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Tack Identiciation/Anti-Theft

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  • Tack Identiciation/Anti-Theft

    I just bought my first nice saddle, and after reading the "Missing Cooler" thread I've become a little paranoid. What steps can someone take to make sure a saddle can be identified as theirs if it goes missing? I am very careful with it, but I've learned the hard way that if someone is really determined to get something, they will get it. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  • #2
    Nicer saddles usually have a serial number or can have one applied in a hidden place. Writing down that info, photographing all aspects, and even putting your name on gear would help when filing a police report and searching local auctions and pawn shops. As far as I know, there isn't a "LoJack" service for tack though. Keeping it in your home, or in a tack locker under lock and key is also dissuades impluse theft, but as always a locked door only keeps a (semi)honest man out.


    • #3
      I put my initials on mine in felt pen on the underside, quite obvious if you turn it over and look for it. Could be obliterated by somebody else with a felt pen of course. There are branding kits for a more permanent mark, which I don't have, but I would get if I had a multi-thousand dollar saddle. Copy the serial number, photograph it from all angles and note any marks, discolorations or scars. The information would be of use if the saddle were to be destroyed and you needed to make a claim on any insurance as well.
      Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
      Incredible Invisible


      • #4
        Here in TX saddle theft is a big deal and very popular! Thieves just love to grab saddles out of beds of trucks (why would you keep it there in the 1st place?!?! ) and out of trailers!

        The police around here and the Rangers suggest that you etch your name and driver's license number under one of flaps. All of my saddles have:

        My name (full name)
        State of residence
        TX DL # (drivers license #)
        phone number (with area code)

        That way IF any of my saddles are stolen,(IF they can find them, and IF they can get to them), the police will easily be able to identify my tack and send out a bulletin to all sale barns and tack auctions, pawn shops, etc etc

        ETA: Thanks to pinkdaisy for reminding me that all of my saddle have name plates except my cutting saddle
        RIP Kid Gloves (Holly) 1992 TBxHanv CCI*** mare.
        New mare: Miss Bunny Express (Missy) 1995 AQHA Jumper mare.


        • #5
          I had a thread a few months ago-- my tack was stolen right out of the tack room. They cleaned out our entire tack room.
          They recovered a lot of stuff (not mine) and my BO's saddle had a name plate on it, so it was easily identifiable. Some of my saddles were sold immediately (that's what you get for having nice stuff). We think one of our saddles was mistakenly claimed by someone else (several barns were hit) but we had no way to identify it.

          -Put a nameplate on it. These guys were stupid enough to leave the nameplates on.
          -www.Tacktrac.com has a microchip system that you can do yourself. As far as I know, they don't have GPS qualities, and someone would have to know it was there (like a tack shop that had a scanner) but it's an investment I would make.
          -I have a little charm on my D-ring with my first initial on it-- like a spur charm.
          -Also, take pictures of everything. Get pics from every angle. You want to have evidence of every mark, discoloration or scratch on it.
          -My home owners policy covered my tack (blanket policy-- not all are the same though!), but we had a long process of valuing the items, etc. So for a few extra dollars a year, you can add your saddle to your policy and it will be covered. Should you ever be in the unfortunate situation to have your tack stolen, you should be able to replace it, minus a deductible (mine was $1000). Also applies to renter's insurance. I got the full NEW value of my tack, not the used value.

          I recommend taking complete inventory of everything you have, not JUST the saddle. What if someone took your trunk? Think of all the bottles, medicine, boots and wraps you have. Probably not expensive to buy one at a time, but when you add it up, you have huge value in your trunk. I think items for insurance have to have $1000 value to add them to the policy individually, but you should at least know what you have. I had to figure out what all was stolen... I didn't know if I had 3 bridles or 4 at the barn or if that 4th one was at home in storage somewhere. I forgot about the draw reins that were on my bridle hook. I had to figure out how many saddle pads were taken, how many girths. I didn't have any idea. It took weeks to figure out what all was taken and we're still not entirely sure. It's a pain, but take pictures of everything, label everything with your name, and write down an inventory of the contents of your trunk. It will suck to replace everything, but at least you can claim the appropriate amount. My insurance company was amazing and actually gave us more money than we claimed. I was able to replace everything easily with the money they gave me, and even splurged on some Sprenger irons.

          One last thing-- LOCK EVERYTHING UP! I know it's a PITA to lock your saddle up when you have a saddle rack in a tack room-- and everyone thinks it won't happen to them. DO IT. If you can't put it in a locker or your trunk, consider keeping it at home. I have mine in a locker now. Can't convince BO to lock the tack room (this is a different barn than they were stolen from). I think someone used to make a locking saddle rack but I can't find it now...

          Does that answer your question? Guess I got a little sidetracked...


          • #6
            Mark both the leather and the metal of the stirrup leather keepers since it will make it even harder for a thief to remove or hide the markings.

            A stamp set like this works on metal and also will work on leather


            As someone who works in law enforcement, the best marking you can do for an ID on anything you own is going to be your drivers license number (or for youngsters who don't have one yet, use mom's or dad's) Do not use your Social Security #!!! For years they used to say to use that, thankfully they stopped. All that does is open you up to ID theft and the Police have no easy way to access who's number that is unlike the drivers license.

