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Well i joined horse watch on facebook a few weeks ago due to getting into the animals again after a short break. But basicly the new thing is so i heard few months back when i got my pony was.  there was a gang going about  involving 2 groups. Group 1 would be a couple of people walking find a horse they want and plait its mane with 1 plait/or a plait of some sort. Now the 2nd group would come by and see which ones had a plat and nick them seams a feasible way of doing it. the pcso who runs the group said he been to a national meeting and said so far none have been stolen with these plaits in. How true do you thing this is as these plaits are getting closer and noticed that 1 comment was a mile up the road so am getting ready for more security measures  i will keep a hockey stick in the car and keep an eye out for strange happenings. But have any of you people heard about these things or is there any new tricks to watch for?

I dont think anything actualy went missing from fields here, but we we're all made aware of this scam a while ago. Its a sad state of affairs that is going to get worse i'm sure.

i think its more annoying than anything frightens alot of people for nothing
brummie nick

It seems a complicated way of identification, the risk of being seen, surly the modern 'horse thief' would have a mobile phone with which to let the second group know which horse to steal.

youd be suprised how many people will stop at a field gate playing with a horses mane. we see it all the time here, and you never give it a second glance or thought.

Heard the rumour but wonder if its another urban myth? Been around a long time.

Even if this is a 'myth', it's always wise to keep your security high.

We were involved in the start of Horsewatch about 20 years ago, when horses were stolen from the livery yard I was on near Birmingham.

We always thought the yard was safe as houses. The owner (who was scary) lived on site, the gate was locked, the house overlooked the yard, there were dogs and there was only one entrance which was a lane within sight of a busy bypass.

The thieves came one windy and noisy winter night. They'd obviously staked the plac e out. They fed all the horses with the morning feeds left outside their boxes by their owners, put straw on the yard, took rugs off to see which horses were f/marked and took 3, along with 3 arabs from the fields. They'd parked the lorry in the next lane and cut chains with bolt cutters to open the gates, walked the horses across the fields then filled  up with that farmer's red diesel!

The cops were, at first, just interested in giving crime nos because 'you're insured aren't you???!' They soon took it seriously when they saw the owners behaving as if their child had been kidnapped and helped us with lots of local meetings (there had been a spate of horse thefts), security measures etc., and helped a local group set up one of the first Horsewatch groups.

2 horses were seen shortly afterwards in Durham by a horsy cop who wondered why a clipped hunter was rugless. Unfortunately, even though our local cops had faxed info to all forces, by the time he had checked the horses had gone, never to be seen again, although I heard 2 of the arabs were recovered a long time afterwards at a sale thanks to Horsewatch.

If you discover your horse has gone in the morning, chances are it could already be at the other end of the country - how are you ever going to find it without other people keeping their eyes open?

I did hear that the plaiting of manes or tails was a "gypsy" sign of a horse worth pinching. There was a spate of it around here a while ago but i didnt hear of any horses being stolen. We had the last of ours freezemarked at the beginning of the year to keep them safe after finding strange blokes in the field. We havent seen anything else suspicious since, thank heavens


2 horses where plaited again at my daughters small yard last night when it happened before about 3 months ago the police stepped up security,doing a driveby a couple of times a night , when they were informed as the yard down the road lost 6 horses in one night and shut because of it ,the livary owner took it serously as well

just popped on the page and saw this comment what you all think?

I have seen many notices about plaits in manes. I too have also had it happen to my cob. Although i too think you need to be cautious, and of course remove and report, but it is thought by local police in wiltshire it is part of a pagen ritual. Stay vigilant!

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