Tack and Equipment

Why Mark Your Tack?

Marked Tack is harder to sell on and if caught in possession of the tack, the thief is more likely to be able to be prosecuted.

If your saddle gets stolen, and you report it to the Police, it gets logged on the counties system and you have a reference number.  The saddle may leave the county with the thieves.  If the saddle is then found by a different force, they will have no way of tracking that saddle back to our county, however they will check for markings and chips.  If they are unable to prove that the tack has been stolen, they are unable to charge the thieves for its theft and have to hand it back to them.


Options available for tack marking

1.  Stamping - Dorset Police offer tack marking at various venues (including yards) around the county These are advertised both on social media, this website and via the Dorset Alert system which messages you if you sign up to be a member (free). 

In the event of a theft, the postcode will allow any force in the UK to know which county and hopefully reunite the saddle with the owner relatively quickly.  If the saddle is sold on, the new owner can have the saddle restamped and a note made of all markings already on the saddle.

2.  UV Pen - For some synthetic tack, the stamping doesnt work very well.  A UV pen can be used to write the postcode on an area of the saddle it isnt going to get rubbed.  The pens and lights to check are inexpensive.  


3.  SelectDNA/Smartwater -   DNA Forensic marking kits.  www.selectadna.co.uk/     www.smartwater.com/


4.  Microchip -  Microchips for Saddles  www.farmkey.co.uk


What else should i do?

As mentioned, thieves generally want easy money, with least risk of getting caught. 
  • Make it hard to get to.
  • Make it obvious you have security measures in place and your equipment is marked making it more difficult to sell on and a higher risk to be in posession of.
  • Make sure you have a photograph of your equipment or at the very least, note down any saddlers markings and any other markings so you can identify your tack if it is found.

The following advice has been given by the Dorset Crime Prevention Advisor, Debbie Oldfield. 

Buildings within the yard

Ensure buildings are well maintained. Carry out regular checks and look for rusted and broken locks, cracked window glass and rotten frames. Opportunist thieves look for all these features.

If you keep your tack in the yard ensure that it is kept in a secure locked room but do not advertise that it is the tack room.  Invest in good quality locks and padlocks(close-shackle ones are best).

Use coach bolts on hinges, hasp and staples.

Install internal bars on windows.



Keep an up to date inventory of all your tack and equipment including colour, make and security markings together with photographs.



Ideally “Dusk to Dawn” lights should be used as opposed to sensor lights as they give out a low level continuous light.

CCTV needs to be considered carefully as to what you want from the system. Lighting also needs to be taken into consideration when thinking about CCTV.

Alarms are a good deterrent and there are many now on the market that can send text messages to mobile phones or can be linked onto Ipads.


For further security advice please contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team on 101 or if you live in Dorset you can contact your local Crime Prevention Advisor, Debbie Oldfield at Debbie.oldfield@dorset.pnn.police.uk



Electric Fencing 

Theft of electric fencing and batteries is one of the most common equine issues in Dorset.

We recommended that you mark your battery and fencer units and make them distinctive, this can be done by making them a different color or covering them with your postcode with UV paint or pens.

There is now products available that enable you to lock away fencer units and battery inside a metal box which electrifies this box making them harder to steal!   There is also the old trick of burying them of course after you have marked them. This would also be a cost effective way to reduce the chances of them being stolen.