The Natrona County Sheriff’s Office received two reports of horsehair thievery in the past week, amounting to a total of six equine victims.

Quinton Gladson said he noticed on Wednesday that his three horses’ tails were significantly shorter. He’s not entirely sure when it happened — he was gone for the weekend and fed the horses late Tuesday night, when it would have been too dark to see a difference.

“It was obvious,” he said, and ruled out the possibility of the horses just eating each other’s tails. “They were cut straight across. A pair of scissors just cut them.”

Gladson’s same Meadow Lane trio had undergone unsolicited haircuts around this time last year, when the horse hair thefts were at near-epidemic level in Wyoming.

By late September 2012, there were about 100 reported cuts throughout the state, with the majority of the targets in Natrona County. No arrests were made at that time, despite a thorough investigation.

Gladson said the bandit took about 6 inches off of each of the horses this year, and little had grown back since last year’s round. One still has about

4 inches from the nub of the tail, one has about 8 inches left and the other one still has hair down to his knee level.

“He’s a little harder to get a hold of,” Gladson said.

In the other Natrona County report, the thieves made off with an estimated 8 inches each from an appaloosa and two mustangs near Poison Spider Road.

Long tails aren’t a vanity issue for horses, who use them to swat flies away.

“I’m extremely angry for the horses,” Gladson said. “The flies are so bad this year, we have to spray them every other day.”

Horsehair can be used to make crafts and jewelry.

Natrona County Sheriff Gus Holbrook said he wants the community to be aware that there have been thefts in the area again. He asks that if anyone sees someone suspicious in the area to not approach them but to call the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office at 307-235-9282.

Reach crime reporter Megan Cassidy at 307-266-0534 or megan.cassidy@trib.com. Follow her on Twitter @meganrcassidy.

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