Rate My Riding’s Founder, Susan Starr, Shares How to Create the Perfect Video

Susan Starr offers some ideas on how to create a good video for equestrian purposes.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — DEC. 22, 2012 — Videos have become commonplace in the equestrian industry. Instructors use them to help teach students; sellers and breeders use them to market their horses, and now you can send them to trainers via sites like to improve your riding.

But, how do you create a good video for equestrian purposes? Rate My Riding’s founder, Susan Starr, has some ideas. Here’s what she has to say:

Turnout is Key

Whether you’re sending your video to a coach or simply uploading a video on YouTube, presentation is everything. If you are wearing torn up jeans and your horse has a nice yellow stain on its rear end, that’s a sign of sloppy horsemanship and it could turn off viewers easily. You don’t have to use up your whole bottle of Cowboy Magic, but make sure you look presentable.

Use Good Lighting

While good lighting can be difficult to find (especially if you’re riding indoors), bad lighting will get you nowhere. If possible, conduct your videoing outside because natural light is best. And if it’s too rainy, snowy, or windy, wait until tomorrow to video because those conditions create a distracting environment. The best days are overcast since there is no glare or shadows, but with a good videographer sunny days are great. If you have to ride inside for the video, let in as much natural light as possible and locate the lightest and darkest areas in the ring. Be sure to avoid those dark spots and stick to the spots where visibility is best. That way your viewer can see you in the entire video. That’s the point after all, isn’t it?

Keep it Short

Trust me when I say people don’t like watching long videos—no matter the reason your submitting it. In order to avoid making your video too long, identify exactly what you’re trying to accomplish so you can focus your video on just that. If you want to demonstrate your horse’s Eventing skills, show a small clip of each phase. If you want to demonstrate your horse’s ability in Dressage, show a clip of a few of the movements you’re working on. There’s usually no need for a viewer to see more than five minutes of your riding.

Stabilize It

Just as bad as a lengthy video is a shaky one. If you’re going to be shooting videos often, you might want to invest a tripod. You can buy a practical one at Best Buy for about $40. Or, you can prop your camera on a post or a block instead of using a tripod. But either way, try to avoid having someone simply hold your camera because even the nicest of editing software can’t stabilize a really shaky video.

In a world flooded with videos, yours needs to stand out and it can. Just follow these simple rules and your next video will catch your viewer’s eye.






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