A few days ago I visited a friend at the stable she leases. She’s less than fifteen minutes from here. She has four of her own horses and one boarder.

A year ago I donated a new saddle to her riding program and that’s the first thing she mentioned as I walked towards her. “Your saddle was stolen! It went for a joy ride. We got it back, thanks to the security camera AND in case you didn’t know, nowadays when young people do something illegal the important thing is to get it on YouTube so all your friends can see what you’ve been up to.”

I asked her to repeat what she’d said because I couldn’t make heads or tails out of it. The saddle? YouTube? Illegal?

Here’s the clarification:

Early in the morning three young adults (probably mid-twenties) parked down the road (not on the farm property, they didn’t want anyone to associate the car with what they were doing). They entered the barn, passed numerous empty stalls and selected a horse, bridle, saddle pads and saddle. They tacked-up the surprised, but obliging horse (it was around 6:00 A.M.), took him into the arena and rode him. They filmed the process.

The farm’s security camera caught them leaving. One person had a largeish bulge under his/her coat…the saddle.

By 7:00 A.M. the episode was on YouTube.

I never did quite understand how my friend got the saddle back, but it went something like this: someone found out about the YouTube video and one of my friend’s students was able to track down who created it. The police were notified. My friend actually talked with one of the three bandits on the phone. The saddle was returned, but not the saddle pad.

I asked if charges were laid and what repercussions the three experienced. At that point in time the answer to that question was “nothing”.

Now for the BIG QUESTION: Is YOUR farm SAFE!?