Preparing your horse for an Equestrian Photoshoot

Preparing your horse for a photoshoot is quite similar to preparing them for a show, making sure they both look their best and are on their best behavior. Check out the tips below.

Proper PREPERATION can Make the DIFFERNCE Between meh Photos with Your Horse and WHOA Photos!

If your horse needs any clipping, trimming or mane touch ups, be sure to do them at least a week prior to your session to give them time to blend in, just like I wouldn't recommend you getting a haircut the day of your session.

A few prep steps you want to do at least a week before your equestrian session.

a Week Prior


A clean horse is a beautiful horse. Depending on your schedule, I recommend giving your horse a bath either the day before or the day of your session. Sometimes MN weather doesn't cooperate for a full bath, a sponge bath to touch up dirty spots also works great!




This is key! Especially if it is part of your horse's normal routine. Lunging them helps them get out any photoshoot jitters and makes for a calmer, easier to photograph horse.

Also check out: Lunging Your Horse to Prepare for Your Equestrian Session



Brush with the grain of the hair and finish with a fine finishing brush for optimal hair condition. You may also choose to apply a hair polish such as ShowSheen for an extra glow. If you plan on riding for part of the session, just avoid the saddle area.

Shiny Coat


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If you would normally use a tail extension when showing, definitely put it in for your session, for that polished, full tail look!

Tail Extension

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This comes down to personal preference, but if you are going for a look similar to your show style and you normally band or braid, definitely do so for your session as well. If your horse has a long mane, let it flow.

Banding or Braiding

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Face highlighter can give your horse's face that fresh glow. But be sure to either use clear or petroleum jelly. Avoid using black face highlighter to avoid marking up your outfit if your horse nudges you!

Face Highlighter

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Another optional detail but can give your horse's hooves that healthy shine. If you are looking for one thing to skip to quicken up prep, this one is probably the one to go since the hooves are not a focal point of the images.

Hoof Polish

Optional Details


We'll want to keep an eye on your horse's nose and eyes and periodically wipe them clean if needed. It is awesome to have a friend or assistant along to carry a rag as well as a finishing brush and a few other details to keep your horse looking their best!

During the Session


Sometimes a little preparation goes a long way

AND YOU DID IT! You are ready to totally rock your session with your horse. 

I'm Amber, a Minnesota based equestrian photographer. A horse named Tiazz changed my life back in that summer between 5th & 6th grade. My professional photography journey started in 2013 but I have unofficially been an equestrian photographer ever since getting that first horse. What started as chasing my horses around in the pasture has turned to this wonderful career I'm so lucky to have!

Horse girl turned turned photographer at your service.

meet Amber

About the Author

are you ready to say yes to Equestrian Portraits that are totally you?

Amber Langerud Photography