FREEBIE! – The Ultimate Guide to getting your Horse Photoshoot Ready!

Client Resources

You’ve booked your Horse & Rider session and now you don’t know what to do. Planning is so important and a huge part in leading your session to success. If you read our recent blog post What to look for when booking an Equine Photographer you know our top tips in selecting a photographer and horse knowledge is one I truly believe is so important!

As a true equine photographer, they will have the skills necessary to keep you and your horse safe while looking your best during your session but will also be able to help you prepare not only yourself but your horse as well.

Read below my top 5 tips for getting your horse photoshoot ready and download our free PDF “The Ultimate Guide to Getting your Horse Photo Shoot Ready” for our Top 5 Tips and Checklist.

  1. Grooming – This one seems to be obvious but the foundation to any session is a well groomed horse. Thoroughly grooming your horse, paying close attention to manes, tails and their overall conditions. Baths, or green spot remover are very helpful if you can’t give a bath. Applying a coat conditioner or hoof polish can help accentuate their natural beauty.
  2. Tack Selection – This one can also greatly impact the overall look and feel of your photoshoot. Selecting tack and colours that coordinate with your horse’s coat colour are important. Whether it is a classic leather bridle or clean looking halter, avoiding overly elaborate tack is key in ensuring you don’t take away from your horse’s natural beauty.
  3. Location – This one may seem odd for preparing your horse but I believe is a crucial one. Most sessions happen on the farm where the horse lives but should it be a part of the farm the horse doesn’t visit frequently it is important that we expose them to the area prior to the session. If you have a hay field at the back of the farm that you want to use for photos but your horse only ever goes from the pasture, to the barn, to the arena, it is important that the horse be expose and comfortable in the new environment of the hay field. Taking them out for rides, or hand walks to this “new” location prior to our session is good way to ensure our session will go smoothly.
  4. Exercise – I find most sessions go smoothly when the horse has been in consistent exercise. Get the sillies out as you will! Now I know this isn’t always possible for every horse so it is important to remember your horses limitations. From a quick ride, to lunging or a hand walk, allowing them to release some energy prior to our session will allow them to be more comfortable having to stand still during our session.
  5. Patience – This is one is the most important. We are working with large animals that we all know have a mind of their own. Photographing with horses can be unpredictable and they all have their own personalities. Always be prepared to change the plan and adapt according to their needs. If we need to take breaks or change our plan that is ok. After all, we want them to enjoy this time as much as you do. Remember, the most memorable moments often happen when we least expect it.

April 8, 2024



Chelsea Findlater

Chelsea Findlater is a Western industry Photography & Videographer based in Cambridge, Ontario. From Rodeos, to Horse & Rider Portraits, or content creation, she specializes capturing those candid moments.


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