Southwest Airlines announced their updated policy on service animals on their flights and that includes miniature horses. The policy changes were developed from customer and employee feedback and guidelines developed by the Department of Transportation.

“We welcome emotional support and trained service animals that provide needed assistance,” said Steve Golberg, the Senior VP of Operations and Hospitality.

Effective September 17, Southwest’s updated policy will only recognize dogs, cats and miniatures horses as service animals. The previous policy allowed exotic animals such as pigs and goats and birds to travel as service animals, but no longer.

Miniature horses were first recognized as service animals in a 2010 provision to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The horses must be trained and meet the following requirements.

  • Housebroken
  • Remain under the owner’s control
  • Meet the facilities ability to accommodate the horse based on type, size and weight
  • Ensure that the miniature horse’s presence does not compromise legitimate safety requirements

Passengers must provide a current letter from a licensed health professional providing credible assurance that the horse is a trained service animal.