Gypsy Plaits - Will My Horse be Stolen?

So a post came up on my Facebook news feed about a girl had gone out to the field and found "gypsy knots" or "gypsy plaits" in her horses tail. Up went a picture of said plaits followed by the paragraph warning others to be aware and check their horses as this was a sign that the gypsies were 'marking' her horse so they could steal it at a later date.

To put it nicely ... it's all an urban myth!

Chances are those dread-lock type plaits were caused by the wind. They are commonly known as "wind plaits" and "witches knots" in other areas of the world. They are commonly seen in horses with long manes and those that haven't been brushed or pulled in a while.

I mean, thinking about it logically, why would you plait a horse to mark it? Why not just take a picture of the horse using a camera phone .... pretty much everyone owns one now a days. It takes less time, is less intrusive and you don't have to go rooting for a plait to confirm identification at a later date.

Why spend the time plaiting when you could just steal the horse?

Not to mention, in today's society horses are being abandoned everywhere. It's been a long, long time since I've heard of anyone stealing a horse. People are trying to get rid of horse ... not get more.


It's also worth checking out the images labelled "horses wind plaits", even just to reassure yourself and others. It's great that people are trying to spread information and make people aware .... but there is alot of scaremongering associated with the sharing of those photos. It's worth your while just ignoring the photos and focusing your energy on more productive and useful things. :)

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