How to sell your horse

New! Series on Marketing – Photos


By Kevin KidderSpanish Walk

Advertising and marketing are about creating emotion and getting attention.

Current advertising trends not only sell a product, but a lifestyle that goes along with “owning” such a product.
They creatively select colors, stories, and phrases which bring back memories, evoke dreams of the future, and cause us to envision ourselves among the “select few”.

The news channels also use images, often to display how horrible a situation is, evoke sadness or happiness.

What do your photos say about your horse or ranch?

Successful ranches (and service providers) know the power of a photograph and how it affects the image of their business. Photos have great potential to make a huge impact, for better or worse.

A solid, powerful image can quickly raise the interest in a not so well known horse, just as a poor photograph can immediately spread rumors around the equestrian community.  And we all know how small that is!

A good equestrian photographer (professional or novice) should know your breed’s conformation inside and out!
Yes, your horse may look pretty, but caught in motion at the wrong moment you risk losing muscle definition, having joints look disfigured, horses looking hollow – backed….or worse.

The angle of the shot plays a critical role in the outcome of the image (as will the lens).
Long heads, short / fat necks, lack of muscle tone or the appearance of a long back can all be a result of shooting the horse at a bad angle. Any horse can look terrible, if not shot at the correct angle and in the correct lighting. This can also work the other way, leaving you with a dis-proportioned horse.

A great photo can make the difference in selling your horse for $5000, $15,000, or $50,000!
(Is it worth the investment?)

A good photographer:

1. Will determine the best time of day to shoot, based on the color of your horse and the location.

  • Lighting through the day will affect coat colors differently, increasing or decreasing the definition in your horse. It will also affect the resulting “color” that the horse appears in the photos.
  • Lighting will also accentuate or hide key features in your horse.

2.Upon arrival the photographer is going to “size up” your horse:

  • Find its strong points
  • Identify its weaknesses
  • This is important for getting the BEST possible shot of your horse!

3. What/How to shoot?

  • This can often be a tough call, based on what your intended purpose for the shoot is!  MAKE THIS CLEAR!
  • A Stallion shoot (for breeding) is going to be much different than a shoot for selling a mare! (You want to show life, vigor, personality and strength).
  • Shooting for Sales Horses: You will need quality standing shots to s


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