From Tennessee to Israel: The Story of Two Horses

November 25, 2015

2 min read

From the mountains of eastern Tennessee, Two Rocky Mountain Horses have settled in quite nicely in Ben Shemen, Israel. Twilight and Cajun Persuasion, six-year-old mares, first made the journey from Tennessee’s Real Horse Farm to Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport two years ago.

The Israeli owner, Lior Hanael, originally found the two chocolate-colored horses by using Google. “I am the first Israeli to bring the Rocky Mountain Horse breed to Israel,” Hanael told Tazpit Press Service. “Horses are a way of life for me,” said the private horse owner, who keeps his horses at a friend’s stable in Ben Shemen, a moshav in central Israel for riding.

The horses were transported from the USA via a special cargo plane that had no passengers or chairs. They were placed in special Air-Stable containers with feed and water provided throughout the flight.

“Every year, there are anywhere from 400-600 horses that are imported to Israel from the United States and Europe,” estimated Hanael. “It’s actually not so complicated to fly horses as one might expect.”

The Rocky Mountain Horse is a breed that evolved in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky and is considered a friendly horse that is hardy and strong. They easily adapt to new terrain.

Hanael recently invited Rocky Mountain Horse trainer, Robert Lawson and his wife Lyngle Lawson along with Judy Brummer, the President of the Rocky Mountain Horse Association based in Kentucky, to assist him with his horses.

“It’s a privilege to have someone like Robert come to help me with the horses,” said Hanael. “No one else in Israel is familiar with this breed.”

“Training a horse in Israel is really no different than in the states,” Lyngle Lawson told TPS. “The facilities are different to accommodate the needs of the horse because of the climate. Barns in Israel use more steel than wood used in the US for example.”

“The Rocky Mountain Horse is an excellent fit for Israel,” added Lawson, who with her husband, runs the Stoner Ridge Farm in Paris, Kentucky. “It’s a great horse for the hills and valleys in Israel.”

Lawson’s husband, Robert, has been professionally training Rocky Mountain horses for the past 22 years both in Kentucky and across the U.S.

It was the couple’s first trip to Israel and they were excited to visit the country. “We were thrilled to have the opportunity to ride in the Ben Shemen Forest area,” said Lyngle. “Lior welcome us with the warm hospitality of the Israeli people.”

“We so appreciate the opportunity to experience the culture of Israel and to see how the Rocky Mountain Horses have totally adapted to this new climate.”

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