Jet lag, equine-style I have seen more airports than horse shows these last few months.
Not that I am complaining about the opportunity; I'm just feeling the jet lag. Which leads me to our feature article, Precious Cargo. Equine athletes fly, trailer and train all over the world these days. Some take it in stride and others need help coping.
I was fortunate enough to travel to Malaysia in April for the FEI World Cup Show Jumping event sponsored by Tourism Malaysia. Three US journalists were treated to passage and accommodations as well as daily tours of parts of the country. I have never visited Asia before so I jumped at the chance to stay in Kuala Lumpur and participate in the press corps to watch the world?s top show jumpers and riders.
The flight took us 22 hours. Horses traveling from the west coast of the US had 5 hours more than we did. Their layover in Amsterdam allowed for some respite but the stress of a 10,000-mile trip takes its toll.
Preparations for my journey to Malaysia were an event in itself. It was recommended by my physician to visit a clinic for travelers, set up by a division of the University of PA. The attending nurse rattled off a list of vaccines I should consider getting before leaving. Yikes, me vaccines???? I have to admit, I was intimidated by the diseases she said I could be exposed to.
Preparing a horse for travel is no small task either. They have no choices; they must be vaccinated to enter the other countries. They also have to have passports, and extensive travel papers. Read Precious Cargo to find out how the stress of this trip affected the horses and how that stress was handled.
Malaysia is fabulous, the show outstanding and the food really good. We visited a private riding academy called Bukit Kiara Equestrian & Country Resort. Most equine disciplines were represented there. The riding was sophisticated and the horses were imported from around the world. See more on Horses of Malaysia by visiting our website www.holistichorse.com. There you will see some of my pictures and get an idea of equestrian lifestyle on the opposite side of the world.
Please send us your equine travel experiences. Share with us what you did right and what went wrong. Email me Karen@holistichorse.com and we will share your trip with others looking for equine travel tips!
Karen Tappenden in Malaysia