Sales Videos Must Improve

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We are looking to add to our broodmare line and requested video tapes on a number of mares. To our great disappointment, and to the detriment of the owner's sales efforts, many of these tapes are of very poor quality.

These tapes do not need to be done by a professional, but they do need to keep the buyer in mind. What would you want to see prior to buying a horse? Here’s what I would like to see:

Shots or photographs from all four directions with the horse relatively quiet and “stood up.”

Walking and trotting footage moving directly to and away from the camera, as well as the side angle shots, is necessary. Include full shots and footage zoomed in on the feet. Buyers look for proper foot travel.

Included should be “at liberty” trotting and cantering footage. Zoom in enough that the horse nearly fills the screen. We are not looking to buy the farm—just the horse.

Show your horse: Groom it well. Make sure the lighting is good. Make sure the shoulder angles and muscling are evident. Many times, videos are shot into the sun or in a dark area and details of the horse are washed out.

Look at your tape before you send it. Some of the videos we have seen are shot from such a distance that we can only tell that it is not three-legged lame, and it has a tail and a head. Watch that the background is not so cluttered that you cannot see the moving parts of the horse.

“A video that tells me nothing...will not encourage me to expend any more effort than to return the tape.”

We want to see the shoulder, croup, hock and pasterns. We want to see the shape of the head. We want to see proper foot travel, and correctness and impulsion of the gaits. We want to be able to judge the temperament.

Horses running in the field look very nice but you need to bring your horse out of the field and into my living room. I want to look at your horse. Yes, I am going to be critical, but unless you let me, I won't look any further. Of course, no horse is perfect, but I still need to get a good and fair representation of what I’m buying.

Help your horse make the first cut. A video that tells me nothing about the animal will not encourage me to expend any more effort than to return the tape.