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Police were called to investigate suspicious circumstances around the plaiting of a horse’s mane.
On Saturday 1st September the police were called by a North Cotswold resident who claims their horse’s mane had been plaited overnight.
The owner did not want to be identified.
A Gloucestershire police spokesman said: "Although this could have been done innocently police have received reports before where this marks the horse to be stolen.
"The plaiting is usually a single plait on the mane."
The plait could have been done completely innocently, but even so, not many horse owners would be keen on the idea that someone has come into such close contact with their horse overnight.
On the other hand, horses’ manes plaited singularly can sometimes indicate that the horse is stolen. Some also say that the single plait marks the horse to be stolen.
Horse owner Harriet Laurie from Bridport in Dorset, a member of the Shipton Riding Club, said: "I'm not really sure what is going on.
"Among horsey folk there is divided opinion. Some people believe it is just the wind that blows the mane into sort of plaits.
"But when one of my horse's manes was plaited it took me some time to unpick and the wind had whipped it into a sort of dreadlock, but underneath was a three strands neatly plaited.”
"Some have mentioned satanic ritual and others that this is what gypsies do to identify horses they later want to come back a steal.”