Keep your tack safe with high- and low-tech options.
A Good, Old-Fashioned Nameplate
Inexpensive and easy to install, a nameplate is one way to deter thieves…but unfortunately, they’re just as easy to take off as they are to take on. Don’t expect a nameplate to make or break your saddle’s safety.
Lock Your Tack Room
Another simple, but often-overlooked step—but one that can deter a thief. Remember, it’s even more important to lock up your tack at shows and other events away from your home barn since you don’t always know who else is there.
Lock it IN Your Tack Room
If you have the option, locking your tack in a trunk is always a good idea–as long as you actually remember to lock it up, which many riders don’t do if they assume the tack door will be locked at night. Accidents happen! So add an additional line of defense with a locked trunk or a lockable saddle rack.
Branding or Stamping
Many saddle brands already have an ID number that allows you to look up the specifications of the saddle—but what about your ID information? An old Pony Club trick is to twist a paper clip into your own individual design, then heat it up with a flame to “brand” your saddle in a way that can’t be removed. Leather stamps that you can find at your local craft store are also an option.
Just make sure to stamp or brand your tack in a place that is inconspicuous, yet will not become worn with wear, like the underside of a bridle’s headstall, or under the saddle flap where your leg won’t rub.
Add a Tracking Tag
A couple years ago, Tad Coffin saddles experimented with a technology called Tack Trac that allowed anyone with a microchip scanner to access information about the saddle and the owner’s contact information, but the system never really became widespread. However, there are plenty of pet GPS tags on the market that will work just as well for your saddle as they will for your wandering hound dog. Personally I have had success with the Tile app. Just make sure to read the instructions and make sure to keep the device charged.
The Saddle Network
The horse world is a close-knit community—and The Saddle Network microchip tag takes advantage of that. It combines a visual theft deterrent with the ability to alert an online network of horse people who may help you if your tack is lost or stolen.
Prices range from $6.95 a month to $499 for a lifetime membership, and they also offer options for retailers and manufacturers.
Got any other ways to protect your tack? Share them in the comments below!