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How to Prepare for an Off-Property Session

Do you have a session planned with your horse where you'll be trailering to a location other than where they live? Here are some things to keep in mind while preparing for the day!

Know the Location

  • Are there be any fees to use this location?

  • Do you need to ask permission?

  • Do you know where to park/ where the meeting spot will be for you and your photographer?

  • Are there any spots off-limits?

Know Your Horse

  • If your horse gets nervous in new locations, it would be smart to take them there at least once before your session so they get to know the area.

  • Consider bringing them a friend for company on the trailer ride and during the session.

  • Different/new locations can give them an extra pep in their step or create dragons out of normally well behaved ponies. It's best to stay on the safe side and plan to tire them out extra.

Plan for Plenty of Time

  • Waze is an app I use to gauge the amount of time it'll take me to get to a location. It takes into account traffic for the specific time of day you'll be driving and will let you know exactly when you'll need to leave.

  • It's smart to plan for about an hour of time to lunge, spot clean your horse, finish getting yourself ready, and let your horse settle in with a snack- all before your photographer shows up.

  • If I'm your photographer, I will plan for extra time within your shoot, taking into consideration all the walking we may need to do to get from the parking area to the location.

Stay Organized

Make sure you have some sort of system for keeping things organized during the shoot. Below are a few options you could consider.

  • I highly, highly recommend doing a deep clean of your truck & trailer before your session- don't just guess that you have enough fly spray.

  • If you show, just treat this like a show. You know you need to bring certain things and stay somewhat organized at a show, so having that mentality will help you plan.

  • During the session, keep your unworn outfits in the trailer and put your worn outfits in the truck in a specific spot so they're out of the way, for example.

  • If I'm your photographer, I'll go over your order of outfits with you either days before your session if you send me pictures, or right before. Put your outfits in the correct order so they're easy to grab for a quick change.

  • Create a 'go bag' filled with everything you think you might need, the packing list below will help!

Packing List

* some things are optional, like a fake tail if you don't use one or clippers if you don't clip your horse.

For your horse:

  • hay

  • treats

  • lungeline & chain

  • body brush

  • mane/tail brush

  • hoof pick

  • hoof polish

  • bands

  • fake tail

  • cordless clippers (make sure they're charged!)

  • rags

  • baby wipes

  • baby oil/PAM/face grease

  • fly spray

  • green spot remover

  • shine spray

For you:

  • plenty of water

  • snacks

  • all your makeup, for touchups

  • everything you need for your hair (brush, hairspray, etc)

  • lint roller

  • portable steamer

  • an extra outfit just in case

Your tack:

  • first, make sure it's all cleaned

  • at least 2 bridles

  • at least 2 halters

  • at least 2 leadropes

See where I'm going with this? Always pack an extra, just in case! & you'll have options for more variety that way.


  • a friend or two for an extra pair of hands

  • a pitchfork / shovel

  • poop bucket (on wheels is best)

  • water bucket & water in your trailer if applicable

  • repair kit (with Chicago screws, safety pins, zip ties, etc)

  • anything you know that gets your horse's ears up. Your photographer should have this covered, but if your horse loves the sound of empty water bottles crackling, for example, bring one of those!

If you've done a session away from your horse's barn and brought things (or wish you brought them) that really helped you out, comment below to share.

Want even more help preparing for your session? Download my free Shopping Guide!


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