Declan McArdle's top tips for Photographing your Horse

Taking a suitable photograph in open stance

  • Background – preferably a tidy, solid neutral background e.g. a wall or hedge.
  • Horse should be turned out impeccably – clean, feet trimmed, mane and tail tidy, mane lying on off side (or plaited).
  • Wearing a bridle if aged three and over; otherwise a head collar (preferably leather); all tack used should be clean and properly fitted.
  • Preferably standing on a hard surface.
  • Presented in open stance – near fore directly under the shoulder, near hind directly under the point of buttock, with the off fore slightly behind the near fore leg and off hind leg slightly in front of the near hind leg.
  • Horse alert but relaxed, with ears pricked forward.
  • Horse should be in the centre of the photograph.

Action Shots

  • Take action shots – your horse or pony being ridden, lunging, jumping etc.
  • If you decide to be in the photo, ensure your own appearance is smart.

Head Shot Take a good head shot – horse alert with ears pricked forward.

Please note that it is recommended that three people are required to get a good photo.

  • One to hold the horse.
  • One to get the horse’s attention.
  • One to take the photo.

Thanks to Declan McArdle of Teagasc for providing this information.


  • When writing your description for your horse or pony, make sure you include its merits and qualities and his personality.
  • Ask yourself who would this horse be ideal for – is it a riding club, leisure, amateur or professional sports horse or pony?
  • List your horses or pony’s level – novice, intermediate or advanced.