Yes, Miniature Horses on Planes Are a Thing!
I daydream about travel, a lot. Probably because I don't get to do a lot of it. I love flying. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say, I used to love flying. The mere act of leaving the ground behind, the physics involved in a plane taking off and staying in the air have always absolutely fascinated me.
But anyone who does travel by air frequently could tell you that this activity has lost most of its sheen in recent years. Rude, drunk and just plain weird passengers, tiny seats, no legroom, lost luggage, delays, canceled flights, etc., have taken most, if not all of the joy out of flying.
Now to the subject of emotional support animals. I want to make it clear that I have no issues with people who find solace in the company of dogs and cats. I myself have found tremendous comfort by living and spending time around these wonderful creatures. Rightly or wrongly that is where I draw the line.
Earlier this year a woman tried to bring her emotional support peacock on a flight from LA to Newark, New Jersey. She was stopped. However, in 2016, a gentleman on a Delta flight had documentation that allowed his emotional support turkey, Easter, to travel with him.
What about service animals? These amazing creatures have been trained to aid people with specific needs, i.e., blindness, deafness, diabetes, seizures, PTSD, and mobility limitations. And Alaska Airlines, along with American, JetBlue, and Southwest Airlines have all agreed that service-trained miniature horses fit that definition. No, I'm not kidding. And don't take my bemusement as criticism.
I adore horses. Always have. Whether they are the size of a Great Dane or a Clydesdale, I love them. But certain questions needed to be asked and answered regarding them traveling on airplanes.
They won't sit, (obviously) they'll stand, (most likely in the bulkhead area of the plane). The airlines have not specified how the mini-horses' restroom needs will be met, but that in itself could be interesting. Apparently miniature horses have been used for quite a while in some airports as therapy animals to soothe travelers anxiety.
In any case, if you're soon to be flying any of these air carriers, you may find an adorable mini-horse nibbling on their gluten-free carrot snack in the seat area at the front of your plane. So enjoy, but remember, there's no petting or nuzzling of service animals, they're working buddy!
Source: Fodors Travel