All of the barn doors are locked except one. The one that is unlocked is around the side and he would have to go through a loud gate to get to it, and pass under the flood lights. My grandparent's bedroom is on the side of the house by the barn so they would hear and see movement out there if he were to come at night. The other doors are locked via latches on the inside. In the event of a fire, it would take the flick of a wrist to unlock them. No need for keys. And honestly, I'm not concerned about having halters available for fires. I am not taking the time to individually halter 8 horses and lead them out of a barn that is burning down. I'm opening doors, driving them out and closing doors behind them. The reason hiding her halter would slow him down is that she's an awkward size. She would not fit in a horse sized halter. If he had a draft halter from his horse, she wouldn't fit in that either. Really all the measures I'm taking are intended to slow a thief down long enough that he can be caught, not to prevent anyone from getting in the barn. Her halter is stashed in a place that would be easy for someone in my family who knows the barn to grab it, but a stranger would have to hunt for it.
Honestly I don't think she would let a stranger halter her or lead her around. She's a rescue, and though we've come a long way, we still have a long way to go, and she's really not very well trained. She had minimal handling as a youngster and I'm still working through some of the basics with her now. She still turns her butt to my husband when he tries to catch and halter her. I definitely don't think she would walk willingly into a trailer with a person she didn't trust either. She'll cooperate for me only after years of patient work but she still gives every one else a hard time. This is why I'm not as worried as I probably would be if this were any other horse. It would be one heck of a job to try and steal my 1600lb mis-trusting, flighty, hard to halter, hard to load onto a trailer horse. I wouldn't be surprised if he got one taste of her skittish behavior and put her back. She's really not a good horse to work with unless you know how to handle her.
I did dig and get his info, and submitted a complaint to the local police. Nothing further has been done. They can't arrest him for anything at this point, though they will be contacting him for us. We are just remaining vigilant. It's also tough because through this whole ordeal I have not had the support of my family. My mom still just thinks he's weird but wouldn't show up when no one's home and just take her. My husband has just had a "wait and see" attitude. He's not very reactive about anything and it drives me nuts sometimes. Obviously I care about my horse, but I've been doing all this leg work by myself. It's just been one giant headache since I found out about it on Wednesday.
I still have not seen this person at all since Monday night. It makes me wonder what he's up to, if he's plotting something, or if he's just given up spying on us from his hill...