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Woman brings mini-service horse onto plane, into first class


Feb. 17, 2020

This flyer wasn’t horsing around.
A Michigan woman startled other passengers on a recent series of flights when she brought aboard a mini-service horse and traveled with him in first class to California.
Ronica Froese made the journey starting on Feb. 7 with her equine companion Fred, who was specially trained to make the high-altitude trip, according to WXMI .
“I paid an arm and a leg for tickets, but I did so because it was Fred’s first time and I wanted him to be comfortable,” Froese told the station.
“I wanted him to have the most room.”
Froese, who has trained Fred — who dressed in a sleek suit that made him look like a Lucha Libre wrestler — to be a therapy and a service horse, said everyone was “sweet as pie.”
She said that the “experience was way better than I actually anticipated.”
Fred’s flying days may soon be a thing of the past, however, with the US Transportation Department recently announcing plans to tighten the laws so that only dogs actually trained to help the disabled qualify for flights.
Surprisingly, Froese seems to agree in part — telling WXMI that the system 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,” Froese told the station.
“It’s definitely an 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,” she said.
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