Anybody who has ever tried to take a photograph while horse riding will know that it is no easy feat. At Ant’s Nest and Ant’ Hill Bush Homes, we often see our guests struggling with this skill while out on our horseback safari activities in the Waterberg.
It’s a tricky one. On the one hand, you want to be able capture your adventures and experiences, but on the other hand, you don’t want to spend your entire ride worried about camera equipment or taking a tumble off your steed while trying to take that perfect shot. Unfortunately, there is no absolute solution to this and taking photographs while on horseback is always going to provide its challenges. However, there are a few things you can do to get it right.
Here are four tips for taking photos on horseback:
Tip 1 – Prioritise horse and rider safety
Safety always comes first. When photographing on horseback, you need to be confident that you are completely in control of your horse and your balance. You need to be able to anticipate and prepare for any movements that your horse might make while you are retrieving and using your camera. Holding the reins, keeping a horse still and operating a camera all at once really takes multitasking to a new level!
Tip 2 – Only take what you need
Most places that offer horse riding, including Ant’s, don’t allow riders to wear backpacks as they could create a potential hazard to the horse and rider. This means that storage space is limited to a waist pouch or saddlebag. If you can get away with carrying an iPhone or a small point-and-click, this would be easiest. Your photos won’t be billboard quality but they’ll do the trick and it means that you don’t have to carry bulky equipment. If you really want to take your DSLR, choose a versatile lens as there won’t be space to store an extra one or time to switch between lenses from your perch on your pony, especially while in mid-canter.
Tip 3 – Make sure your camera is secure and accessible
Don’t drop your camera! Not only will it most likely break, but it might spook the horses and could cause an accident. When riding with a camera, make sure that the camera is secured to either you or the saddle – either via a strong lanyard or neck strap. Lens caps also need to be secured or ditched altogether, as they are too fiddly and easy to drop. Rather keep a soft cloth in the bag to prevent the lens from getting scratched.
Tip 4 – Invest in a GoPro
If you don’t have a particular passion for photography, but just want to capture your experience on camera for posterity, then consider buying a GoPro before you embark on your horseback adventure. You can strap this nifty little gadget onto your helmet and let it do all the work for you, recording videos as you gallop!
It’s a wonder how anybody has ever managed to get a good photo while horse riding, but it can be done. Just make sure to make the most of the horseback safari experience, and don’t miss out on enjoying the environment and feeling of freedom because you were too preoccupied with getting that perfect shot!