I already get annoyed by how low the military copters have to fly over our ranch. The other day I could make out that the one guy on board had a mustache - I think there is no reason to fly that low. But our horses have generally gotten used to it.
Now my new neighbor, who is actually quite a few houses away, has a remote control helicopter and remote control glider. The helicopter is loud and does lots of wild flips and dives but pretty much stays over by their house. The glider however can go pretty much over half the neighborhood. At times it flies pretty low. When it is over our arena it does freak the horses out because it just has a relatively quiet but apparently unnerving whirring sound. Before I kindly write said neighbor a note, what exactly are the rules about flying over someone else's property and if he continues to do low fly bys can I shoot it down???
Once upon a time, back when there actually were "B" shows, there was a "B" show series rated "A" for eq. on a farm where a bunch of other folks were given to flying their remote planes in another field across the road every weekend. I'm not going to say these planes never crossed the road into the air space of the show grounds...
Toward the end of the summer, Ox Ridge Hunt Club shipped a bunch of their very expensively mounted eq. kids to this "B" show assuming at least one of them could beat the local yokels and qualify.
The Ox Ridge horses saw/heard the planes and went batsh*t. And one of the local yokels who'd been showing there all year, and whose horse was already long since over spooking at the goofy planes, got her 2nd Maclay qualifier.
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Just want to add that my clients are very elderly... Main concern is the eighty year old gentlemen with his stallion. If he has a crash because of this am I liable? And also the way the plane silently appears from behind the house isn't as much a bomb proofing issue as the horses just seem utterly surprised by the high speed bird flying suddenly flying right at them.
A lovely field that I used to ride in got turned into a remote control airplane "air park" not too long ago. They have manicured runways, tables for working on planes, etc. Shortly after it became the airpark I was told by some airplane dude that I shouldn't ride around there because "an engine could fall out and hurt us riding under them" or something to that effect. Soooo, I suppose you could turn that argument around and tell him not to fly over your property because the engine (or entire plane for that matter) could fall and injure a horse.
Yell "Pull!" and be sure to lead when you squeeze the trigger.
Too funny! I work near an airfield used by a defense contractor...regularly get aircraft (u.s. and foreign) that come in for testing, repairs. A co-worker told me a story about how a german surveillance plane flew out to calibrate their system and came back with shotgun holes.
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Oh, and DH said, if the plane goes down on your place, or gets stuck in on of your trees, you get to keep it. The owner doesn't have the right to come get it without your permission.
Maybe not true. If the property is not fenced, gated and posted no trespassing, then the owner maybe does have the right to come on the property; ie, just because you own the property does not mean it is not accessible to the public.
Be glad it's the model kind. We had a real one show off for us last week and the results in the neighborhood weren't pretty. One horse dead, one other horse that I know of (owned by my hay supplier) injured badly. http://www.kimatv.com/news/local/103582609.html
As for the model planes....a friend of mine lives near a club "airport" and the little things love to buzz around the orchards. For the most part her horses ignore them. We do joke that we should try skeet shooting with them though. I would definitely talk to them about the glider. Stay calm and explain that the horses don't hear it coming and you are worried for the safety of both horses and riders. If that doesn't work, talk to your local police department and ask if you can declare open season on gliders!
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The horses will learn to cope, as they did with the real helicopters.
Do you value the potential relationship with your new neighbor? If so, maybe a polite and friendly "FYI" about horses and strange new things. If not, by all means go the shotgun route. If he's a reasonable and accomodating sort, he will probably be very apologetic at upsetting your animals and (assuming there is a place to do so) will hopefully find better air-space. If he's a jerk and a bully, well, how's your aim?
Murphy's Mom, what a horrible outcome! Anyway, I'm sure the horses will get used to it, but since I can't always be with every client at all times I am just worried they might get hurt either leading or riding when the glider appears. Can I politely suggest in the letter that the plane owner might be liable for injury caused or does this fall under my farm liability? My property is fenced, but the opposite neighbor is not only fenced and gated, but they are hoarders with guns so maybe they will take it out or just take it. Thanks for all the replies so far.
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I would start by talking with this gentleman about your concerns, which are valid.
As to "they'll get used to it"-- sometimes they don't, period. Sometimes, horses just can't get over the silent-to-subtle flying object that approaches randomly. If it were daily, or on a schedule, they might (like the real helos). We had a pair of ultralight planes that liked to come around our area each summer--never the same day or time, just whenever. Freaked out the horses EVERY time. Now, the biplane that buzzes us? No problem, as he does it all summer, in the afternoon, and you can see and hear him coming for miles. Horses like that
Bluey, thanks for the link, but I think I'd need at least the size they use to catch feral cats... Although that one would be handy if I spot the Tarantula Hawk that I saw for the first time the other day. Apparently the second most painful sting of all insects!
The horses do get used to it. When I was living in Fort Worth, our barn was directly in the flight path of Bell Helicopter which was a few miles down the road. I don't know how many times a day a helicopter flew over our arena. This came in very handy when one of the women there started dating a Bass brother and he decided to land his helicopter in one of our paddocks to "check" on her. I don't think one of the horses looked up from the grass when that happened. But WE humans were all a flutter in the barn worrying about what our horses would do.
That said, my vote is to shoot it down Secret Squirrel style, pick it up and bash it in to a tree about 5 times and then stomp on it just for good measure to hide the bullet holes and then be very sorry about the unfortunate mishap when he finds the shards in your woods.