Photographing a Horse for Sale

Getting the Perfect Picture to Sell Your Horse

Paula Sainthouse


A good quality picture of the horse offered for sale is often top of the buyer's wish list when he or she is scanning adverts

 An advertisement with a picture will attract more attention than one without, and may be the difference between securing a serious enquiry or your horse being overlooked altogether. A good, carefully selected picture can tell the buyer a lot about whether this horse is for them. Try to consider the following guidelines on photographs to accompany a ‘horse for sale’ advert. 

Always Include a Photograph or State one can be Supplied

There really is not much excuse in these days when photos are so easy to get and many people even have cameras in their mobile phones, not to either have a picture in the advert of the horse for sale or mention that photos can be emailed by request. A picture can paint a thousand words, and with advert words often limited, or involving extra costs the longer the written part of the advert gets, this really can save you a fortune.

Ensure the Picture is Clear and From a Good Angle

Remember that the photograph you supply will probably be much smaller in its final form, especially if it appears in printed media like magazines. Don’t supply blurry out-of focus shots that will not reproduce well and will tell the buyer very little. Take the picture from the best angle to show off your horse. Many people try to snap their horse by standing back and holding the lead rein at the very end- this can make the horse’s heads look large and not show much of their body, so either try and have someone hold your horse or try and take a picture loose in the field, again from a sensible angle. Fully side on is usually most informative for the buyer, giving a good idea of the horse’s condition, build and conformation.

Clean up the horse first!

It sounds obvious but the buyer would like to see the horse’s true build and colour, not a mud monster that could be a completely different shape underneath! Going out and snapping a horse with knots in its mane and tail and filthy patches all over its body suggests that you don’t care much about it, and the buyer may wonder if you are just desperate to get rid of it. So take time to have the horse groomed and looking its best for its sales shot. You’re not likely to get the best possible price without a bit of elbow grease. Having worked on the horse, don't take the picture when it is dozing, try to have it standing square and alert with ears pricked. Rustling something will usually get the horse's attention.

  Only have One Horse in the Picture

Take a shot with only the horse that is for sale in it, to make that horse the star of the picture and avoid any confusion over which is actually being offered. A very nice horse in the background could make yours look ordinary by comparison. You certainly don’t want to waste the limited words you have on saying ‘the horse is the bay on the right of the photograph’ and the last thing you need is a lot of calls about that darling chestnut, behind your horse, that is not actually for sale.