Q: When you import a horse, what is the flight like? Do horses find it very stressful?
A: There is a variety of flight options available for horses. If a horse is coming in from Europe, the most expensive option is the direct flight from the origin to Johannesburg, while the cheaper option is to fly to Johannesburg with a stopover in Qatar. You will also have to pay extra for your horse to fly to Cape Town after landing in Johannesburg.
One importing agent, when asked this question, said, “The flight itself is actually not stressful.” The horses don’t receive any sedatives, and the planes have climate control and highly experienced ‘sky-grooms’ who accompany the horses in flight to ensure that they are comfortable and calm at all times. The horses typically stand in a container with other horses during the flight. “If a horse struggles in small spaces, then the owners will have to pay extra to have their horse stand in a larger space on his own,” said the importing agent. But generally speaking, if horses are okay in a stable, they should be okay in the container.