As drones become increasingly popular across various industries, including agriculture, concerns have arisen among horse owners and ranchers about their impact on grazing horses.

To address this issue, researchers at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, conducted a study, recently published in the journal Rangelands. The team, which was led by Ryan Howell, investigated how horses reacted when they were exposed to drones flying at various altitudes above ground level.

They monitored the behavior of privately owned horses on various Utah properties, with some drone flights focusing on individual horses and others on groups of up to 10.

Using binoculars and on-board camera footage, the researchers observed and categorized the horses’ behavior, such as walking, trotting, and grazing, before the drone’s launch and at 5-second intervals during its approach at 3 m, 15 m, and 33 m heights above ground level.

The study found that grazing was the most common “at…