GLENROCK, Wy. (NBC) - Cindy and Bruce Hiser woke up last Tuesday morning to find someone had entered the fields next to their Glenrock, Wyoming home and hacked away at their horses' tails overnight.
"They took chunks out of some, they trimmed one, it just kind of depended. It looked to me like they were after color," Cindy Hiser said.
Six of the Hisers' horses fell victim to the tail-cutter.
Similar incidents have been reported in Converse and Natrona counties.
Natrona County Sheriff's Lieutenant Mark Sellers says they had this same problem several years ago.
"They were using it for jewelry, or belts and hatbands," he explains.
It isn't the cosmetic aspect upsetting the Hisers, but rather its interference with the horses' natural defense system.
"This time of year it affects that they don't have a tail to swat the flies. I mean, it's really bad in the summer time," Bruce Hiser says.
The Hisers say they feel violated knowing someone was on their property, only feet from their house where they were sleeping.
To deter these criminals, horse owners can keep their horses tails braided and wrapped, and take other precautions.
"Obviously lighted. Some places may have surveillance systems which would clearly identify if someone was in there cutting horse tails," Sellers advises.