Horse Tail Thieves Strike Again in NC - Criminal Attack On Horses

Horse Tail Thieves Strike Again in NC - Criminal Attack On Horses

09 December 2020

NASHVILLE — Horse owners beware. Someone is cutting the hair off of horses in Nash County, NC while they are standing in their pastures. 

Ever since the horse slaughter facilities closed in the United States, Stolen Horse International, Inc., a nonprofit organization that works closely with victims in the horse world when horses or tack are stolen. 

Horsehair theft in NC is not new and now unknown suspects have been going to pastures to take the animals’ hair since there is apparently high demand for horsehair to sell. The Camden County Sheriff’s office reported thieves had sheared the tail of a 17-year-old show horse name Thunder in eastern North Carolina in March 2020. They also let another horse on the property out at the time of the theft. 

It is all about the money. Thieves have been known to cut horsetails and sell them by the pound where horsehair may bring as much as $400-$500 dollars.

Why would people want horsehair you may ask? Hair from the tail of a horse is used in necklaces, baskets, belts, brushes, carpet, cloth, fishing lines, future padding, hats, lariats, jewelry, braided horse bridles, violin, cello bows, wigs, whips show horses, and much more.

A horse's tail serves three purposes:

  1. Warmth. A cold horse will use its tail to prevent heat loss from the area under the tail and may bring its tail all the way between its legs to cover the sheath or udder. 
  2. Fly protection. Horses use their tails as fly swatters in the summer. If the flies are bad, horses in a field will often be seen standing with one's head next to the other tail, keeping flies off each other's faces.
  3. Body language. A flattened tail may mean fear (unless it's cold). A tail lifted over the back indicates enthusiasm. A swishing tail may be swatting at a fly, or it may be expressing irritation. A horse that swishes its tail intently while being ridden, or holds its tail in a tense attitude, especially if crooked, is an unhappy horse - likely in pain, over-bitted, or reacting to tension in the rider. A swished tail combined with pinned ears is a clear warning of forthcoming aggression.

Several reports have been received by the Nash County Sheriff’s Office asking for help in identifying the thieves.

If anyone has any information, please call the Nash County Sheriff’s Office at 252-459- 4121 or Twin County Crime Stoppers at 252-977-1111. 

Stolen Horse International aka has a report specifically for instances like this - Criminal Attack Report for Equines. For more information, please do not hesitate to file a report on or to contact us. 

Links to other Incidents in the United States can be found in the comments below. Scroll down. 

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