Photo Tips: Horses at Play


Horses at playHorse behavior and horses at play create some really fun action shots. What they will do next is always a surprise; you have to be ready for anything and everything. Remember to follow the basic rules and position yourself for your background and the best angle of light.

Some horses are normally playful, tossing a toy into the paddock might be all it takes to get them interested. Colts and geldings tend to play fight with each other, while mares are more likely to engage in mutual grooming. Even if they are just playing a game of halter tag (trying to grab each others halter), don’t be fooled to think this is a lower speed shot, in fact you need fast shutter speeds of 1/1000th to stop the lightning quick reflexes as they grab and dodge at each other. A good game of halter tag often turns into a game of chase and rearing, watch your subjects closely for any body language clues that give you advance notice of what they are going to do next. Remember to zoom in for close ups of the action if they are playing with a toy or being naughty and nipping at a pasture mate but be ready to zoom out because they both might rear up and spar at each other.

Another fun behavior action shot is rolling, many horses roll first on one side then get up and turn around and lie down to roll on the other side so if you miss the moment the first time you might get a second chance. The best part about horse behavior is the chance to get a picture that can make your viewers laugh, or cringe or be surprised, remember to think about the story you are telling with your photo.

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