If you thought flying stallions were purely the stuff of Greek myths and legends, then it’s time to think again.
Like the divine winged steed Pegasus, a miniature service and support horse named Fred has taken to the skies.
Fred was specially trained by his handler Ronia Froese to join her aboard an American Airlines flight from Michigan, dressed in an outfit befitting of budget superhero film and with a travel bag strapped to his body.
The pair flew from Grand Rapids to Dallas, Texas, from where they grabbed a connecting flight to Ontario, California.
While others have struggled to convince US airlines to allow them to board with peacocks and hamsters, Ms Froese said staff were all too happy to have Fred on board – and he even got to travel in first class.
In a gushing Facebook post, Ms Froese thanked the pilots, co-pilots and crew on all four outbound and return flights, saying their excitement to have a “legit service horse on board” was a “breath of fresh air”.
She added: “Their kindness and comments about how well behaved Fred was made me the proudest mommy, handler, and trainer EVER. They were all super respectful.”
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Fred, who has his own Facebook page, was apparently the subject of a few bemused glances from fellow passengers, but he proved the neigh-sayers wrong and provided the in-flight entertainment.
One man asked for a selfie with Fred, according to Ms Froese, who was then told that Fred was “the most well behaved animal he has ever seen on a plane”.
“For me as a handler I had few tears of utter joy and proudness,” she said.
“That truly meant so much to me and I really needed to hear it.”
Now that Fred is back on solid ground, he has returned to his usual routine as a completely house-trained horse.
He even has a supersized litter tray at his owner’s home in Newaygo County, Michigan.
But it remains to be seen whether Fred will be able to fly again, as the US Department of Transportation considers enforcing tougher rules on animals allowed on planes.
Some airlines have already taken matters into their own hands, with Delta having banned emotional support animals aboard flights longer than eight hours after an 84% increase in animal incidents.
They included a passenger being attacked by a dog, and animals urinating and defecating while on-board.
Fred did not get into any such trouble.