Above all, keep in
mind the purpose of a sales video—1) to show the horses best points 2)
to show the horse fairly from all views 3) to get the buyer interested enough
to make a visit to see the horse (or buy the horse sight unseen!) 4) to convince the buyer that the horse is suitable for their purposes so that they can try them 5) if possible, to show the “spirit” of the horse so that the buyer can make some sort of connection
The basic way to accomplish
this is to either start or end with a standard side conformation shot of the horse (see HOW TO take a basic conformation picture).
This should be done from each side.
After that, if possible, walk the horse away from the camera and then back towards the camera to
show the way the horse travels. (Make certain that the HORSE is lined up with
the camera—not the person). If the horse is not obedient enough at this
point to do this in a calm manner, do NOT include this phase of being lead—just make certain that you get walk
shots in the free turn out footage. Remember, you want to show the horse at their
best…”training on video” is for training videos, not sale videos.
Include side footage at the free walk too if possible in the free turn out.
Turn the horse out in a large enough area that they can move freely at all gaits and “stretch
their legs”, especially at the trot. Include a straight side so that the
horse can move in a straight line. Round pens do not fairly represent a horse,
as the horses are continually off balance to one side in order to turn. And
generally the round pens are too small to show the horse to any advantage.
Keep the horse moving in each direction, and then let them stop and pause. Generally,
a horse will walk off and thus tape the walk to show the walk from the side if possible.
Generally the horse will look at the camera and give an alert stop shot.
Keep it natural—a “hyped up” horse may be entertaining briefly, however unless
the horse does this naturally regularly when turned out, they may not show this when a person comes to see the horse in person. Disappointed prospective buyers are not pleasant to be around!
However, if the horse is naturally sluggish or difficult to move, do enough to get them moving
For sporthorses, if the
horse is old enough to show free jumping, include some shots.
For horses that are going
under saddle, include footage of the horse being ridden/driven at all gaits. This
subject is beyond the scope of this article, so please e-mail with any questions.
Take enough footage so that the prospective buyer can get a good sense of the horse.
Keep in mind that the person searching may have to travel several hundred miles,
and stay at a hotel for one to a few days. This is just added expense…and
so you want it to be worth their time.
No horse is perfect for every person—however be certain that the horse
is fairly represented. (2) If the horse has a glaring fault—i.e. something
that will definitely be noticed when you first see the horse—be certain that it is shown on the video clearly.
This does not mean that you show the fault from the start and constantly
come back to it, just that it clearly is shown so that the person will not travel a long way to see the horse and be very
If the horse has a particular
strong point in movement—a long strided, bold trot; a ground-covering canter; either knee movement or flat knees; a
natural stretching; a natural suspension in their gait; excellent form over fences, etc.---emphasize that point. Do this by repeating or showing more of this movement. Or
emphasize in slow motion.
It goes without saying that
the horse should be well groomed and clean for any pictures. Basic clipping should
be done before taking the time to make a video.
End the video with information
on how to contact the agent(s) or the owner(s). See below in Multiple Horses for making a "slide".
Halters are best taken off
in order to completely show the horse, tho some people like to keep them on to show something similar to a bridle.
However make certain that the halter does not distract from the horse—avoid bright, loud
colors that detract from the horse.
Use a leather halter if possible. Leather type
halters can be purchased at many on-line tack store for under $25 and the one time investment is well worth the cost.
Videos should be updated
every year, and many times a buyer will request some current footage if the video is several months old, especially on younger
horses. So, try to establish a routine for taking videos that allows for easy
Keep in mind that a video
lasts for many, many years. And many people other than the person that you send
it to may see it. Videos have a way of getting “passed around a barn”.
Be certain your video says what you want to say about the quality of your horses and of your breeding
program…there may be other buyers out there that will see the video and give you a call!
So, take the time and put in the effort the first time—it will make a difference in the long
MULTIPLE HORSE VIDEOS
If you are including several horses, make certain that the horses are identified on the tape.
This too does not have to be anything fancy. Simply print the horses name and date of foaling with
any other information on a piece of regular typing paper from a standard printer. And take a video shot of this for
a few seconds before taking the video of the horse. This is the use of a "slide" that can be useful to start and
to end the video too.
Audio introductions and musical backgrounds can be very effective, if you have the capabilities
to include these.