From Monica Frohmann, CCHM faculty
It was really an amazing trip. All 4 horses got some Gelsemium before even leaving home in Canada (me too lol). It was a lot of hurry up and wait. Arrived at the airport at night , boarded the plane with the horses at In the time between arrival at the airport and the departure, the horses were loaded on the shipping box, taken away to be weighed, then brought back again, given hay and water and then just waited for a long time, followed by 6 hours of flying. I was in the cargo area with the horses as a working groom. This meant I had to feed and water them at intervals.
The horses did very well on the flight. Only the dark mare named Ella needed more Gelsemium a few times when things got very noisy. She was shaking with fear and wasn’t drinking when offered water, whereas the others were cool as cucumbers throughout. Once she had a few doses, she settled and I always knew when it was time to repeat a dose for her by her shaking.
When we arrived in Amsterdam, it was several hours again before the government vet checked them (3 minutes per horse) and let them onto the next trailer where we took a short ride to the Amstel Horse Hotel for a 24-hour rest. There they got the biggest and coziest stalls, lots to eat and good water to drink. They were ok as long as they were all together.
At , we were picked up by a huge trailer to travel 14 hours to Austria. We travelled at night for the comfort of the horses because it was very hot. We stopped every 4 hours for 45 minutes for the horses to have water, and the driver to rest (required by law.) We had to go to the cargo area of the airport in Linz, 30 kms from home, to clear customs with the horses, and then they went to the boarding barn around on , where they had to stay until we arrived for good. I stayed a week to see them settled, then flew back to Canada for 10 days where we got rid of all the rest of our stuff that didn’t go on the container.
On July 18 we flew over with 3 dogs, 1 cat and 1 rabbit. Two of our cats had already come over in January and were with my mother-in-law. Travelling with the small pets was another lengthy and exhausting procedure but we all made it, safe and sound. We did some major reno work for 2 weeks so we could have the basic amenities, then all our efforts went into our paddock so that the horses could come home. They were home exactly 1 month after their arrival in Austria. Now they are very happy and have settled in quite nicely.