How To Transport A Horse Overseas?

While it might seem as if shipping a horse overseas would be a near impossible task, the fact is there are many safe and relatively affordable ways to relocate a horse from one continent to another. In this article, we review and answer eleven of the most frequently asked questions about transporting a horse overseas. Read on to learn more.

How To Transport A Horse Overseas

How To Transport A Horse Overseas

Do horses fly on passenger planes?

This may be the case occasionally, but for the most part horses are carried on cargo planes that are equipped with special stalls (pallets or containers) which can carry one to three horses.

A horse traveling alone is considered to by flying first class. A horse sharing a stall with another horse is considered to be flying business class. A horse sharing stall space with two other horses is in coach class.

Are the stalls built into the plane?

No, the container stalls are portable. Horses are loaded into the stalls and then the stalls are lifted onto the cargo plane or rolled in on a conveyor belt.

Do horses who don’t know each other share stalls?

Yes, but it’s not just open sharing. The stalls have dividers, so a horse who has a whole stall to himself will be able to move around, lie down and stand up freely.

Horses who are sharing stall space have dividers between them and will just have less space to move around because they will be given a portion of the stall to themselves.

Who takes care of my horse during the flight?

Professional traveling grooms make sure horses have a full hay net and are comfortable and well cared for during the flight.

Fit To Fly: Travelling Racehorses Around the World

Should horses eat and drink during transport?

Horses should have a hay net for nibbling and small drinks of water frequently while flying.

Can I transport my horse by ship?

It is possible to ship horses by sea, but it’s not advisable. A sea journey can be rough and distressing for a horse. Horses can get seasick, and they are sure to be confused by the lengthy, frightening trip.

Remember that horses cannot throw up, so seasickness will lead to colic, and that can be fatal.

Is it a good idea to ship a horse from one country to another by train?

Train travel is a very good option for horses. Because trains change speeds and directions gradually, horses will not suffer motion sickness riding in a train.

Also, the gradual nature of the changes involved in rail travel make it possible for a horse to sleep while traveling overland, unlike when being trailered long distances.

What are the regulations surrounding horse transport?

Most regulations surrounding horse transport have to do with the control of infectious diseases. For international travel, a horse must have and International Health Certificate (IHC) which can be issued by your veterinarian.

If you are traveling to and from the United States, the certificate must also be endorsed by a US Department of Agriculture Veterinarian.

What does the IHC guarantee?

This document guarantees that your horse has recently been examined and undergone blood testing to detect the presence of:

  • Western Equine Encephalomyelitis (WEE)
  • Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE)
  • Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA)
  • Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA)
  • Equine Influenza Virus (EIV)
  • Equine Piroplasmosis
  • Glanders
  • Dourine

It’s important to realize that some of these diseases spread rapidly and have very short incubation periods, so it may be necessary to have your horse examined, tested and recertified fairly frequently if you travel often.

Where can you find out about current regulations?

Regulations regarding international transport of horses change from time to time, so whenever you are planning a trip, it’s a good idea to check the most up-to-date information at the International Regulations for Animal Export (IREGS) website.

Air Horse Transport – Equine International Air Freight

Looking for more information? Here’s our guide on how to start a horse transportation business.

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