The Most Important Photos of Your Horse

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the photos you take to accompany your horse’s registration papers are worth millions.

Because one of the major requirements for registration in the APHA is a minimum amount of white, each horse must be “seen” by Registration Department personnel. In most cases, the use of photos eliminates the need for an actual physical inspection of the horse.

These photos become a permanent part of the horse’s registration file, so they should be as good as possible. Following are a few tips on getting the best shots you can.

Taking good digital photos for on-line horse registration can be a snap—with a little time, effort and understanding
of the technology.
Paint Horse Journal
March 2005• Volume 39, Number 3

Get Your Horse’s Best Side
Actually, it makes no difference which profile is best, because a minimum of four photos showing your entire horse from every side must be provided with the registration application.

Included in these shots should be one of the horse’s right side, one of the left side, one front view and one rear view.

Keep it Clean
These photos make up the permanent identification of your horse. Consequently, they need to show the animal as accurately as possible.

Don’t haul a muddy weanling out of the pasture and shoot a few quick shots as someone struggles to hold it still. While the horse doesn’t need to be spotless, all markings must show clearly.

Halter the horse, and either have someone hold the lead or tie it securely. Take the photos away from distracting backgrounds and away from other horses. It is preferred that only the horse being registered appear in the photos.

Photos of Solid Paint Bred horses must clearly show any markings appearing on the face or legs.

To ensure the photos are sharp, take them on a sunny day–early morning or late afternoon–with the sun to the photographer’s back.

In the event of a minimally-colored animal, additional photos of the qualifying area must be submitted. If you are uncertain about how to take these special photos, call for instructions.

More is Better
If possible, submit several shots of each side and of the qualifying areas. Registration personnel will chose the best photos for use.

Do not trim or mark the image, but write the dam’s name and the foaling year on the back of the photo.

If you have any questions about the photos needed to register your horse, feel free to call the APHA at (817) 834-2742, extension 788.

a) left side view,
b) right side view,
c) front view, and
d) rear view.

Remember that these photos provide indisputable proof of your horse’s appearance, so clean up that baby so any qualifying spots show as clearly as possible.

Do not cut or mark on photos, but do write the dam’s name and the foaling year on the back.


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