The age of horse-driven crimes has passed us by, and for that, I'm sad. Crimes used to involve a lot more passion -- and ropin' and rustlin' and "yippee-ki-yays."
It's been too long.
All these modern crimes, like spearphishing and tax evasion and gluttony just lack the glamour of the old horse-driven kind. And so, because I like using my platform to encourage people to wreck society in amusing ways, I've decided to do just that. Here, for no real reason at all, is how to commit crimes on horseback.
#5. Pick Crimes At The Right Elevation
At its most basic level, a horse is a 5-foot-tall moving chair that poops.
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"That's all true."
Of those features, the one most immediately pressing is the height, because many of the crimes you might first think of committing will be at an elevation unsuitable for horsework. Mugging, for example, is tricky because the person you're mugging could fall down, necessitating that you get off your horse, at which point you're just a filthy regular criminal. You'll face much the same issue with pickpocketing, mail-tampering, and stealing wheels.
The ancient nemesis of horses.
Assault remains plausible, and is of course a classic choice, as is any crime that involves you wielding a firearm, sword, or trident. Also take special note of the lasso, which you may need to familiarize yourself with to collect loot that falls to the ground or small animals you're perhaps trying to petnap.
On the subject of animal theft ...
#4. Animal Rustling
Back in Western times, horses were famously used by cowboys to round up and herd animals of various makes and models. Criminals of the era, known as cowbadboys, would use this very same quality to rustle cattle, which is like herding, just in the opposite direction.
Although horses have retained their animal-herding properties, the actual practice of rustling is a lot harder to do these days, because farms have prepared for this thing by installing a variety of fences and rifle-armed sons around their properties. You'll have better success trying to rustle high-value animals that aren't conventionally protected. A single horse, bursting through the doors of a dog show, could easily rustle several thousand dollars of purebred dogs and be gone before everyone stopped clapping.
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Tell me the world wouldn't hail you a hero if there was even a chance of that happening?
The other alternative is to rustle the most dangerous animal of all: man. Most people are pretty averse to getting bitten by a horse, or stepped on by a horse, or stabbed with a trident, which makes them pretty easy to herd as well. I'm not suggesting you should collect people to sell them or turn them into meat or anything like that; that's kind of icky. But once they're rounded up, you could ask them to pass around a collection plate or something. Alternately, you could direct your herd of people to stampede in a direction useful for committing some other crime, say to provide a distraction while you clear all the dogs out the other side of the building.
But if you don't like the deceit involved with distractions ...
#3. Use The Attention To Your Advantage
People are naturally curious about someone on a horse. Who is this dynamo, this beacon of light who is both literally and figuratively above me, they wonder. They'll want to be closer to you and will listen to every word you have to say. In fact, I'm fairly certain, having looked at pictures of horses on Google Images for the last couple hours, that the most promising avenue for modern horseback crime is fraud.
"What are you doing in there? Why is the door locked?"
"NOTHING JUST RESEARCHING MY COLUMN GO AWAY."
The actual committing of fraud is straightforward (check literally any of my other columns for more specific guidance). In general, though, you're going to want to roam the land using your perch to offer deals on investment vehicles, timeshare properties, timeshare vehicles, or any combination thereof.
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"They're called INVESTSHARE PROPICLES, and I'm glad you asked about them."
Because you have a horse, and presumably the resources and breeding to maintain a horse, people will trust you implicitly and give you all of their money. One problem you might find is people will be somewhat reluctant to put cash into the huge bag you're carrying, and will instead want to write you checks. That's still fraud, so you're still good, but the problem is those are going to need to be cashed, meaning you'll first need to set up an account at a bank with high doors, or find one with a drive-thru ATM. Plan ahead.