Protecting Your Icelandic Horse

Brochure #L-5210 from A&M, written by Pete Gibbs.

1. Consider permanently marking your horse using one or more methods, i.e. hot brand, freeze brand, microchip.

2. Photograph horses and keep photos current. No saddles, blankets, leg wraps, etc. Take close-ups of identifying characteristics such as brands permanent scars or white markings.

3. Establish an organized, easy to find proof of ownership file. Registration papers, dated bills of sale, transfers, photos, brand registration certificate, etc.

4. Record the permanent brand with the state or county livestock brand office.

5. Secure barns, corrals, or pens from the road with a good perimeter fence and well-built gates that can be locked.

6. If you plan to build a barn or corral, locate it away from the road. Place facilities beyond your house if at all possible. They are less likely targets if they are more difficult to access and require thieves to pass a house.

7. Manage pasture horses to make theft more difficult. Never leave halters on pastured horses. Do not feed horses close to the road or pasture gate. Keep pasture gates locked. Check on pastured horses regularly and vary the times of your trips.

8. Do not hang halters and lead ropes on the front of stalls, corral gate posts, or anywhere in the open.

9. Permanently identify and lock up expensive tack. Engraving a drivers license number, not social security number, is recommended by law enforcement.

10. Make horse and livestock trailers innacessable, hide them from view and be able to prove ownership.

11. Use signs and warning posters where appropriate. No trespassing signs, security system signs, farm and livestock association membership signs, etc.

12. Use motion sensor lights.

13. Talk to law enforcement authorities about the value of dogs and other animals to deter theft.

14. Keep the activity level up around horses. Vary your routine to make it difficult for thieves to know when you are away, and avoid advertising when you are leaving town.

15. Establish a horse and facilities watch program with other owners in your area.