Putting the Horse in Horse & Rider Sessions

Client Resources

You’ve just booked your first Horse & Rider session and you are so excited. What are you going to wear, how are you going to do your hair, the locations. So many decisions to make and to think of. But let’s back up one step. This is a Horse & Rider session. We need to consider that without our horses, we would not be doing this session. It is because of our horses that we are here. We need to take into account their wants, needs and likes for this session as well.

I am a big advocate on you know your horse best and to be the voice for them. During our sessions, I would never put a horse and rider in an unsafe position or place but both you and I need to ensure we have the horses well-being as our priority during our time together.

These are my 4 tips on how to ensure the absolute comfort and success for including your horse in your Horse & Rider Session:

  1. Preparation – When planning your session, we have to keep in mind your horse’s personality, their likes, dislikes, fears, etc. If your horse is afraid of water, maybe planning a session on the beach isn’t the best idea. If we are taking them to a new environment and they lack confidence, expose them to this environment prior to slowly build their confidence. If there is something your horse really enjoys, lets incorporate that into our session. We want the horse to be as comfortable as possible. This isn’t the time to introduce new things.
  2. Patience – We are working with live animals. They don’t understand what we are doing. Our session isn’t the time to school or correct your horse. Unless it is deemed a safety concern, allow your horse to just settle. They rely on you for your energy and if you start to get tense, frustrated, or upset they are going to pick up on it. Allow them to settle and come to terms with our expectations. It is not every day that we put them in a photo session.
  3. Listen – Horses communicate in very subtle cues. It is our job to listen. If a horse is indicating that they need a break, then we can take a break. I never want to push a horse beyond what they can handle for the sake of an image. I also never want to consider the horse as just a prop. They are after all, the main reason for this session.
  4. Relax & Enjoy – You are not walking into the ring to go win your next round. There is no pressure to preform. It is just you and your horse. You are enjoying this moment with them for everything you have already accomplished. Forget about expectations, life isn’t perfect, but we are here to capture all the moments.

Planning your Horse & Rider session should not be stressful. We will walk through every step together to ensure it is a smooth process for you and your horse. Everything from preparation, planning, outfits and locations.

Interested in booking a session? Click the link below!

February 5, 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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