How To Make A Horse Sales Video
 By Labyrinth   •   3rd May 2011   •   7,117 views   •   13 comments
I work for a horse trainer, so I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to sale videos. A sales video should be very straight forward, but so many end up a mess. Here are some general guidelines so your sales video is getting a lot of views for the wrong reasons.


How To Make A Horse Sales VideoThe first thing to know when making a horse video is stop talking. If you must talk, cover it up with music or take the sound out altogether. Itís distracting. Iíve watched plenty of videos that I had to start over on mute. No one wants to listen to the camera man talking and giving commentary such as, ďoohhhh heís so cuteĒ or ďlook at that ugly headĒ, or even ďwhoa! Look at that buck!Ē and other baby talk.

There are plenty of things that the viewer may miss, such as a little buck, or may not have been concerned about until you said something, such as pointing out the ugly head. The person is watching the video to see how the horse moves, conformation, manners and a never ending list of different criteria based on the individual person. They donít want to hear the biased commentary of the person holding the camera. That said, if an important part of the video is hearing what the rider is saying, then the camera man needs to be absolutely quiet!


The second aspect of the sales video is to do all the gaits that will be required of that horse. If you are marketing that horse as a finished show horse thatís dead broke and ready for a new rider, then donít just make a video of the horse trotting. All gaits are equally important for that horse that is expected to walk, trot, canter and do extended gaits. Same with transitions; show them!

Your prospective buyer wants to see that your horse can pick up his canter from a walk or can stop without throwing his rider over his head. The viewer will assume there is a reason why that particular gait was cut out of the video. If the horse must flat walk, then be sure to put it on video that the horse will walk without bobbling. So many people skip the walk, but the horse will not win a class if he canít walk. Itís that simple.

Proven VS Prospect

When making a sales video, the horseís experience and abilities will make a difference in how you make your video. If the horse is green broke, mistakes are okay. That is expected of a young horse, so donít cut out every little mistake that horse makes because the viewer will probably assume that the mistake was a lot worse than it may have actually been. People notice when you cut clips out every three seconds and if you are cutting out more than what makes the video, delete the entire video and try again tomorrow. When you do cutaways, try not to make it so obvious! Have a few high quality pictures ready that you can put in those spots. You probably wonít fool everyone, but you might let a few viewers believe that you just picked a great stopping point to add that beautiful photo.

Same goes if the horse is being marketed as a ďbeen there done thatĒ kind of horse, then cutaways are your enemy. As stated above, cutaways make people think you are hiding something. If you must do one, then pick an appropriate stopping point. You will probably have to sacrifice a few good seconds before or after the mistake, but if you expect to fool your viewer into thinking you put that video there for good reason, you canít just cut to a photo when the horse is doing an extended trot halfway down the rail.

On a similar note, just because you believe the horse is going to be a great kids horse doesnít mean you can market the horse as a kids horse. Just because the horse has the greatest manners with adults riding him doesnít mean that he is ready for a child. Even if heís been ridden by a child at home, that doesnít mean heíll be a good walk trot horse at a show. You donít want to market a horse as being something itís not. If the horse has never been shown by a six year old, then donít claim heíll make a dynamic horse for a child of any age. A light mouthed horse for a six year old is far different than a light mouthed horse for an adult, or even a teen. Make it clear that he could or will make a great walk-trotter, not that he is a great kids horse.

Time is Ticking

When making a sales video, make a time limit. Generally speaking, a sales video should be no longer than six minutes, but three should be your goal. That is enough time to get all gaits in both directions and will give a prospective buyer a good idea of whether or not the horse is just what they are looking for. If you donít think that three minutes is enough, then make additional videos. The actual sales video should be just a taste of what your horse has to offer; then offer additional ones for those who want to see more.

These days people are busy and donít want to spend twenty minutes watching a video only to find that fifteen minutes in that your horse doesnít pick up his leads well enough for what they are looking for. The only exception to this rule is when itís a video of a class at a show. Shows are wonderful proof that your horse is a solid performer in his given discipline. Though at the same time, keep the video interesting. Well placed, natural looking cut-aways can come in handy for the show video. Below is a good example of a sales video from a Grand National show where cut-aways were used and the video is short enough to keep the viewers attention. This horse was sold sometime after this video posted.


When filming a horse, use the tack the horse will normally be using. If you are selling a western horse and he wears a curb with ease and neck reins perfectly, donít film him wearing a snaffle. If you are marketing a show horse, he canít wear a snaffle if heĎs no longer a junior horse. So itís only logical that you would film the horse in a legal bit for the discipline you are marketing him for. Same goes for your saddle; a hunter shouldnít be filmed wearing a western saddle; a saddleseat horse should be wearing a full bridle as is required unless you are marketing the horse as a prospect. If the horse is show ring ready, his tack should prove it. He should be ready for a curb or a full bridle, and everything else he will be required to show in. If heís not in the video, viewers will ask why and think the worst.


