It's "totally incomprehensible" that someone would attempt to set a horse cover alight while the horse was still underneath it, Lauren Ankers says.
But that's exactly what happened to the Greenhithe resident's prized pet Zara who grazes in the paddocks at the local pony club.
Lauren has had 12-year-old Zara for four years.
"She's my girl, it's very upsetting," she says.
Burn holes were found on the cover and Zara was lucky not to have sustained severe burns.
"It's awful to think what might have happened if the whole cover had taken off, she says.
"It's absolutely disgusting to think someone could even dream about doing something like this."
Lauren says it was probably just some kids who jumped the fence into the pony club.
She says she went to get Zara from the paddock to feed her on June 15 and saw what she thought was bird poo on the cover.
When she tried to scratch it off she saw it was where the fabric had melted.
Zara put her head down and Lauren then noticed a large hole that had burnt through several layers of the cover.
She found some cigarette lighters in the field which she has handed to police.
Greenhithe Community Constable Hermien Kok is asking neighbours to keep an eye out for any suspicious behaviour, especially around the paddocks on the corner of Greenhithe and Orwell roads near the pony club.
Lauren says she has had a lot of supportive messages from people via Facebook about the incident.
It's nice to know the majority of people don't tolerate acts like these, she says.
Anyone with information about or that sees suspicious behaviour should call Mr Kok on 4438039 ext 69473 or the North Shore Policing Centre on 4775000 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
- © Fairfax NZ News