Monday, 17 December 2012

Guest Post; Where's Your Tack Tonight?

Today I have a guest post from Easy2Insure, an independent insurance broker with access to a variety of horsebox policies providing insurance for all types of horseboxes including motorised horseboxes and trailers.  Visit us their website to find out more about their horsebox insurance that's right for you, your horse and your budget.

Whether you’re at a show or at home, there’s always a chance that thieves could strike without warning. With rural crime on the rise, even being out in the countryside is no guarantee that your tack room and everything in it is safe. So do you know where your tack is tonight? Let’s look at tack security at home and away.

Why is tack a target?

In the modern age anything that isn’t nailed down (and even some things that are!) is a potential target for thieves. Because tack is high value and easily transportable (you can quite literally carry it away), it is becoming a favourite target for thieves. Tack is also reasonably generic, and it can be very difficult to prove ownership of a standard saddle, for example, unless it has some particular distinguishing marks. So it’s easy to sell on without ‘too many questions’ being asked…

There are two types of thieves – opportunist thieves who will see an unattended item and simply grab it, and more organised gangs who may plan the robbery beforehand. Opportunistic thieves are more likely to strike at shows and events, while the more organised (and often more dangerous) gangs target remote locations such as livery stables, yards and farms.

Home security

This is probably the easiest to scenario to deal with, as there is much more you can do to protect your tack and possessions at home than when you’re at a show.
Locks – It may seem obvious, but even if your nearest neighbour is five miles away, fit a lock to your tack-room door. Make sure those locks are strong enough to withstand a sustained and determined attack by a thief.
Alarms – Silent alarms are probably the most effective, as they will activate a secondary alarm in your property, allowing you to contact the Police while the thieves are still in situ, thus giving them a better chance of catching the thieves ‘in the act’.
Cameras – Security systems that include motion-sensitive cameras are now very reasonably priced and make a worthwhile investment, particularly if your tack is expensive, custom-made or professional standard.
Insurance – Even large items such as horse boxes can be at risk, so make sure you have horse box insurance. This will also often cover any tack that is stored in the box, and give you some peace of mind that you won’t be facing a big bill if things go missing!
Geese! – One of the best alarm systems you can have is couple of geese living in the yard (the geese at a yard we used to ride in would attack anyone who wasn’t wearing riding boots!).

At a show

Security at a show is much more complicated, as there will be times when your tack is left unattended, even for a brief moment while you dash to the tea hut! This is where opportunist thieves strike, so make life difficult for them.

Lock it up – If you’re lucky enough to have a horse box with a lockable tack storage area, then make sure you use it! Again, as with home locks, choose padlocks that are going to give thieves a problem (circular padlocks are much harder to open using bolt cutters than traditional style padlocks).
Mark your tack – this won’t prevent it from being stolen, but if you use security markers to mark your tack then it may ensure that it gets back to you if the Police recover it later. Make sure you have a photographic record of all tack, especially saddles.
Don’t leave tack in plain sight – In the same way that you wouldn’t leave your handbag on the passenger seat of your car, try not to leave high-ticket items in plain sight. Remove the temptation and you lessen the chances of being a victim of theft.
Insurance on the go – Check with your specialist insurance broker to see if your horse box insurance covers your tack whilst at a show. Again, it won’t stop your tack being stolen, but it will make it financially much easier to replace!

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