A Guide to Secure Tack Storage

A Guide to Secure Tack Storage

For equestrian individuals, professionals or riding schools, the tack room is the place where all saddles, bridles and other horse equipment are stored. This also makes it a potential treasure trove for those looking to steal and sell on these valuable assets. 

This is why ensuring the safety and security of your tack room or storage area is paramount. In this article, we will outline some key considerations to keep your tack safe from theft and damage, providing you peace of mind for your equipment. 

Access Control:

For some equestrian establishments, it is good practice to implement strict access control measures to limit entry to authorised members of staff only. Consider installing secure locks with access codes or key card/key fob systems on both entrance gates and tack rooms. Restricting access to staff limits other people seeing what assets you have and will deter potential thieves. However, this is not practical in many establishments such as livery yards, so attention needs to be turned to keeping the tack room securely locked with locks with access codes and keeping gates locked overnight. For private horse owners, the best practice is to try to make every building as inaccessible as possible and keep all doors securely locked. Try to keep all access gates locked when you aren’t there and as much as possible stored out of sight. NB: Some insurance policies specify the type of lock required for theft cover to apply, so please check what your policy requires.

Surveillance Systems:

For commercial equestrian yards: Install surveillance cameras strategically within the tack room, as well as on any entrances and exits to the room. Visible cameras act as a deterrent, especially as modern cameras have lights which come on when their sensors are triggered.  Hidden cameras offer additional security and a good recording system is a must. Regularly check and maintain the surveillance system to ensure optimal functionality.

For private yards: it may not be practical to install CCTV but it is worth considering ‘dummy’ systems and appropriate signage to act as a deterrent.

Adequate Lighting:

For the larger establishments, well-lit tack rooms and yards discourage unauthorised access and provide a clear view of the surroundings. You could install motion-activated lights to enhance security during off-hours, however, for smaller yards, this may be impractical due to a lack of electricity, cost or horses activating the motion sensors at night. Adequate lighting not only deters theft but also helps prevent accidents and damage.

Inventory Management:

Maintain a comprehensive inventory of all tack and equipment stored in the tack room. Regularly update the inventory list, including descriptions, serial numbers, and photographs. This documentation can be invaluable in the event of theft, as it will help authorities identify you as the original owner of the tack, ensuring it is returned to you if it is recovered. It also assists you in keeping track of the total value of goods that you have and making sure you have a sufficient limit on your tack cover. It is a sad fact that often it is only after a theft has occurred that people realise the replacement cost far exceeds the limit of insurance they have purchased. 

Secure Tack Storage Solutions:

Whatever your circumstances, invest in the most secure storage solutions you can afford/arrange within your tack room, such as lockable cabinets for saddles and bridles. Choose materials that are resistant to tampering and provide an additional layer of protection for your tack. In the event that your tack room is broken into, this additional layer of security will slow down any theft attempt and may mean not as much is taken. On external doors use coach bolts so that the door furniture can’t just be undone and, if using them, use padlocks that are unlikely to be easily cut through.

Alarm Systems:

One of the best preventative measures includes Installing a reliable alarm system that triggers alerts for unauthorised access or tampering. Choose systems that can be integrated with central monitoring stations for swift response in case of an emergency, and make sure the alarm can be triggered in the event of door or window tampering. 

Staff Training:

Educate all staff members on the importance of tack room security. Establish clear protocols for entering and exiting the tack room, ensuring that everyone understands their role in maintaining a secure environment. For example, don’t leave the tack room door open, even if you will be back in a few minutes. 

Routine Checks:

Implement a routine checking system for additional tack room security. This includes regular inspections of locks, surveillance equipment, and the overall condition of the room. Promptly address any issues or vulnerabilities that are identified during these checks.

External Security Measures:

For the larger equestrian properties, consider external security measures such as perimeter fencing, security personnel, or even equine-friendly guard animals. These measures add an extra layer of protection and deter potential intruders. Keep in mind that gates and fences alone don’t constitute security, as people can (and have been known to) lift equipment such as carriages over gates/fences.

Horse boxes and trailers aren’t secure buildings, as both are moveable; and it is not unknown for them to be stolen with tack or equipment inside.

Tack & Saddlery Insurance Coverage:

Ensure that your tack and equipment are insured against theft and damage. At Carriagehouse Insurance, we offer bespoke insurance for Carriages and Harness, to help in the event that your equipment is stolen or damaged. We can insure tack so long as it is added to our Horse Insurance or a Carriage and Harness Policy. Make sure to regularly review and update your coverage concerning the amount insured or value if your tack changes. 

A secure tack room is the linchpin of equine care and management. By implementing a combination of access control, surveillance, secure storage, and vigilant staff training, you can significantly reduce the risk of theft and damage to your valuable tack and equipment. Remember, a proactive approach to tack room security not only safeguards your investments but also contributes to the overall safety and well-being of your equine partners.
If you are unsure what measures need to be taken to comply with your insurance policy, simply contact us, and we will be happy to talk through our recommended safety measures.