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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.

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.

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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 ...

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.

A chart.

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 ...

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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?"

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.

Noel Hendrickson/Photodisc/Getty Images
"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.


Once you realize the trust that people inherently place in the horsebacked, you'll realize the wealth of possibilities available for modern horsecrime. Also, illicit fucking. Adultery may or may not be a criminal act, depending on the jurisdiction you live in, but it certainly violates the vows of marriage and can also, I think, start wars if one or both of you is a prince. So that makes it illegal enough for our purposes here, which is great, because people on horses are fucking sexy.

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So work it.

Fucking on a horse is probably the most challenging aspect of this; otherwise you'd be just a regular adulterer, hated by the community. If you have time to prepare, I'd suggest working on your balance, core strength, and for the sake of the horse, your personal hygiene. Who you end up adultering with will of course depend on your specific circumstances; you can use your best judgment, though if you need a suggestion, you might start with a partner of one of the people you've just sold investshare propicles to.

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Plan Your Getaway

So, you're now on the run from pet owners, angry investors, spurned lovers, and one guy with a pretty bad trident wound. Congratulations! Because this is where it gets fun. During your horsecrime planning stages, you'll probably spend lots of time here, doodling out ideas in the horse ideas journal that I'm assuming all people keep.

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Your natural instinct will be to plan out a route that has lots of fences to jump over, and shallow rivers to ford, and maybe a low ramp beside a Nazi tank to jump onto. If those are available, go for it, because life is worth doing properly. But even if you're restricted to more mundane environs, you can still plot out an effective, exciting escape. In general, look for areas where car-mounted authorities might have trouble pursuing you. Narrow trails through rocky canyons, obviously, but also maybe the aisles of a supermarket, someone's fancy wedding, or a dog show again.

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*the crowd goes just bananas, hollering and cheering*

Because it's hard to remain inconspicuous on a horse in this society, you're eventually going to have to leave your horse behind, like a villain, or go into hiding together, like a ... you're still a villain, I guess. A behorsed villain. Owning a farm where horses are commonplace is one way to blend in; otherwise, you'll need a garage, one of those tarps people put over cars, or the crafting skill and reputation to convince people you have made an extremely good pinata.

And that's it! Well done! Pet one of your new dogs to celebrate, and be sure to check out the news tonight.

Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and has improved a lot of different types of animal shows. His first novel, Severance, is incredible and available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Apex Books. Join him on Facebook or Twitter.

It turns out crime on horseback isn't as impossible as one would have guessed. But then again, if El Chapo could hold up a restaurant just to get something to eat, as seen in 6 Epic Crime Sprees That Shouldn't Have Been Possible, and if a real-life Ocean's Eleven scenario could happen, as seen in The 5 Ballsiest Crimes Anyone Ever Pulled Off, then we guess anything is possible.

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