It’s probably one of your biggest worries about booking a photo session, right? What if he throws a fit? What if she rears? Bites? Paws? Doesn’t want to stand still?
I’ll let you in on a little secret – it’s okay if your horse isn’t perfect. It happens and that’s okay. Here are some tips on what we can do to set your horse up for success.
Feed your horse before your session. And bring snacks.
Horses are like kids – they don’t behave well when hungry. I like to schedule my Horse and Rider Connection sessions about an hour or two before sunset. That tends to be dinner time for many horses. I highly recommend feeding your horse their dinner before your session so that they have a full, happy tummy. Bring some treats, too. Not only are they great for reinforcing good behavior, I like to use them to get ‘happy ears’ on your horse and use them as a guide for setting them up in flattering poses.
Lunge your horse before the session.
If your horse tends to be excitable, lunge them before your session. Don’t get them soaking wet, but get the crazy gremlins out of their system.
Take a break.
Like young children, horses don’t know why they have to stand forever in one spot and ‘smile’ (in this case, keep their ears up). They might just need a break. We can go for a little walk. We can let them graze for a bit. This is a good opportunity for you to take a breather and grab some water and a snack, too.
Take it in stride.
I won’t lie – as much as it sucks when your horse acts up, it can make for a cool photo. Correct your horse and carry on smiling and loving on your horse. Sometimes we just have to step back and let them get the crazy out. We’re here to have fun and create memories that will last a lifetime!