Drones (sUAS, small Unmanned Aircraft Systems) and Horses

Earlier today Finding Family crew member, Grant Boling, and myself (the producer) took a Phantom 4 drone to Hope for Heroes Equine Therapy Ranch in Yelm WA. Our primary goal was to see how close the drone could get to a horse without spooking her. Assuming we and the horse could negotiate a distance, we planned to run through a test a shot list.

Sherie, one of Finding Family’s equine consultants and a professional horse trainer brought her horse, Stacia, to the ranch. When Stacia first heard the drone buzzing over her head she thought the noise was coming from a swarm of bees. She shook her head violently to try to shake the bees go away. After a short time, even though the noise continued, Stacia realized that she was not being stung and relaxed. Sherie was able to lead Stacia through a series of exercises while we followed her with a drone. Our test shot list included:

1. High drone (20 plus feet of the ground) establishing shots

2. Low drone (5 feet off the ground) rider for OTS shots

3. Low drone following horses

4. Circular shots following horse moving around a rink

We’ll be practicing more before Grant takes his drone certification exam. I’l post the footage once Grant has weeded through it!