So you have decided to sell your horse. You have prepared your horse for sale and written your horse for sale advert. Now don’t ruin all your hard work, as so many owners do, by choosing the wrong photos and/or videos to go with the advert.
Horses for sale adverts with photos and video increase the likelihood of a quick sale, because potential buyers will have decided this is the type of horse they are interested in buying before making that all important call to find out more and organise a viewing.
However, any old picture/video clip of your horse won’t do the job. You need to consider what impression you want the buyer to get and then choose an appropriate picture, which is clear and sharp, and a video which shows the horse in action at its best.
Choosing photos to sell your horse
Photos should be in focus and relevant to the job for which the horse is being sold. If your horse is being advertised as a showjumper, for example, then pictures should show the horse’s technique over a fence of an appropriate height, while a photo of a dressage horse should show its impressive paces. Equally, a child’s first pony should be pictured being ridden by a small child, not a teenager or adult.
A side-on shot of the horse without a saddle will show the horse’s conformation, which is important for a youngster or show horse, but make sure the background is not too dark or busy. While a pretty head shot may be eye-catching, it can suggest that the rest of the horse is being hidden for a reason, which may put off a potential buyer. Only include a head shot as an ‘added extra’ if your advert includes multiple pictures, rather than as the main picture.
Fine weather always helps a picture look good, but make sure the sun is behind the photographer when taking photos, to avoid shadows appearing across the horse. Don’t be too ambitious with the type of picture you take. A clean, sharp, still image is better than a blurred, moving one.
If you are selling a competition horse and have a professional photo of the horse at a competition, that could be a good choice. However, you will need to ask for permission to use the photo in your advert, even if you have purchased a copy of the picture previously. The photographer may levy a small extra charge for allowing you to use the photo in an advert and/or ask for a credit (eg: photo by Mr Smith) to be included in the advert. Most photographers can recognise their pictures so if you don’t ask their permission you risk getting a unhappy call or email with an invoice for unpaid usage from the photographer when they see your advert.
Choosing a video to sell your horse
Since videos have become so quick and easy to shoot and upload to the internet, they have become a valuable asset when selling a horse. A buyer can get a much better impression of a horse’s way of going from a video than a couple of still images.
The same basic rules apply to video as to photos. Only include a video if it shows your horse off in a positive light. Videos should show the horse demonstrating the skills mentioned in the advert and at the appropriate level. Videos can either be from competition or schooling at home. You don’t need to be fancy with clever intros, set it to background music or include ‘slow-mo’ sections. An unedited video that shows the horse off to their best is fine.
If the horse is a jumper, show the horse jumping fences of an appropriate height for the level it is competing in a good manner. Don’t include a video which shows a horse stopping, jumping hesitantly or having poles down. If the horse is a dressage or show horse, record a video of the horse showing its good paces, transitions and appropriate movements for its class or stage of training. If your horse is brilliant in heavy traffic, include a video of him being ridden down the road, or for a first pony, show the pony being handled/tacked-up/ridden by a child.
Supplying your photos/video
Once you have selected the right photos and video clip for your horse’s advert, it should be quick and easy to upload them to a classifieds advertising service like the one offered by Horse & Hound. Some services will have limits on the number of images or videos that can be include, although unlimited images/videos are allowed on Horse & Hound’s online horses for sale service.
There are two advert packages available when you book your advert with Horse & Hound, both of which will see your advert appear on the website as well as in the magazine. The FREE standard package includes an online advert for six weeks, plus a standard print advert in Horse & Hound magazine, while if you upgrade to a premium package for £30 your eight-week online advert will appear above standard adverts on the website with a Premium badge and background, and you will receive a double-sized print advert in the magazine.
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