You have invested a lot of money in tack over the years, so keep it safe with these high-tech (and not so high-tech) ideas.
Lights, Cameras, Action!
Automatic motion detection lights around the property will highlight intruders and are often a deterrent in themselves. Install surveillance cameras at building entry points and important areas in the barn such as the tack room. ($20-$300)
High-definition cameras with night-vision and recording capabilities can provide valuable information if a crime occurs. Integrate the system with motion-detection sensors that trigger an alarm and activate a video recorder. Make cameras obvious so criminals know they are under surveillance. Some systems come with a remote-dialer that calls or texts you automatically if triggered. ($45-$2000+)
Lock ‘Er Up
Install a lock on the tack room door; ideally one with pin pad access, especially if there are numerous boarders accessing the room frequently. ($65-$500)
For private stables, the newest generation of smart locks work with Alexa and are voice-controlled using Bluetooth; a sense feature automatically unlocks the bolt as you approach for hands-free entry. ($100-$300)
TackGuard is a small, strong locker built from heavy-duty steel, bolted to the floor and protected by hidden hinges and double security locks – essentially an impermeable vault for up to four saddles. ($1,800-$2,200)
Track Your Tack
Putting a nameplate on your tack doesn’t really deter anyone from stealing it. Instead, consider GPS pet tags and associated downloadable apps. These need to be charged often, however, so you may only want to use them at shows or clinics. There are services such as back2you.com where you can register your saddle for tracking via a small, discrete device which fits on the flap and has a 7-day battery life. ($270)
The company microIDglobal.com provides a pre-loaded syringe with an RFID microchip that can be injected right into the panel and a label indicating the saddle is chipped. ($2)
Lockable saddle racks have an arm which closes down over the top of the saddle which is then secured using a padlock or combination lock ($50). This will not stop an enterprising thief from unscrewing the entire rack from the wall; however, you can purchase wall brackets secured with one-way stainless steel fixing screws which will prevent that.
It’s a Start
One decidedly low-tech option is to make sure signs are posted that indicate the area is under video surveillance (which can’t hurt, even if it isn’t). Don’t put a “Tack Room” sign on the tack room door; it just advertises where all the goodies are. Either leave it blank (or put “Bathroom” on it to confuse thieves!).