The One Step You Are Probably Forgetting When Preparing Your Horse for an Equestrian Photography Session


February 13, 2022

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Photographer, wife, mom, horse lover and farm girl. My number one priority when photographing you is helping you look your best and feel comfortable in front of the camera. 
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Getting Your Horse Photoshoot Ready is About More Than How They Look, But Also How They Feel

So you’ve booked a horse photography session and are thinking about all the things you want to do to get them ready. You’re probably thinking about giving them a bath, making sure their mane looks great and deciding if you want them to wear any ‘horse makeup’. But there is one step you are likely forgetting. That step is lunging!

Girl lunging a horse in black and white

Lunging Your Horse to Prepare For Photos

Having their picture taken is not a normal part of your horse’s life. You will likely have them standing in areas and ways they are not used to and it can cause some anxiety. That is where lunging comes in. It helps them settle in, calm their nerves and all around be more photo-ready. Plus, if lunging is a regular part of your riding and/or showing routine, it has the added benefit of being a familiar activity.

How Long Should I Lunge For?

This is going to depend on you and your horse. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, but we are not looking to break a sweat. Keep it nice and light and just enough to help them get into a comfortable rhythm.

When Should I Lunge Them?

I recommend lunging your horse right before doing the final touches, such as the last brush over with a finishing brush and applying the horse makeup if you choose to do so. And do not be afraid to ask for a lunging break during the session if your horse is getting restless.

But Then When Should I Get Ready for the Pictures With My Horse?

It is great to have your hair and makeup done and ready before going to get your horse from the barn. Then after you have groomed, lunged and applied any finishing touches to your horse, then change into your first outfit. This way your horse will not be waiting tied long after they’re all ready, and you are less likely to get fully of horse goober before your session has even started. It also never hurts to have a friend or assistant help with these little details as well!

Girl Cleaning Her Horse's Nose

Looking for more tips on prepping your horse?

Check out the Preparing your horse for an Equestrian Photoshoot guide on my equestrian photography website.

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