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Preparing your horse for a photoshoot | Tips from a NSW, Sydney based Equine Photographer

So exciting! You booked in with me at Hergott Photography, I assume you have picked your outfit, if not check out my other article about it here.

Now it is the time to get your horse ready and prepare him for an equine photoshoot.


Preparing your horse for a photoshoot is not only preparing your horse.

It’s important that all tack you would like to use is nice and clean. That might be the first thing I would start with.

Make sure bridles, saddles, halters or any other equipment is free from dirt, oild and are in the best presentable condition.

If you’d like to use accessories such as flowers, leaves, pins, have them prepared. I also have few things available, let me know if you are interested.

Grooming & Bathing

make sure your horse will have enough time to dry before the start of your photoshoot. If your horse is not cooperating or you need some tips and tricks for bathing here you can read some bathing tips

Mane & Tail

Make sure they are cleaned too, detangled, and brushed out fully. There are lot of products that help you to brush the mane and tail.

Think about how they should look like. If you’d like your horse braided, clipped or banded, do it in advance of our photo session. If it is something you’d like to do yourself here are some tips for you.

If you’ve decided for the braiding please do not forget to start on time so you don't have to rush to finish it.

If you prefer a more natural look you can skip braiding. In that case you want to make the mane and tail shiny and smooth. Apply a small amount of shine/detangling product to your fingers, and run them through your horse’s mane, to smooth down the hairs. Avoid brushing or combing a wet mane or tail, it can result in stretching and pulling out hairs. Instead, allow the hair to dry after you’ve washed and conditioned it.


While preparing your horse for a photoshoot you definitely don’t want to forget about the hooves.

Polish your horse’s hooves. This might be a bit dirty so please do that before you would change to your outfit you’ve prepared for yourself.

Exercise or Rest

Depends on your horse temper.

If you have a more active, tempered horse it’s a good idea to longe him/her before. If you plan to do this, don’t over do it. We don’t want to end up with a sweaty horse right before we start the session.

Also think about the type of photos we are about to take, if we are taking photos during your training or riding, this might not be necessary.

If you have a laid back horse or an old one, let him rest before the photo session.

You know your horse best, so I’m sure you will decide what’s the best for him/her to look the best on the big day.


I love the morning hours or late afternoon hours to take photos, that’s the best time. The sun is nice and low, the light is soft and the colours could be magical too. This means though that your horse’s regular feed might be at the same time as our equine photo session.

If that’s the case, I suggest feeding earlier or giving him/her a portion of hay or grain prior to the photo shoot. It can be a challenge if the horse mates are eating as your pony might get distracted and hungry. Let’s keep everyone happy and let’s not start the session with a hungry horse.

Final touches & good to have

  • Clean your horse’s face, use an oil-based shine product on a towel or rag to highlight the black points around your horse’s muzzle, eyes, and inside his ears. It’s a simple thing and makes a huge difference (don’t over do it though).

  • You’ll also want to have your grooming supplies nearby for touch-ups during the photo session.

  • If it’s the season, it’s good to have fly spray around.

  • I’ll always bring carrots with me, but if you have special treats keep them around.

  • Friends are always welcome to our photo shoot, also if you want an extra hand don’t hesitate to bring a friend or family member.

I hope these tips will help you prepare your horse for a photoshoot. If you still have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me by filling out the contact form, or send me an e-mail, sms, or just simply call me.

I am really looking forward to our fun time together with your four legged friend.


Tips & tricks from a Sydney based Equine & Canine photographer. Taking photos of horses and dogs across greater Sydney.


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