Videoing your horse for sale

Video is a great way to reach your potential buyers whilst they're browsing online, and to get them to the auction.

Video making may not be your speciality, but you probably won't need to search very far to find someone that's useful with their phone and happy to apply their skills.

Consider making a short video to show your horse's conformation, movement and temperament, and upload any performance videos separately.

Here are some of the key points to keep in mind when making your video -

  1. Take the video with the sun behind you to get the best lighting.
  2. Groom the horse - have him/her looking clean and tidy
  3. Have the tack clean and properly fitted
  4. Ensure the rider is smartly and appropriately dressed
  5. Follow the movement of the horse with the camera and keep the horse in the centre of the video frame as you film.
  6. If the camera has a zoom feature use this to zoom in and out as the horse moves further away and closer to keep the horse fully in the frame.
  7. Remove unnecessary objects from the riding area to avoid cluttered backgrounds or the horse being obscured by objects when taking the video.
  8. Have a plan of what, and where, you wish to shoot in advance
  9. A video should show your horse's talent and training, and demonstrate the capabilities included in your description. Show the horse's gaits and transitions on each rein. A video is a really great way to show off your horse.
  10. Show that your horse or pony is easy to groom, handle, box, clip, etc or is unfazed by traffic or distractions if you think these aspects would be appreciated by your target buyer.
  11. If you have access to video editing software, use it to combine and edit various clips into a single video.

Here's a very useful video fromTeagasc's Declan McArdle showing these tips in practice. The video is a few years old and the technology may have changed, now that the video camera has in large part been replaced by the mobile phone, but the principles remain the same.


General tips on producing videos of horses for sale

  • A tripod is advantageous in keeping camera shots steady.
  • Select an area which is clean and has no distractions (including loose dogs or other horses).
  • If your own facilities are not suitable, hire a suitable venue instead.
  • Avoid using the camera zoom (in and out) particularly in poorly lit areas. The camera will have difficulty re-adjusting focus and the image will become blurred and unusable.

Video to include

  • Open stance – same recommendations apply as for photograph.
  • Hard surface for movement – show walking/trotting away and towards the camera.
  • Young horses – show loose movement, preferably in an arena – trot and canter on both reins.
  • Three year olds – show loose movement and jumping or lunging over a fence.
  • Ridden under saddle – show all three paces on both reins; rider must wear a hard hat and be tidily clad.
  • Show clip of jumping a course of fences; if footage is available from a show, incorporate it into the final edit.
  • For Eventers – show on the flat, over show jumps and cross country fences.

Other possible shots to include, particularly if aiming at the amateur market –

  • Loading.
  • Clipping.
  • Being shod/ feet picked out.
  • Standing for mounting.
  • Hacking on the roads with traffic.
  • Footage/ photos out hunting etc.

Options when editing video footage:

  • Include text – Horse’s name, age, height, pedigree.
  • Additional information – performance achievements of dam line/siblings and horse itself.
  • Remove recorded audio from video, unless a commentary adds to marketing (for example audio at a show).
  • Add music – pick music which ‘carries’ the pace of the clip but is not a distraction – be conscious of copyright on commercial music tracks.
  • Clips should be ideally be in the region of 2.5 to 4.5 minutes.
  • Discrete ‘effects and transitions’ will add to the quality of the presentation, however, if overdone they act as a distraction.
  • Remember, the idea of the video clip is to gain and hold a customer’s attention regarding your horse. How the video is edited can play a significant role in helping to sell your horse.

Thanks to Declan McArdle of Teagasc for providing this information.