Horse owners in the Lothians are being advised to keep an eye on their animals as there have been reports of mane and tail hacking in the area.
The Scottish SPCA is telling people to be vigilant after receiving a call from Jennifer Rae, who found her Gypsy Cob had had its mane and forelock hacked off.
Senior inspector Stuart Murray said: "This may well be an act of sabotage by another owner to stop this particular horse competing in events.
"It could also be a sign that someone intended to steal this animal as thieves will often cut or plait the manes of the horses or ponies so when they return with transport their target is easily identified."
He added that this sort of incident also has suggested links with Satanic practices and witchcraft.
Ms Rae said that her horse has been jumpy ever since the incident and has gone off his pet food. She said that she cannot understand why anyone would do this to her horse.