Thames Valley Horse Watch Thames Valley Horse Watch
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Tack and Rugs

We recommend making your tack uniquely identifiable as tack which has been marked is far less likely to be stolen as it will be harder for the thief to sell on. If the thief is foolish enough to steal items which can easily be identified it will increase the chances of your property being recovered and the offender facing criminal convictions.

Thames Valley Horsewatch co-ordinators have access to tack marking equipment and are very happy to come to your yard to apply your postcode on all leather, synthetic and metal equipment, you can find your nearest co-ordinator in the Contact Us page.

1Leather saddles are marked with your postcode under the saddle flap.


2Synthetic saddles are marked with an engraver on the stirrup bar.


3Bridles’ are marked on the underside of the head piece.


We would also recommend fitting your saddle/s with a Datatag chip which can be read with a scanner which will show the owners details. A Stud is also supplied to be fitted to the saddle to identify that it contains a Datatag chip. For more information visit where Horsewatch members receive a discount (In process of finding best way to supply a discount code for members).

We recommend storing your tack in a secure area, see advice in Tack Room.

We also recommend marking your rugs to prevent them being stolen, it is not unheard of for rugs to be taken off of horses backs while turned out in their field grazing.

Marking your rugs will help prevent their theft, help safeguard your horse and if they are lost can stop their resale. It will also enable someone to return them to you should they be found.

Even though you think it is just an old summer sheet or turnout, if it’s stolen your loss is the price of a replacement which can easily be hundreds of pounds. Multiply this by all the rugs you keep at the yard and a theft can be a very expensive event.

The majority of rug theft occurs during autumn and early winter when the weather becomes colder. Some people see your rug as a quick solution to their cold horse, especially if you have just bought a nice new one. Others see the ready market in used rugs as a quick profit at your expense .Either way you can come back to a cold wet animal only to find your insurance does not cover rugs.
How to mark them
There are several ways to mark your rugs depending on the type of material used.
For light coloured indoor fabrics a black permanent marker pen is a quick solution.
Turnouts and thick quilted rugs can have your home postcode painted on. A neat way for marking by hand is to draw around a stencil with a ball point pen and just fill in the letters afterwards.
Iron-on lettering can be made from T-shirt transfer sheets sold in stationers. Use the dark material type so you can match or contrast the rug colour. A good bright colour combination will make the postcode easy to see even when the rug is muddy. You can also add a freeze mark to show the horse is protected that way.
Be sure to test that the rug will stand the hot iron needed to seal the transfer to the material, follow the maker’s instructions carefully and only print with an inkjet (a laser printer will melt the transfer).


It is also recommended that you record details of all of your tack, rugs and other equipment including photographs. This can easily be done on our Horsewatch property forms, these are included in our Horsewatch packs which can be requested for free by contacting your local co-coordinator Contact Us. Additional documents can be downloaded and printed off if you visit the Request for Horsewatch packs & documents section of this site.