Getting out of the house yesterday to get to the barn was, for some unknown reason, a complete mess. You would think that two grown adults could manage to wrangle one small child, a jogging stroller, and a bottle of water into the truck without it being too much chaos. Not in our family.
The chaos that ensued led to me forgetting my breeches, boot socks, and phone in a neat little pile on the kitchen table. I discovered that they had been left behind as we were pulling into the barnyard. To say I was disappointed is a bit of an understatement. I was tempted to throw on a pair of jeans, and zip my tall boots over them… but my inner voice said “Umm.. no. You value your legs/ankles/feet blister free, and if the situation got hairy, no way could you could properly handle it.”
I decided instead to make something out of the trip, and had plans to do a vlog (video blog) on how to properly set a horse up for a sales ad. I window shop on a daily basis, and the amount of horrible ads astounds me. How is my interest supposed to be sparked in your $25,000 children’s hunter when the only picture you have of him is with his butt to the camera and his head in a grain bucket? I pulled the maresy in, got her all dolled up, and when we took her outside for the attempt it was a miserable fail. The lighting was horrible, Shannon was fussing, and Willow wasn’t feeling very generous in front of the camera. Also. I wasn’t really “dressed to impress.”
However… let me just post these few important points, so you get SOMETHING out of this post.
- Make sure your horse is clean, mane neatly trimmed, and tail brushed. I’m not big on braiding manes for sales pictures. Videos, however, yes. Braid.
- Take pictures of your horse from both sides. I prefer the horses to not be standing perfectly square, because it throws funky shadows and bumps. I like to be able to see light behind each leg. This doesn’t mean stretching your horse way out unless that’s how the breed dictates.
- I like to see pictures from directly behind (at a safe distance… duh) and directly infront. Stand the horse up square. Then I can further asses legs and how the horse is built (narrow vs. total tanks).
- Make sure any halter or bridle that you use fits the horse well and is in good repair. You don’t have to go over the top with leather and sparkles, just clean and well fitting. I hate seeing halters hanging off horses heads. It’s not flattering.
- Any riding photos should be non-blurry. Rider should be properly attired and tack should be clean and well fitting. This goes for videos as well.
- In videos, show the horse going both ways at whatever level of training it’s at. A sales video isn’t the place to ask them to canter off for the first time.
- If your ad states that your horse can jump 3’6, I want to see that in the video. If you say your horse can piaffe, show me proof.
- Finally, if your horse hasn’t started under saddle, it’s never a bad idea to video them at liberty. In the ring or in the pasture, I don’t really care. The same turnout rules apply. Clean, neatly braided, well fitting head apparatus’ (if you so choose to use one). If you choose to wrap they should be black or white. No neon pink zebra stripes. Also, I don’t really want to see your twelve year old chasing him around with a wiffle ball bat and a plastic bag so that he’ll trot. Editing is your friend, my friend.
I will do up a video, I promise, but for now, please enjoy these ‘Willow and Cate are goofy goobers pictures (or how NOT to take sales pictures.)
Somewhere in outerspace are the rest of the pictures… I’ll update the post when I find them.
Really, this entire post is turning into a hot mess, and I should just delete it.
See y’all later with a family post!