CROTON, Mich. (CNN NEWSOURCE) – A miniature horse, that works as a therapy animal, recently took a flight so he could help others.
Her handler says it was no small thing to accomplish.
It’s not every day you see a horse on a plane, let alone in first class.
But Fred, the mini service horse, went ‘wheels up’ with a purpose.
“This was our first trip via an airplane, Fred has traveled several thousands of miles in my vehicle but this was the first time in the air,” Ronica Froese said.
Ronica Froese has trained Fred to be a therapy and a service horse.
He lives in her house, is housebroken and is more well-trained than most dogs.
“I spent a year of my life training this horse extensively for what he has and I was totally prepared for everything,” Froese said.
Froese put months of work preparing for Fred’s trip, which included two flights each way.
“We left in the afternoon, we flew from Grand Rapids and we connected in Dallas and we went to Ontario, California. I purchased two first-class seats in bulkhead seating, I paid an arm and a leg for tickets but I did that so because it was Fred`s first time and I wanted him to be comfortable, I wanted him to have the most room,” Froese said.
And it paid off. Other than the expected gawking, the trip went without a hitch.
“The experience was way better than I actually anticipated,” Froese said.
Ronda wants people to see how well the trip went, especially with talks of stricter regulations from the Department of Transportation on which species of animals can fly.
“It is out of control. It’s a very abused process, there are a lot of untrained ‘service animals’ on the plane that are not trained. It’s definitely abused system, but the sad part is what the DOT is looking at doing, they are looking at excluding me as a handler from taking my horse on the plane,” Froese said.
She’s hoping they reverse course so Fred’s first air travel experience won’t be his last.
If you would like to follow Fred’s adventures, click here.