Horse on a plane

5 Questions I Have About the Escaped Horse on a Plane

Sometimes, the world is a vast and wonderous place just waiting to be explored, unless, that is, you’re a horse on a plane en route from New York to Belgium. In that case, you want four hooves on the ground, and you’re not afraid to show it.

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In case you don’t follow horse news as closely as I do, you might have missed that a few days ago, a 747 jet (one of those big planes) en route from New York to Liege, Belgium had to turn around over Boston, because a horse had broken out of its stall and gotten loose on the plane. The plane safely landed, and the horse, presumably, was escorted off the plane and put on a do-not-fly list. Maybe I’m just guessing on that last part, there.

Now, it’s not every day a horse breaks out of a plane and runs amok, but side note: Wouldn’t life be a little more magical if that were the case? So naturally, I have some questions. A lot of questions. I’ll try limit it to five, though.

#1: Did anyone, you know, quote that movie at any time during the melee?

I know that flight crews are professionals and are trained for a variety of issues that might arise during a flight, but I know we’re all thinking it. Did any of them paraphrase Samuel L. Jackson at any point after the horse broke free? You know: “Enough is enough; I’m tired of this mother******* horse on this motherf******* plane.” Even in jest? I’m sure it was a high-stress situation, but come on. Everyone knows laughter is the best medicine … for everything but a horse trample. Then you need real medicine.

However, it appears no one was seriously injured, including the horse, so do you mean to tell me no one thought of the 2006 classic movie Snakes on a Plane at any point during the incident? If not, did the entire crew realize the lost opportunity the moment the incident was over? I know if that were me, it would haunt me for the rest of my life. Never leave a joke on the table when it could be said in a high-stress and inappropriate situation!

#2: Is a horse’s airfare, perhaps, best spent on something, anything else?

This one is specifically geared toward the horse’s owner: but why? Why did your horse have to be on that flight to begin with? Did you want to horse it around the sights of Liege? Does Liege have a personal significance for you and your horse? Would you share with the class what that is, and would your answer only inspire infinite more followup questions? Do we want to know the answer, or do you think it’s better you kept it all to yourself … and your horse?

On the one hand, good for you! Not only do you have horse money, but you have horse airfare money! This means I doubt you’ve had to look at a price tag for a very long time. Must be nice. On the other hand, since you have horse airfare money, have you ever taken a long, hard look in the mirror and just, you know, questioned your choices? Now, you might be wondering which choice I mean here, and the answer is “all.” I want you to question all your choices.

#3: Do you serve a horse an in-flight snack?

Now, this obviously has to remain hypothetical since the horse did not really get to cruising altitude before it broke free, but on a flight for horses, do they get in-flight snacks like a regular person? How does that work? Do you offer a horse a sugar cube, a carrot, or an apple, and they get to pick? Or is it more like ordering a kosher meal on a plane, and you get what you get, and there’s no wiggle room there? If there is a horse in-flight snack, does that mean that somewhere out there, it’s someone’s job to create a menu for in-flight horses and their entertainment? Does that mean I could apply for it somehow? I think I would bring a lot to the table. Or the feeding trough.

Relatedly, did someone think to offer the horse a snack when it was free from its pen? Might have been all it took, there.

#4: How does this keep happening?

So, every article out there on the horse mentions other escaped animals on flights:

In October 2023 alone, an otter and a rat were reported to have caused uproar after escaping from hand luggage on a VietJet flight from Bangkok, while a bear cub broke loose from its crate on a flight from Baghdad to Dubai while passengers were on board.

CNN

So, the obvious question is: How does this keep happening?! We’re talking about airplanes! Flying metal tubes in the sky. You’re telling me we can defy the laws of gravity and send people, via the air, around the world, but we can’t figure out how to keep a horse in a pen for a few hours?! How does that make sense?!

Do you think that maybe we should all take a step back here and reassess how we’re doing things? You know, look things over, dot some more “i”s and cross some more “t”s on this, just to make sure we’re doing it right? Again, just having a real hard time understanding how we can put a man on the Moon, but we can’t keep a horse in a pen on a plane.

#5: What was so bad about Belgium?

Someone, please, anyone, get an animal communicator and get them to ask the horse why they decided to break out of the pen and cause a ruckus so that they didn’t have to go to Belgium. Are horses psychic, and this one just averted a disaster it would have been a part of in Belgium by acting out on the plane? Is this an equine Final Destination situation? Do all horses have a natural hatred towards Belgium, and are human beings oblivious to their antipathy? Is that horse just ungrateful towards its life of international travel and decided to throw a fit because its pre-flight carrot wasn’t served at the right temperature?

You’ll see that the one living being who could provide the most answers here isn’t talking, and if years of Nick at Nite reruns in the late eighties taught me anything, we all know horses can talk—at least, Mr. Ed could, and I don’t desire to investigate my claim further than that. I suggest you don’t, either.

The point is that we don’t know the horse’s side in this. We may not know unless someone gets an animal communicator on the case, and then tells the world just what the horse was thinking. I know I have my suspicions, but we need definitive answers, here.

For better or worse, this story leaves us with more questions than answers. I would say we may never get answers, but it does seem like animals breaking free of their constraints is a whole thing now, so who’s to say? Maybe we’ll get lucky and next time it will be a gorilla who is fluent in sign language running up and the down the aisles, and we’ll get the answers we so richly deserve. Until that fateful day, we’ll just have to accept that much like a horse on a plane bound for Belgium, things don’t often go our way.

(featured image: New Line Cinema, Photoshop)


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Kate Hudson
Kate Hudson (no, not that one) has been writing about pop culture and reality TV in particular for six years, and is a Contributing Writer at The Mary Sue. With a deep and unwavering love of Twilight and Con Air, she absolutely understands her taste in pop culture is both wonderful and terrible at the same time. She is the co-host of the popular Bravo trivia podcast Bravo Replay, and her favorite Bravolebrity is Kate Chastain, and not because they have the same first name, but it helps.