FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions



Horses that are shipped and/or stabled at the transit- and isolation centre are at the owner’s risk, and are supposed to be insured by the owner (either under direct management, either by an insurance company). If you would like to arrange insurance for your horse, please contact the renowned insurance company below.

Catherine de Buyl Insurance
Boulevard Léopold III 146
B-7600 Peruwelz
Belgium
Tel: +32 69779420
Fax: +32 69779425
info@debuylinsurance.com
Mares and stallions must be tested on CEM, mostly within 30 days of export. The specific place of collecting the specimen, depends on the country of destination. After these CEM-specimen are taken, the horses are not allowed to breed, either naturally, either by artificial insemination. The tests must be executed in an official laboratory, and the original results must be attached with the health-certificate.
This depends on the country of destination. For example, horses for the United States of America must at least go into quarantine for 3 days upon arrival. During this quarantine they will be tested on Influenza, Tetanus etc… When the results come back negative, the horses will be released from quarantine.
After this quarantine, geldings are allowed to travel directly to the final destination. Mares and stallions on the other hand have to be transported to a CEM-quarantine facility for CEM-quarantine.
For other destinations, quarantine or isolation may be required before the departure of the horses (like Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, South Africa,…).
After the first 3-day-quarantine, mares and stallions will be transported to a CEM-facility. Mares will be quarantined for another 15 days, and stallions for 30 days. The CEM-quarantine can only be done in an officially approved of facility.
The documents that are to be shipped with the horse are:
- Original passport, issued by an approved institution.
- Health-certificate
- Diagram of the horse, signed by an official veterinary authority.
The horses must always be suited with an halter (preferably leather) and a rope of good quality. You can also put leg protectors (or bandages and under bandages), a tail bandage, and maximum 2 blankets on your horse.
All other equipment (for example saddle, head-stall, extra blankets, cleaning things etc.) cannot go with the horses in the air stall, and are supposed to be booked separately and in advance. These items should be packed in solid boxes or trunks. Each box/trunk should also be labelled with a detailed list of the content.
We strongly recommend not to send too much equipment with your horse in the air stall (unless the ones mentioned above). These items are usually refused by the airline. In this case, when there are no valid shipping documents for the equipment, the risk of it getting lost is also very big.
Because these costs strongly depend of the destination, we advise you to contact our office for an offer to measure without engagement. You can also fill in the inquiry and our sales representative will then send you an overview of the costs as soon possible.
This completely depends on the horse itself. During the flight there are rarely problems. Most horses are actually more comfortable on a plane in comparison to a ride on a truck or a horse trailer. Because of the monotonous sound of the engines and the wind on-board, most horses are just dozing off.
As far as we are concerned, there have not been any serious physical consequences for the horses who travelled with us. It is possible that the horse might be a little tired or even have a slight fever after the flight, but usually they recover quickly from this.

Preferably the horse has a good, strong (leather) halter along with two ropes. Furthermore only bandages or leg protectors and maximum 2 blankets are allowed on board.
Horses will normally not be anaesthetised, unless the sender/seller has warned us before the flight that the horse is known to be a ‘difficult traveller’. A tranquillizer will only be given when the attendant/accompanying groom notices that the horse is getting nervous.
The horse should be present at the airport at least 5 hours before scheduled departure time of the flight. We offer you this guideline to make sure that there is enough time to load the horse. The horse needs time to adjust to the noise, the smell and the noise at the airport.
We also want to load the horses on time to see how they react on the movements and noises. If the horse is uncomfortable, there is still time to find a solution.
In extreme cases, the horse might be taken a horse off of the flight. This to guarantee the safety of the other horses and/or passengers on board.
Usually this is done as close as possible to departure time.
The horses are loaded in a container by using a load ramp. Once loaded, we make sure that they are firmly secured. Afterwards, the container is moved with ‘dollies’ to the airplane. The container then goes into the airplane by using a high-loader. The container is put into place with an roll-system and once it is in the right position, it will be secured.
The most common containers have the following measures: 3,18 x 2,44 x 2,44 meter (125 x 96 x 96 inches). Nowadays most airlines use only fully closed ‘jet-stalls’. These type of stalls have separations on the inside that can be altered according to the space needed by the horses. Normally, the horses are loaded by three per container, but there is also a ‘first class’-option to accommodate only two horses per container. In case of foals, they can travel by 5 or 6 in a container, also depending on age, breed and size.
Depending on the destination, there are regular flights or charter flights. The horses are mainly shipped with cargo flights, or combi airplanes (with passengers and cargo).
European Horse Services would advise against allowing recently castrated horses to travel.It is best to discuss with your veterinary if the healing process is heading in the right direction and the horse is fit to travel.

This also depends on the horse. Some will remain calm while others might get a little nervous. Usually the presence of the flying groom will calm the horse down.
A good preparation and well-adjusted feed in advance, will make sure that there are seldom any problems on board. Some horses do feel the changing atmospheric pressure in the ears. But just like with humans, this passes over time.
On board the temperature is adjusted to approximately 18° Celsius. Within the closed container it is even a few degrees warmer, which makes it more comfortable for the horses.
The horse receives only hay during the journey, this to prevent colic. The flying grooms will also offer water on regular basis, since flying is known to have dehydrating effects on both humans and horses.
It is not really considered a big problem if the horse refuses to eat. However if the horse refuses to drink, their legs (and fresh wounds) can swell and become painful. That is why the flying grooms always make sure the horse is well hydrated.
This again depends on the horse. Most animals are calm and relaxed, some are even sleeping. In other cases, the presence of the attendant is sufficient for them to calm down. When needed, the attendant can always give the horse (light) anaesthesia.
Putting down a horse is the last and utmost emergency measure in case of a so-called ‘worst-case-scenario’. True, it can happen but the chances are very little. These kind of situations are very rare. We luckily have not had such kind of incident.
The horses are mostly left undisturbed, but they are regularly checked on how they are doing, if they are eating, drinking, etc. In these moments, the horses also receive some personal attention.
Normally not, but the horses are accompanied by professional horse flight attendants who have the right experience to interfere when necessary. In case of transporting a large quantity of horses, a veterinary is sent along.

The horse can indeed have a jetlag because of the time difference and difference in daylight. However the experience tells us that horses recover quickly from this.
Normally yes, providing that the local instructions are being followed. We however recommend to let the horse rest as quick as possible, so he or she can easily recover from the journey.
Depending on the wishes of the client, European Horse Services can organize the ground transport from the airport to the stable of destination. Please do contact our office for further information.