Man photographed me & my horses - Should I be worried?

Tackytoe

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Have just moved my boys to a new field about 5 mins walk from the yard, just to try and rest the field we have wrecked throughout winter.

Anyhow, walking them home this evening a car approaching slowed down, wound the window down and the passenger took pictures on his mobile phone, I asked what they were doing and they said something in an Eastern European accent and drove off.

Both horses are quite flashy, a clipped, hogged piebald 15hh cob & bright bay 17.2hh Dutch Warmblood with 4 white stocking and white face, so both a re quite distinctive.

Now they may just have been admiring the horses, but you read so many stories about people spotting horses and then attempting to steal them etc.

They will have seen the field they came from but did not follow me, so will not know where they are kept at night.

I almost do not want to turn them out there again!

Am I just being paranoid?!:(
 
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welshponylover

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No i don't think you are! You are right to find that a bit odd. Maybe he was just a visitor from Europe and was interested in your horses. But be precautios - padlock the field gate, if there is a house near by maybe alert them of it and say what the car looks like if you can remember. Then maybe set up some CCTV in the field if you haven't got it already?
Hope all ok..
 

paddi22

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i have a big overprotective head about anything to do with my horse. i can understand why you would be paranoid. is the field secure and can anyone nearby monitor it?
 

Tackytoe

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The field is padlocked - both ends of the one gate. There is a small events company to one side of the field - Very busy in and out & wouldn't really bat an eyelid if someone pitched up and loaded the horses. Opposite side of the lane are a few cottages, one occupant is a polo player, so horsey and aware of what is going on, but travels so much he is there is fits and starts......

I told my boyfriend and he laughed, looked me up and down in my dirty breeches & knee high (odd) socks and said at least I can be sure they were not photographing me.... Ever supportive!
 

MerrySherryRider

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It is worrying but most likely quite innocent, I've had people asking to take photo's of the horses when I've been out riding, one time in particular a couple of men from from Hungary asked to take pictures to send home as they had never seen a horse like one of mine.
The problem with having fields near a road is that your horses are visible to everyone which I've only once had to do. I was uncomfortable about it and had the horses freezemarked as a deterent.
 

paddi22

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it mightn't be any harm to let the people surrounding the field know the situation so they can keep an eye out. better to be safe than sorry.
 

Firewell

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How odd, did you take the car details as reference? I would perhaps mention in to the local police just in case. I say that because we had a policeman come to our yard recently and ask us if we would report any odd behaving people loitering around, he said this is because there has been an upsurge in horse related thefts around the country and they are trying to prevent things happening.
However I also wouldn't be over worried because to take a picture with you right there is very brazen, you would think that if they planned on nicking your horses they wouldn't make themselves so obvious to you beforehand, they could have been tourists taking horsie photo.
I would perhaps mention it to the police and put up a police 'watch' type sign on the gate to the field (they should give u one if you ask). Just puts off thieves a bit if they know people are being ultra vigalent but then I would put it to the back of my mind. You don't want to worry yourself silly over something that will most likely come to nothing :).
 

StarFell

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Someone did that to me a couple of weeks ago! He was driving towards me and he pulled over on the side of the road, held his phone up as though he was taking a photo, and then drove off when I got right beside him! I was a bit worried...
 

superpony

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Could you have a word with the people in the nearby cottages and ask them to keep an eye out? Just to at least give you a little peace of mind.
 

Tackytoe

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Thanks guys - You've put my mind at rest somewhat!

horserider - I did wonder if they were doing just that, and perhaps laughing that the piebald looked like a cow!

Thanks Firewall, I remember at my last yard we had a police officer visit and leave us with a little booklet to fill in if we saw anything suspicious, that was Hampshire, I am now in Surrey so will call tomorrow to find out if there is an officer assigned to horse related incidents at there was in Hants.......
 

Tackytoe

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Starfell - Horrid isn't it! Made me shiver!

The car was an old people carrier type, Toyota possibly, it was black with those funny one way mirrored windows so you can see out but not in, I will definitely pass it on to the police tomorrow - No harm in doing so.
 

StarFell

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Yeah it's not nice, I rang my OH straight away to tell him when it happened to me, I was on my own too. It was a young lad in a fiesta in my case
 

5379

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Hi,

Definitely let your local police know. In Hants there is Hampshire Horse Watch and in Surrey I think there is something similar called Surrey Action For Equines, it would be worth putting it into Google. Hampshire horse watch usually circulate any suspicious sightings so might be worth letting them know if you can't get hold of a contact in Surrey.

The fact that you spoke to them and noticed them will hopefully put them off coming back.
 

