An incident at the weekend which saw a horse attacked with a sharp steel rake has owners at their wit's end worrying about the safety of their animals.
Attacks on horses at council-owned paddocks in the north-west Queensland town of Mt Isa stem back more than two years, with owners saying the incident wasn't isolated.
Eight-year-old thoroughbred Shadow sustained scratches from his shoulder to his rump in the latest incidence, caused by a rake in the paddock's stable area.
"We came in the morning and saw he had scratches down his side and thought maybe he had run into the tree or something but my daughter said 'let me try something' and held the rake up next to him and it was the exact same markings," owner Tracey Thrower said.
"He's just so trusting and he loves people, that would be his downfall, he would have been the one of all of them to go over to anyone who showed up."
The incident wasn't the first time Shadow had been hurt, with another group of vandals attacking him in 2010 until he ran through a fence, scarring his back.
"They're absolute idiots, there's some activity going on here at night but we don't know what, and we don't know what to do," Ms Thrower said.
Ms Thrower shares her paddock with horse owner Kathryn McAllan, with both reporting having seen cars driving along and through stable areas late at night without lights on.
"We were here the other night quite late feeding the horses and had the car parked when we saw another car come down the laneway with no lights on, they obviously couldn't see anything because they almost ran into my float and when I turned the lights on in the car they bolted," she said.
Ms McAllan said her and Ms Thrower would only feed their horses at night together now, fearing for their safety in the paddock.
The vandals had also stolen property from the area, and provoked the other horses in the paddock.
"They're all really spooked and jumpy now where they weren't before, we're just really worried," Ms McAllan said.
"They've taken our trolleys and fly veils and some of the other owners have found big rocks and sticks laying in their yards but they're not the type of people to leave that stuff around."
The pair said police had been contacted.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au.