Every horse owner that I work with, without fail, worries, to some degree, that their pony won’t pose or behave well for their shoot.
So, what if your horse won’t put his ears forward? Or won’t stand still? Or won’t keep his head out of the grass? What do you do?
Don’t panic! That’s what.
Panicking or getting cross and agitated is the absolute worst thing you can do.
Firstly, the likelihood is that your horse isn’t as bad a model as you think he is. Don’t forget, it only takes a split second of ‘ears forward’ for me to capture a shot, and I’m pretty nifty when I wanna be! 😉 Clients are always surprised at how many shots we managed to capture of their horse actually looking like a posing pro.
Secondly, he’s a horse! I’m not turning up expecting perfectly behaved models, with an extensive CV of posing experience. I don’t mind if your horse is a fidget or wants to eat the trees. Really, I don’t! I’m not just saying that. It’s part of my job. In fact, I always end up wanting to take the naughty ones home. If I was an impatient kind of person, I’d have thrown the towel in a long time ago. I expect your horse to be an ordinary horse. This is not a test! And I’m not on the search for Britain’s Next Top Equine Model.
Thirdly, if you’re getting grouchy, you don’t look pretty. There’s no sugar coating it. Your grumpy face is not your pretty face! The pouty, moody model look and the ‘Stop being an arse and put your ears forward’ look are totally different, trust me. I want natural smiles and easy laughs from you, not stroppy scowling. So when your horse gives me a milli-second of ears forward, if you’re frowning or midway through shouting obscenities, it isn’t your horse I’ll be losing patience with. 😉
I always tell my clients that no matter what happens; you get bitten; you get head-butted; you get stood on by a fidgetting pony, you just keep on smiling! I’ve seen blood drawn, busted lips and bruised feet, but the show must go on, so my models have plastered smiles on their faces, the shoots have turned out great and we’ve all laughed about it afterwards.
If you can keep yourself looking serene and head-over-heels in love with your horse, whilst being dragged across the field to the juiciest grass, being trampled on while they spook at invisible monsters, or while your horse stands there, ears back, like we are boring him half to death, I promise I will do the rest.
And that’s all you need to do when your pony acts like he doesn’t understand this pointless photoshoot malarky. In true, British, Carry-On style, just keep calm and look pretty!
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