Ive just been marvelling at how neither my husband, nor any other horsey camera operator, seems to be able to hold a camera still while filming us riding :) it makes it very difficult to really see whats going on. So I thought I would add a few tips on making it easier for everyone here to critique either a photo or a video. I will add some example pics when I get home as im at work right now and don't have most of my pics on my laptop
Critique is about being able to see the horse from the angles which make it easiest to judge how well the horse is put together. This means we need:
1. Side on shots. Not side on at an angle but directly from the side. The neck and back are looked at to measure conformation and if a side shot is at an angle it can change the look of things like a horse may look like it has a short neck because the picture was taken from a behind angle but in reality the horse may be perfectly conformed.
Also take these shots with the horse standing on even ground...it will save all those comments about the horse being downhill and then the original poster getting frustrated because they know their horse isnt built downhill and so on and so on :)
Try and get the horse to square up as well
2. Side on shots with head facing forwards level with the withers. Too many times you see a side shot that has the horse looking at the camera. This usually puts their whole stance off and once again can make it hard to correctly critique.
3. A square shot of the hind legs from behind with the tail pulled up out of the way our tied up out of the way. Whichever way we're not critiquing his tail, we are looking at his legs which can be hard to see when covered by a tail :) try and take the pic down low so we can get a good look at everything. If you take the picture from too high you are going to have the problem of the picture possibly misguiding people as to the length of cannon bones for example.
4. Square shot from the front as well. Once again make sure you are on level ground and that the horse is standing square. You hear way too many excuses about the horse not standing on level ground etc so if the photo is taken on the right ground then there is no confusion over things due to them being taken on a slight hill
Please please please ask whoever is filming you to try and a) keep the camera as steady as possible and b) not take video of the ground or the sky as im pretty sure we arent supposed to be commenting on cloud formation.
Riding shots: these can be tricky because of the movement factor and timing
1. Try and get mostly side on pics. Whether this be at the walk, trot or canter it is much easier to critique when we arent trying to look at head set from behind the horse.
2. I know not everyone has a great camera but try and get clear shots. Sometimes fuzzy shots can make it hard to see some things. For example: a while ago someone posted some pics for critique. The horse was black, she was wearing black breeches and had on a black top and black gloves. Apart from the fact it looked like she was about to hold up the closest 7-11 you could not see any detail at all through the fuzziness of the pic.
Once again the main priority is to have solid, clear pics from side on to the horse and jump.
For those critiquing:
The main thing is to know your anatomy and what everything is called. Its also good to know what makes good and bad conformation
With a horse standing square you can take a measurement of the head to check the horse to see if he is in correct proportion.
Equal to one length of the head 2-6
Equal to two lengths of the head 7
X is the center of gravity
Please also add details like the horses age, breed and discipline.
Also please do not ask to get critique for a horse under 24 months old. Horses change a lot in their first few years and can at various stages look poorly put together at best. It is much easier to critique a horse once it is a little older.
I hope this helps everybody and if we can all put up good critique pics the first time it can save a lot of hassles