MerrySherryRider

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horserider - I did wonder if they were doing just that, and perhaps laughing that the piebald looked like a cow!
The Hungarian guys were really taken with my h/w piebald cob,said they had never seen a horse like him and wanted to send a picture home.
Its always the hairy boy people want pictures of, never the warmblood or ISH....funny old world.
 

piggyinablanket

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I often randomly take pictures of people with horses, as Im an artist :) I often see horses and the light is perfect, the atmosphere perfect and I will whip my camera out and capture it! I do try to ask people if they mind if they are close enough and I certainly wouldnt be too obvious and 'in your face'. I take pics at shows of horses around boxes, people warming up etc. I try to capture people from the back if possible!
All Im adding is that it 'could' be innocent but perhaps best to be on your guard.
 

Piglet

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Not been paranoid at all I would be especially because of the horses you have, may be worth contacting horsewatch as well :eek:
 

Booboos

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I think you are being paranoind. If someone wanted to steal your horses on the spur of the moment of driving past you, why would they need a photo of them first AND do it in front of you so that you would have warning and their car registration? Sounds like the world's stupidiest thief! Seems much more reasonable to assume he thought your horses were beautiful, cameras are now everywhere on mobile phones and he took a pic.
 

Clippy

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I doubt they were after stealing your horses but there's something a bit creepy about it :(

All I can say to everyone on here is if it happens to you, grab your phone and do the same to them. Even if you don't actually get a pic or if your phone doesn't take them, just hold it up as though you were taking a pic too. See how they like it
 

diet2ride

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Hi, I don't want to play it down... Because you just never know...

But ever since my Hubby has got his IPhone and now an app that takes old style photos I can't get him to stop taking pictures of anything and everything... I wouldn't mind too much but he then posts them to twitter! It's totally harmless in his head.

I just think people have a right to privacy so am always nagging at him about it.
 

mytwofriends

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I doubt they were after stealing your horses but there's something a bit creepy about it :(

All I can say to everyone on here is if it happens to you, grab your phone and do the same to them. Even if you don't actually get a pic or if your phone doesn't take them, just hold it up as though you were taking a pic too. See how they like it
^^^^^ Yep, agree with all this. Good plan! :)
 

Kat

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I often randomly take pictures of people with horses, as Im an artist :) I often see horses and the light is perfect, the atmosphere perfect and I will whip my camera out and capture it! I do try to ask people if they mind if they are close enough and I certainly wouldnt be too obvious and 'in your face'. I take pics at shows of horses around boxes, people warming up etc. I try to capture people from the back if possible!
All Im adding is that it 'could' be innocent but perhaps best to be on your guard.
I was going to post something very similar, as my husband does this too. But it would be unlikely that a mobile phone camera used from a moving car would be good enough to do anything useful with. If it had been a big flash camera then I would have said artist/photographer straight away!

To be honest the sort of picture you get from a mobile phone camera is generally a bit poor, so it isn't likely to be useful for anything. I suspect that the guy was taking a picture to show to his family, possibly because of the horses, but possibly just a nice scene with the horses in the foreground making a lovely english countryside setting.
 

Hippona

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Its always worrying.....but I think we can worry too much sometimes, takes the enjoyment out of horse owning..

I once stormed over to a couple of youngish lasses who were taking photos of my horses.....I felt totaly crap when they said they just wanted a picture for a screensaver for their phone and they thought my horses were beautiful:eek:

All you can do is chain your gates, freezemark your horses and put up signs saying thay freezemarked/microchipped and can be traced and identified.....
 

Tickles

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I used to ride in Hyde Park in London. I'm probably in holiday snaps on every continent now. As far as I know none of the horses have yet been stolen.

Unless you're in a very touristy place or very far from the camera I don't think it is polite for someone to take a picture without asking but it is perfectly legal if you're out and about in public and many people aren't bothered by it.

Hopefully this was just a case of people not understanding their innocent actions could make others uncomfortable.
 

OWLIE185

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In any event just make sure you get your horse freezemarked on it's shoulder. That way in the event of it straying or being stolen it can be easily identified by anyone. Also take Summer and Winter pictures of your horse from the front, rear and both sides so that if it goes missing you have pictures of it.
A number of horses are stolen each year and it is a tramatic experience for the owner especially if they are never recovered. A freezemarked horse is far more easy for anyone to identify.
 

LuckyRed

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it mihgt be worth contacting your local police - i know it sounds a bit extreme but I get emails from both Thames Valley Police and Hampshire Police Horsewatch organisations that regularly warn of people who have been seen in several areas behaving 'suspiciously' - the only way the police know of this is if people like us report it.

If I were you i'd contact your local police and see if there is a rural crime officer, or someone with a similar title and report it to them - let them decide if it's serious or not!
 
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