HORSE gear has been stolen from children who had saved their pocket money to buy it.

Thieves took lead reigns and horse and pony head collars in an overnight raid on Little Bridge Stables in Wyke Regis.

Now the victims are speaking out in a bid to warn other horse riders in the area.

They also say they have been ‘overwhelmed’ by the kindness of the equestrian community, which has donated money and allowed them to borrow items.

Kirsty James, who uses the stables, said: “We want to warn other horse owners in the area that thieves are operating. This will hopefully also help prevent the thieves selling these items on locally.

“Sadly they stole horse and pony head collars and lead reins from eight people.

“Five of those pieces of equipment were owned by children who had saved up their pocket money for these items.

“We had been to the Badminton horse trials, so the children had saved up their money.

“It was £20 for a set – that’s a huge amount of money when you’re a child and getting £1 or £2 pocket money a week.

“It’s really worried some of them too; they’re asking ‘are they going to come back for my pony?”

The thieves also took pony muzzles, used to stop the animals from overeating.

Once the theft was discovered, the owners had a rush on their hands to replace the items, which came at a ‘considerable cost’, before the ponies ate too much and became ill.

Kirsty added: “The response from the community has been overwhelming.

“What is lovely is that when one of our livery customers went to re-order her head collars and lead reins from a business called Livingstone Equine, they offered us free postage if we order to replace our items plus she is donating some items to the kids.

“On top of this, several friends and family have also donated money here and there which I am putting in a pot and will share out between the kids to help fund replacements.”

The theft happened between 7pm on Saturday, July 5 and 7am on Sunday, July 6.

Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.

A spokesman said: “We received a report of a theft from the horse yard in Wyke Regis on Sunday, July 6.

“Anyone with information should call Dorset Police on 101 quoting incident number 6:454”