Being able to make a video of a sale horse is really an asset Ito both horse buyer and horse seller. It’s really very easy and affordable to advertise your horse through video. Even lower end digital cameras take video and with an inexpensive upgrade to the storage card most can take extended videos. Current copies of Windows now come standard with an easy-to-use video editing software, Windows Move Maker, so there’s no excuse for not taking advantage of technology to maximize your horse’s marketability.
As a buyer, bare minimum for a video should be a nice trot. Ideally you should show three gaits, and a demonstration of any training the horse has.
— A horse should be shown at liberty in a large paddock or arena, not a round pen or lunge line. For showing movement, you want your horse to move straight and very balanced- something that can be difficult on a circle.
— A free jump is great way to show your horse’s jumping potential without overfacing the horse or rider, but if you try it and the footage doesn’t flatter the horse- leave it out unless someone specifically requests it. A video is your chance to show your horse at their best.
When we do sale videos, especially when we are marketing the horse to out of state buyers, we try to get footage of every positive aspect of the horse. Not just present the horse and it’s ability, but show it’s a horse that is easy to work with and be around. So we’ll video a horse being caught in pasture and leading in, having hooves lifted, willingly taking the bit, standing while being cinched, standing for mounting, put through it’s paces under saddle, ground tying, being bathed, loading into a trailer, etc, etc.
Really anything goes for a sale video as long as the video is flattering to your horse and clips don’t drag on forever. 5 minutes is a guideline to try to stay within, and make sure the primary focus- movement- is shown in the first 90 seconds. Serious potential buyers will appreciate a longer, thorough video, but most perspective buyers will make a decision within the first 60 seconds of the video- so put your best foot forward! Take the time to bathe or at least brush off the mud and clean up what will be the background. Be careful not to edit too much. Too many short clips give a potential buyer the idea you had to edit out bad things.
When you finish your video, even if it is only for private use, consider uploading to a file sharing site like http://www.youtube.com YouTube can be a powerful media outlet and in the past has generated hundreds of people a month viewing footage of our sale horses.
Have fun, present your horse clean, try to stay professional, and use the best footage you can get.