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 a horse’s white markings determine if it will be a Regular Registry or Solid Paint-Bred Registry horse within APHA, good quality photos are essential to the registration process. The required photos are full body photos of the horse from the left side, right side, front and rear, along with close-up photos of any minimal markings (pictured with and without a ruler).

Photo Tips

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.

  • 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. These should include closeups of the area pictured with and without a ruler. Make sure any long hair is clipped short, too.

More is Better

If possible, submit several shots of each side and of the qualifying areas. APHA’s MemberCare team will chose the best photos for use.

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

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.