Photos are a great thing. Even under perfect conditions, a video camera still isnít as clear as a photograph. If part of the horses selling point is it's beautiful head, then be sure you include a headshot of the horse so your viewers can see what you are talking about.

However, the photos must be flattering. Just because the photo is cute doesnít mean you should use it. The prospective buyer probably wonít appreciate a photo where the horseís long and beautiful neck looks non-existent. Same goes with unflattering costumes, ears laid back and legs twisted funny. Look through photo classifieds and see for yourself.

If you are looking for Mr. Perfect that is a top dressage prospect, are you going to appreciate a photo with him standing with his legs bunched up under himself? Or that photo accompanied by an add stating the horse is the perfect example of your breed of choice, being one where the horse is rearing and playing? I donít think so.

No matter how wonderful the video is, a picture that makes the horse look hideously incorrect is likely to turn prospective buyers away. If you plan on boasting about the horse being up headed, donít put a photo of him with his head low to the ground. And please, donít use cantering pictures unless your targeted audience prefers cantering photos. Make sure you choose the most flattering position as well. Just because you think a cantering photo is beautiful doesnít mean that it shows the horse at his best. But generally speaking, stay away from cantering and stick to stills of the trot. Below is an example of a head and neck shot I would add to a video of this Morgan mare if I wanted to make sure the buyer saw her expressive eye, long shapely neck, and beautiful head.

How To Make A Horse Sale Video

What a Grouch!

Horses are animals and they have minds of their own. That said, not every horse is going to have a great day every day, and it just might happen that the day you deem video-perfect is a grouchy day for your horse. It's better you try tomorrow. Jane Doe from Arkansas isnít going to see that good day of your horse in Montana. Sheís going to see that mediocre day and even if he sounds perfect, sheís probably not going to bother making that trip out to see him. So wait until itís a good day for your horse; that way if Jane Doe from Arkansas decides to make the trip across country and he doesnít look as good as he did in the video, she can at least believe you when you tell her he was having a grouchy day and he doesnít usually act that way.
At Liberty

Though you can post a description with your video on YouTube or Facebook; the very best place to also put your important details is in the video itself. That way, if someone starts emailing your videos and showing them to other people, they canít miss how old that horse is, his sire and dam, and even his name. And donít forget your own contact information at the end; that is the most important detail if you want the horse sold.

In Conclusion

The point of making a sales video is because you actually want to sell your horse. Go the extra length to make sure your horse looks as good as possible. Get the mud off, take out your fancy tack (or at least hide that nasty scrubby work tack), and make sure that horse looks spectacular! There are plenty of viewers that canít see through the grime; they want to see that horse at its best and will turn the other way at the muddy beast. If you canít look at your own horse objectively, ask someone else who can. There are a lot of horses for sale and you need to make your stand out.
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  Labyrinth
T W I  
Wow, I can tell you're quite experianced!
You've got some great tips. Too bad I'm not a horse owner, otherwise I would definately be using them. :)
  May 3, 2011  •  5,215 views
really useful thanks :)
  May 4, 2011  •  5,316 views
That is really good you obviously have lots of experience!
  May 4, 2011  •  5,166 views
Clair L  
i can use thouse at a show not thanks(:
  May 4, 2011  •  5,195 views
T E M P E S T  
Great article!
  May 4, 2011  •  5,202 views
Seven Sins  
good article
  May 4, 2011  •  5,189 views
Soul Horse  
I agree I am looking for a horse to lease now and some of the things you talked about I tend to stay away from..
  May 5, 2011  •  5,201 views
Great article. ^^

Our sale videos, whenever we have any, are as professional as possible. I've seen horrible adds/videos with muddy horses, blurry pictures, limping horses in the videos, and total goofing around with mis-matched tack on a supposed show horse. Stick to the point of selling your horse, people! If it's a jumper, why do they make videos of it on a trail ride? 0.o People make no sense sometimes....

Anyway, awesome tips, and I'm sure you'll be helping many people out with this.
  May 7, 2011  •  5,168 views
Wow I never thought of half that stuff lol
  May 7, 2011  •  5,347 views
Little Bitty Farm  
Great article!
  May 9, 2011  •  5,207 views
My Paper Heart  
thanks for the info.
  May 11, 2011  •  5,167 views
Very good, practical advice. A good sale video will likely lead to a fast sale: good news all around.
  May 13, 2011  •  5,200 views
This is helpful. :) Thanks!
  May 23, 2011  •  5,168 views
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