Horses in the Plainfield, Ind.-area better watch their behinds -- literally.
It appears a rash of horse tail thefts have been occurring in the area, and owners say it has implications on the horses' comfort and show appeal.
Believe it or not, horse hair can command a hefty price, worth in the thousands of dollars on the black market, WRTV-TV reported. Jenny Tauer with the Indiana Quarter Horse Association told WRTV it's used for jewelry and "phony pony," or horse hair extensions.
“It’s cruel to the horse,” Tauer added. “If you cut their tail off, it has no way to get flies or bugs off of them.”
What's more, some of the horses who have had their hair cut off are being managed by 4-H youth organization participants.
“They're 4-H horses. They're their life," Jackie Parrish, the mother of 15-year-old Kyliegh Parrish, told WRTV. "It's really important to have a mane and tail for judging. They're not just taking a tail -- they're taking a part these kids worked so hard for."
This what Kyliegh Parrish's miniature horse "Addie" looked like before her hair was chopped. (Image: WRTV-TV)
This is Addie after her hair was cut off all the way to her tail bone. All of her mane was cut off as well. (Image: WRTV-TV)
“You can’t really show a horse without a tail,” Denne Smith, another owner of a horse whose hair has been chopped, told the local news station.
Authorities are investigating the hair thefts but no leads have turned up yet.
Parrish said she thinks it's more than just someone playing a joke.
“They were very detailed and instead of leaving the hair, every piece of the hair was gone," the mother said.
Watch WRTV-TV's report of the strange crime:
The incident isn't stopping Kyliegh from showing her horse this summer. The family will have to foot the bill for a "phony pony" though.
“It makes me very, very upset that someone was messing with my animals,” the teenager told WRTV.
Featured image via Shutterstock.