How to help your kids with their riding hobby
Horse photography Selling a horse

With these tips, you can film yourself riding – without an assistant!7 min read

You don’t have to hire a professional to get footage of you with your horse. There’s a lot of different options and technology that can make filming yourself (without it looking like a selfie) quiet easy!

You can use your smartphone, a digital camera, a DSLR camera, a strap-on camera or even a drone to get different kinds of shots of you with your horse.

Using your smartphone

The quickest and easiest way to film yourself with your horse is to prop up your phone somewhere and hit record.

The back camera tends to be the better camera, so I’d go with that one when possible.

It’s a good idea to prop it up somewhere safe, so it doesn’t get kicked (by you or your horse) accidentally.

You can use a tripod or a clip to attach it to something, the tripods that have flexible legs can be attached to just about any kind of support structure and some of them are even magnetic for easy mounting on metallic surfaces.

Without a tripod you can lean your phone against whatever you can find. In a pinch, one of my favourite tricks is to prop it up between two objects that keep it upright, such as books.

You can also use one of those phone holders designed to sit on a desk, but the angle can be awkward on them.

Using a camera & tripod

If you’re going to film yourself riding and working more often, a tripod is a great investment. You may also want to consider buying a good camera.

When you buy a tripod make sure that the attachment is compatible with what you’re going to use – cameras and smartphones need different types of mounts.

Tripods come in different sizes and types, for different terrains and different uses.

The tripods with flexible legs are great to use when you’re not going to be standing next to the camera because you can attach them to brances, fences and any kind of support structures they’ll sit on securely.

Just wrap the legs around whatever is handy and balance the camera so it doesn’t fall off.

Regular standing tripods can easily be blown over if you’re filming outside, and if you’ve got an expensive camera mounted on a tripod that smashes onto a hard surface you can kiss that camera goodbye.

Always try to position your camera set up somewhere secure to minimise damage.

When you set up the camera, check that it has enough of the area you’re going to be working in view so that you don’t end up with footage where you’re off-camera for most of the clip.

Buy a wearable camera

When you want to get the great action shots, it’s time to get a sports camera that you can attach to whichever point of view you want to capture.

These little cameras can be worn on the helmet, on the chest, on the arm or strapped to your horse – your imagination (and staying on securely) is the limit!

Even if you just want a hands-free way of filming while you ride and work with your horse, this is a great option.

Remember to buy the mounting gear you want with your camera, such as a helmet or chest harness.

Invest in a motion-tracking camera

A camera that tracks you wherever you go. The benefit of this type of technology is that it won’t just point and shoot in one direction, it’ll follow you around as you move.

A motion-tracking camera will sit on a tripod and use motion sensors to follow the target (you) around as you ride.

There are many brands of cameras to choose from and even motion camera bases available that you can use to film yourself riding.

This type of camera will require you to wear a bracelet so that it can track your movements.

Once you’ve set it up with the bracelet, choose a good spot for your camera and hit record to let the camera do the hard work of filming!

Buying a drone with a camera

If your horse is okay with it or if you’re going to train him to be okay with it, you can also get a drone that will follow you around.

The beauty with a drone is that it will give you beautifully even videos with no shaking (hello, it’s flying!).

You can make the drone follow you in profile, follow behind you, “walk backwards” in front of you, it can circle around you, do dramatic rising or descending shots and much more.

This is a considerable investment, though, but in my opinion, the coolest of all the options.

What are you waiting for?

Filming yourself riding or working with your horse will make for some amazing footage.

You don’t need to hire a professional, you don’t have to recruit friends to film you (they’ll only whine about it and get crappy shots anyway) and you can really showcase your horse on your website or social media with some great footage of him – and you – in action.

When you’re filming your horse for selling choose only the clips that show him at his best

A buyer can get a much better idea from a video than from a stationary photo – even just a short clip will show so much!

The same basic rules apply to shooting video as to taking photos. Only include those clips that really showcase the horse and demonstrate what you’re advertising your horse can do.

If you want to sell a competition horse, getting footage from a competition is great, but seeing the horse in action at home is just as good.

You don’t need to get fancy either, skip the clever intros, music and slow-motion sections. Best to keep it simple and to the point, if the buyer wants more, they can ask.

If you’re selling a jumper, include clips of the horse clearing fences of an appropriate height in a good manner. Footage of a horse stopping, refusing, hesitating or dropping the poles will only make it look bad.

If your horse is good in traffic, show some footage of your horse being ridden down the road with cars going by.

If you’re selling a first pony, show the pony being handled, tacked up and ridden by a child.

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