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Horse photoshoot questions - Bridle or halter

Many clients ask me what they should use during a photoshoot, a bridle or a halter.

So I thought I'd write a quick article about it.

Bridle or halter?

Both are good choices and it is purely a personal decision.

We can even change halfway through the photo session if you would like to have images with both.

I recommend starting with the bridle. This way your horse can feel more relaxed in the second half of the shoot, when it is most needed.

equine photography women with black horse

What material?

Leather. Most definitely.

I have done a few photo sessions where I didn't insist on the leather tack. I can tell you it really isn't the best choice to go with anything else. Even if your halter is a neutral color, it distracts and it just isn't as beautiful in the images.

Leather, on the other hand, is timeless and elegant and it really suits any horse. Make sure it is squeaky clean though.

Can I borrow it from a barn buddy?

Yes, you can. As long as it fits your horse.

Too big a halter just doesn't look good in the images. It hangs in strange ways and in the wrong place on your horse's face.

The same goes for tack that is too small. And on top of that, it will pinch your horse, who will then become annoyed and we really want your horse relaxed.

Can I have bling?

Please use the simplest tack you have. Lots of bling is nice in the show ring, not so much in images.

For a simple English bridle, you can also remove the reins if you wish.

'But what about Western tack?', I can hear you think. With Western tack, you can have (moderate) bling and it is also better to keep the reins on.

equine photography bay horse with western halter

What should I be mindful of when using a bridle?

Again, keep it simple, best is a snaffle or D ring that you cleaned right before the session.

Also, make sure your reins are clean as well. You can use reins or not, that is up to you. Except when you have a shank bit, that just looks weird without reins. And sometimes the Western bridles look better with reins as well.

Do I have to use tack?

As long as we are in a safe environment, we can take photos without tack.

The way we do this is by using a lead rope around your horse's neck. I can easily remove this in photoshop later. If you want to do this, then you will have to practice this with your horse before the session. Make sure your horse (and you!) are both comfortable.

Another option is my photography halter. I only use this with relaxed horses though, as it is not meant to restrain a horse.

black gypsy cob in pasture

What will you decide on?

I hope this helps you make a decision.

But as always, feel free to contact me if you have questions!

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