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At least two horses were reported to be victims of foul play at the North Mesa stables Friday; one had about half of its tail hair removed and the other had its mane completely shorn off.
However, according to the owners, the vandals took a lot more than just horse hair.
Both of the horse’s owners, Katherine Anderson and Laura Kober, said they felt violated by the whole experience.
“My horses are my children, and she was violated, because first of all someone has been on my property and second of all, someone had their hands on my horse with a sharp instrument,” Anderson said.
Kober felt the same way.
“Knowing that someone actually climbed our fences to get at our horses makes you feel violated, like there’s absolutely no security out here,” Kober said.
The horse, which had its tail cut, is a competition horse that belongs to Kober’s daughter, who is also a member of the Los Alamos Pony Club, an affiliate of the U.S. Pony Club.
Kober also is worried by how the incident has affected her daughter, who takes meticulous care of her horse.
“I’m hurt and I’m angry, because she was really hurt about the whole thing,” Kober said. “She has a competition horse and she had a lot of things planned this year. Now the whole picture of what the judges look for is going to be impacted.”
Kober believes the crime happened sometime between 7 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Saturday. Kober is offering a reward of up to $500 for the arrest and conviction of whoever was involved. Anderson said she, too, is offering a reward.
Though it only happened to two of the stable owners, the whole incident doesn’t rest easy with the other owners, a close-knit group who often compete and socialize together.
“I think it’s just atrocious,” said Dan McCarn, who has a stable next to Kober’s. “She’s a Pony Clubber who’s trying to do well and compete, and she has her horse damaged in such a way that it’s embarrassing to even show the horse.”
This hasn’t been the first time this has happened. According to the owners who said a similar incident happened last year.
McCarn said he’s had encounters with all sorts of suspicious people who clearly don’t have any horses on the property.
“I hate to call the police all the time, but every time I see a stranger up here that number one, doesn’t have any business here or driving around on the gallop track I tend to challenge them or if they look a little too funny, call the police and let them sort it out,” McCarn said.
According to McCarn, if there’s one thing the community-owned piece of property probably needs is more of a police presence or perhaps some sort of onsite monitoring.
Kober said the police would probably be a lot more successful in catching someone if they knew what to look for. She emphasized that the North Mesa property is very dark and presents numerous places to hide, just knowing how to read the horses’ behavior can go a long way toward catching people on the property who are up to no good.
“The police need to be educated on horse behavior,” she said. “If they understood what a spooked horse looked like, they might be able to focus in on a certain area. If we could assist them with that, it might help.”
If anyone has information, they are asked to call the Los Alamos Police at 662-8226.