paddock at night

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  • 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.

    I am freaked.

  • #2
    Ask you neighbor to call you if she ever sees anything like that again.
    Hindsight bad, foresight good.


    • #3
      Do you have a dog? A large dog can be a big deterrent to folks that are up to no good. I have a pit bull, a largish mutt and a catahoula. All three are really sweet but look intimidating.
      I'm a second hand Vegan. Cows eat grass. I eat cows.


      • #4
        omg so scary.

        why didn't neighbor CALL you?
        Jazz- 4.9.01 OTTB, loved since 12.6.09
        Skip- 3.3.91 APHA, i miss you buddy


        • Original Poster

          I told neighbor to call in the future. It was 2 am, and she felt funny about waking me up. Of course, they are going out of town for a week now.

          Dog is a Standard Poodle, and cannot be trusted loose because of the road. He will defend the house, but I don't trust him and the horse together.

          You don't think that these things happen in semi-suburban MA, but the police officer took it very seriously.


          • #6
            Originally posted by skip916 View Post
            omg so scary.

            why didn't neighbor CALL you?
            Tell neighbor to call police and you next time!

            Don't leave a halter on the horse.

            If you don't use the gate frequently, throw some crap in front of it to make it hard to open quietly - like a pile of poles and sheet metal or some metal trash cans full of rocks.

            Good luck!


            • Original Poster

              Horse never has halter on. Good idea about blockading the gate.


              • #8
                Yikes that would freak me out as well. For a small paddock, I am wondering if there is anyway you can rig some kind of alarm system?


                • #9
                  Can you get some kind of driveway announcer that will beep any time someone is close to your driveway?

                  If you have some neighbors with horses, call them and warn them to be alert, they too are possible targets.

                  One of our neighbors called around when someone broke into his tackroom and took all his saddles.


                  • #10
                    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.


                    • #11
                      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.


                      • Original Poster

                        Good suggestions. I am going shopping for battery operated motion detector lights. I have 5' no climb with electric on top, so the only way in and out is the gates. Ugh...

                        I will look into the driveway warning. Problem is the paddock fronts the road for about 100'. I see tire tracks past the paddock on the road, away from the house.


                        • #13
                          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.


                          • Original Poster

                            Neighbor could not see the truck in detail because it was parked further down the road out of range of the spot.

                            My trailer is parked in a way to be easily hitched close to the road. Need to move that too.


                            • #15
                              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


                              • #16
                                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."


                                • #17
                                  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.

                                  Good luck.
                                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                  -Rudyard Kipling


                                  • Original Poster

                                    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.


                                    • #19
                                      It's a sign of the times, IFG.
                                      Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                      Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                      -Rudyard Kipling


                                      • #20
                                        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.

                                        I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.