            The format you want is going to be your 2 letter state id then DL# then the number so it should look like this (I'm in Connecticut so CT for me)

            CT DL# 12345678

            Any police department can look at that and know exactly what it is and run it to get your name and address.

            Make sure to put it on multiple spots on the saddle including at least one fairly obscure hidden spot.

            Hope this helps!
            "You are under arrest for operating your mouth under the influence of
            ignorance!" Officer Beck


            • #7
              Get lousy tack in awful colors for everyday use. Keep the good stuff locked up somewhere else for show.
              "Uh, if you're going to try that, shouldn't you unplug it first?"


              • #8
                Mine has the tack track ID in it.. Need ot work on locking it up though.. I really want a locking tack cabinet.
                ___._/> I don't suffer from insanity.. I enjoy every
                ____/ minute of it! Member stick horse art lovers
                ';;;;;;; clique
                //__\\<-- Don't feed the llama!


                • #9
                  Electric engraving tools are inexpensive and easy to use. They're perfect for the stirrup bars.
                  The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                  Winston Churchill


                  • #10
                    We used to make our own 'brands' out of paperclips. Weird I know...

                    You just bent the paperclip into your initials, then heated it with a lighter then burned it on the panel under the flap. We did it under the crown piece of our bridles as well. I'm sure a proper craft brand would look much better but the brand 'a la paperclip' worked ok in pony club days.


                    • #11
                      I really like the DL# idea as a means of identification, but that will really only work if you will be staying in the area for a while. I've had a Georgia DL for about a year now (moved from Iowa), and I'm looking to change that to a probably an NY or TX license before 2009 is up.

                      These are all some really great ideas!
                      If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
                      Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous


                      • #12
                        My Tad Coffin came with an ID Chip in it (I think it's Tack Track?).

                        I have had lots of clearly labeled/marked tack stolen at horse shows. It usually walks off when I have more then one horse in a class and I'm riding/showing one while my groom is walking my next horse up to the ring. Very frustrating since apparently no amount of brass nameplates and monogramming works.


                        • #13
                          The best I have seen is when it's sill obvious when you are riding. Kind of makes no one want to buy it and they can't pass it off as theirs. An initial stamp works well. I'm still getting the nerve up, though...


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Rienzi View Post
                            Get lousy tack in awful colors for everyday use. Keep the good stuff locked up somewhere else for show.
                            You've got that backwards. The good stuff walks off AT shows, when you leave it unlocked "just for a minute". Though I have located my helmet doing an up-down in the arena before .
                            Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                            Incredible Invisible


                            • #15
                              The better it's marked, it DISCOURAGES theft..

                              Yes the better it's marked, like someone said maybe even have a brand of your initials made to brand your saddle, kind of like Pessoa's say Pessoa on them, seen even when riding in the saddle.
                              BUT, DON'T forget your trailer too, A lot of people put a lock on their trailer when it's parked for days on end, ANY decent thief is gonna have tools to get thru any lock, bolt cutters, hacksaw, torch, etc, and will be gone within minutes. How many police officers would know the difference between a 2 horse Tracer, and a 4 horse Campbell Coach? But if your trailer has your farm name on it, that takes HOURS to remove and much harder to hide going down the road. Imagine how many people can be on the lookout for a trailer that says "XYZ STABLES, ANYTOWN, USA" in 6+" letters on the each side...
                              " iCOTH " window/bumper stickers. Wood Routed Stall and Farm Signs


                              • #16
                                These should help




                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by grandprixjump View Post
                                  Yes the better it's marked, like someone said maybe even have a brand of your initials made to brand your saddle, kind of like Pessoa's say Pessoa on them, seen even when riding in the saddle.
                                  BUT, DON'T forget your trailer too, A lot of people put a lock on their trailer when it's parked for days on end, ANY decent thief is gonna have tools to get thru any lock, bolt cutters, hacksaw, torch, etc, and will be gone within minutes. How many police officers would know the difference between a 2 horse Tracer, and a 4 horse Campbell Coach? But if your trailer has your farm name on it, that takes HOURS to remove and much harder to hide going down the road. Imagine how many people can be on the lookout for a trailer that says "XYZ STABLES, ANYTOWN, USA" in 6+" letters on the each side...

                                  Shows are the most important place to keep your stuff locked up! At shows where you are stabled, you have a place to keep your stuff, but at local shows, it's amazing how many people just leave their stuff beside the trailer or beside the ring. If it's not on my horse, it's locked in the trailer or the truck.
                                  I agree with the trailer! So many of them look exactly alike! (Of course, I have a 30+ year old trailer that is a strange shade of blue... not sure anyone would want it!) If someone wants your trailer, no matter what kind of locks you have on it, they are going to get it. But if you have lettering painted on, (not just magnetic! they can take that off!) they will be less like to take it and it will be more likely to be found if they do.
                                  Getting a little off topic, but there is this boot-type lock http://www.trailerlock.com/ and there are coupler locks as well.


                                  • #18
                                    That's what I was looking for! Glad someone still makes them!