We evaluated a hypothesis that horses are susceptible to avian influenza viruses by in vitro testing, using explanted equine tracheal epithelial cultures, and in vivo testing by aerosol inoculation of ponies. Results showed that several subtypes of avian influenza viruses detectably replicated in vitro. Three viruses with high in vitro replication competence were administered to ponies. None of the three demonstrably replicated or caused disease signs in ponies. While these results do not exhaustively test our hypothesis, they do highlight that the tracheal explant culture system is a poor predictor of in vivo infectivity.