Police Force Consulted Warlock Over Horse Plaiting
Owners in west Dorset and the surrounding counties had believed that thieves plaited the manes of the beasts to identify which ones to steal when they returned at night. But police officers investigating the incidents said there had been no thefts, and instead their enquiries led to the world of pagan ritual. It is now believed that the practice is a part of white witch "knot magick" that is used when a spell is cast. It seems those responsible to go extreme lengths at night to carry out their plaiting as horses have had their manes knotted on nights of high wind and rain. And some of those targeted have been in fields surrounded by electric fences, miles from anywhere. It is not known exactly how many horses have been targeted but at least a dozen are known to have had the treatment. 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. "It is most bizarre and one horse that was done is very hard to catch and very flighty and was wearing a full rug. The plait was down by the withers so it's hard to see how the wind could have done it. "It is most confusing and it is worrying horse owners. I am web mistress for the riding club's website and I've had a lot of people ask what's going on."Some have mentioned satanic ritual and others that this is what gypsies do to identify horses they later want to come back a steal. "What ever it is there is a lot of fear and anxiety. I know of about 12 horses that have had it done. "There doesn't seem to be any pattern, but we'd love to get to the bottom of it." PC Tim Poole, who has investigated the incidents, said: "We can't completely rule out the possibility of theft. "We did have intelligence from Avon and Somerset police that it is a gypsy trick, which it may or may not have been. "But we have some very good information from a warlock that this is part of a white magic ritual and is to do with "knot magick". "It would appear that for people of this belief, knot magick is used when they want to cast a spell. "Some of the gods they worship have a strong connection to horses so if they have a particular request, plaiting this knot in a horse's mane lends strength to the request. "The fact that this rash of plaiting coincides with one of their ceremonial times of year adds weight to the theory. "This warlock said it is a benign activity, albeit maybe a bit distressing for the horse owner." However, pagan witch Phil Robinson said pagans could not be involved. He said: "Some people play at Satanism and this may be related to people messing about, but it is worrying if people think it is related to paganism - we have a bad enough press as it is."