a portrait of a grey horse

How to prepare for a photo shoot; What to wear (Horses!)

Feb 11, 2017 | Preparing for a Photo Shoot

Following on from the past few weekends blogs I have blog #3 in the series for you today! It’s all about how to prepare your horse for a photo shoot! Although there will probably be less panic over this than preparing yourself I still thought it was an important topic to cover for your preparations for a photo shoot!

Whether you own a dressage diva or a hairy little pony they all deserve to shine their brightest in front of the camera! The key is preparation! You don’t want to be pulling a mane half an hour before the shoot starts or realise they need clipping a few days beforehand. Be prepared for your shoot and you will enjoy it all the more and even happier with your images and finished products. I promise!

First of all the time of year depends on what your horse is ultimately going to look like so have a think about whether you want to wait until their summer coat is fully through or whether you love them all fluffy or they look best with a smart clip. If your horse suffers from any kind of seasonal issues which may affect either their mood or their coats it’s worth bearing that in mind too. For example if you know your horse is going to deteriorate during the summer due to sweet itch then it’s best to arrange the shoot for when you know you have the least amount of flies around.

If you are having a shoot at a time of the year when you’re clipping then do try and clip about at least a week if not 2-3 before your shoot to allow a little bit of time for the hair to settle back into a more natural pattern and allow the oils to come back through the coat. If you want an Autumn shoot but also want their summer coats then you can always try rugging them earlier or heavier than you usually would and their summer coat should still be there!

Similarly with mane and tail pulling try to do it at least a few days if not a week before the shoot to allow the hair to relax and fall naturally again. Make sure their bridal path if they have one is neatly trimmed at this point too!

I generally advise against plaiting your horse as most of the photos people tend to have with their horses are when they are plaited up at a competition and I like to be able to show a slightly different element to your relationship. If however you absolutely love the look of your horse plaited and you couldn’t imagine him or her any other way then by all means go for it but please have them plaited before I arrive.

A good bath is usually required especially if you have a gorgeous grey on your hands! I love them but I do not envy those of you with them on this front!! Again they need to be fully dried and preferably brushed again before I arrive, a soggy coat doesn’t look great on a photo I have to say and when you’re standing there staring and willing them to dry it just doesn’t happen very quickly…!

On the day of the shoot itself I recommend a good brushing (assuming they have already been bathed!) and then applying the little finishing touches like oiling their hooves, applying a small amount of horse make up if they usually wear it for shows and generally making sure they sparkle! And most importantly of all please apply plenty of fly spray to your horse prior to your shoot!

With regards to tack I like having the options of using both a bridal and headcollar throughout the shoot. It’s also handy to have a saddle at the ready especially if you’re hoping to get some ridden or sat on them shots throughout your shoot. All your tack needs to be clean including bits and leadropes. I recommend plain and smart headcollars and leadropes, leather preferably for the headcollar and dark plain colours for the leadrope. Brightly coloured and patterned leadropes tend to steal the show a little and the shoot really isn’t all about them!! Again a plain numnah is perfect for slipping under the saddle should you decide to use it during the shoot.

Hopefully that will have eased your mind about how to prepare your horse for a photo shoot if you have an upcoming shoot or are considering booking one!

TOP TIP: If there is too much information here to try and remember then just think about how you would prepare them for a show and go with that! So long as they sparkle they will look stunning on their photos!

Until next weekend where I will be blogging about ‘Where to go for your Photo Shoot,’

Ciara x

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