I meet in person with all my clients in advance of their equine photography sessions. During that meeting, I always ask clients if they have any questions about their upcoming horse photoshoot. And almost without fail, I get the question, “What if my horse doesn’t behave during his photoshoot?”





What if my Horse Doesn’t Behave During his Photoshoot?


If you think that over the last several years every horse that I have photographed has behaved perfectly then I’ve got some beachfront property in Kansas I want to sell you. Ha!

Horses are animals with personalities and moods just like people. Everyone has bad days, off days, grumpy moods, and playful moods.

But, in all the years that I have been photographing animals, there has only been one time that we have actually had to reschedule a photography session due to the horse’s behavior.


Off-the-Track Thoroughbred Horse Portrait in Chattanooga Tennessee

What if my horse won’t stand still while on his lead?


Let me ask you a question, if I told you that I need you to stand around and look really pretty with a smile on your face for an hour without moving, could you do it? Probably not. You’d fidget. You’d think about snacks. You’d wonder what your friends are doing… So why expect your horse to do that?

Some horses are perfectly fine with standing around. Others want to move and get some energy out. Both are perfectly acceptable. And both types are able to get beautiful images out of their photoshoots.

Always remember that your horse is a horse. Not a model. Asking him to stand near his buddies and not chat with them, or to stand in a field filled with snack-friendly grass and not help himself is a pretty big ask.

During our consultation, we will take the time to figure out how to make a session work for your horse’s personality. And, on the day of the session, we will make adjustments to our plan for his mood of the day.

I purposefully schedule one session per day so that I have plenty of time to work with each horse.

I also suggest a light lunge earlier in the day, not scheduling anything stressful, such as a vet or farrier visit, and keeping your horse on as much of his regular schedule as possible on the day of his photography session.

Girl in Green Dress with Haflinger in equestrian portrait session



I can never let my horse off-lead for a horse photoshoot!



It might surprise you to know that most of the horses’ I photograph aren’t off lead.

Some who are running in fields are but even a lot of them are on lunge lines or lead lines.  Safety always comes first during a horse photoshoot and I am deeply concerned about the safety of the horse, the equestrian, myself, and any assistants, and helpers.

Horses are 1000 pound animals with minds of their own. I’d rather be safe than sorry so more often than not, horses are secured…even when it doesn’t look like it in the final images.




Got more Questions?


If you have more questions about horse photoshoots, make sure to check out our other blog posts including:

Questions to Ask a Horse Photographer BEFORE Booking

Can we Have a Horse Photoshoot in the Rain?

Do I need Professional Photography to Sell My Horse?

7 Reasons to Book a Fall Equine Photoshoot in Spring

Why you Should Take Professional Pictures with your Horse


Ready to Schedule your Horse Photoshoot?


Interested in scheduling your horse photoshoot with Ride the Sky Equine Photography?  You can send Ride the Sky a message here



Betsy Bird of Ride the Sky Equine Photography spends her days doing insane things to make horses look at her. Clearly, she’s desperate for attention. When she’s not celebrating the stories of the amazing horses in her clients’ lives, she invests time and energy into perfecting her equine photography skills and growing her business, hanging with her favorite rescue dog, Nitro, and planning her next big adventure. She also tries to spend some time educating and entertaining her fans and potential clients by blogging and posting on social media about whatever catches her fancy at the moment. 

Betsy is a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) with the organization Professional Photographers of America (PPA). The CPP designation is held by fewer than 2,000 photographers nationwide and is a hallmark of consistency, technical skill, artistry, and professionalism. Ride the Sky specializes in on-location photography for equines. Ride the Sky also has the option of bringing the studio to the stable. Based in Chattanooga, TN, Ride the Sky Equine Photography works on location in Tennessee, North Georgia, and beyond.

These photos are copyrighted by their respective owners. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited.