To get the necessary video footage, you don’t need to have a fancy camera or any special equipment. Many of the videos that Patrick receives come from cell phone or iPad uploads – and they work just as well as the videos that come from higher-end HD equipment. Regardless of the equipment you are using, it’s easy to either set up the camera on a tripod, lean it against a fence post, or have a friend hold it for you. Here’s a couple things to keep in mind, though…
length of video
Be sure that you get enough video footage for Patrick to really see what’s going on. An average length of between 10 and 20 minutes is plenty (longer than 20 minutes is rarely necessary, in fact). Some videos are even shorter, such as when riders want specific coaching on their Dressage tests or particular exercises. Don’t get too caught up in the length of the video…. just be sure it’s enough to show what’s going on between you and your horse.
Lights, Camera, Action!
The closer the zoom is to your horse, the better, in most cases. If you and your horse are filling the screen, there’s a better chance that Patrick will see exactly what’s taking place. If you are shooting from far across the arena and your horse is just a tiny spot on the screen, then it’s going to be really hard to see the small details of what might be going on.
Like in taking any photos or videos, try to shoot with the sun or other major light sources coming from behind the camera -otherwise you and your horse will look like a silhouette and important details could be missed.
If this is your first time shooting a video of your riding, try a test-run for video footage to be sure that you are getting the lighting and distance right before filming an entire ride. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
The video that you send can be of anything that you and your horse are looking for help with – where that’s basic groundwork, more advanced in-hand work, riding, specific exercises or problems, or any combination. This is YOUR lesson, and is about working from where you and your horse are currently to build toward your goals. Just do what you do, don’t worry about being perfect (if you are perfect, what does Patrick have to work on fixing, anyway?), and we’ll go from there.
Don’t worry about editing your video, unless you are setting up the camera on a post or tripod and there a few dead minutes while you get into focus of the camera or something. If that’s the case, just cut out the dead footage before/after the session and send the rest as it is. Don’t be tempted to edit out any mistakes or “oops!” moments that might happen – often these can be great sources of insight for what’s taking place between you and your horse.
Some students wish to keep their videos as private as possible, which is totally fine. When you upload your videos, be sure (if using YouTube) to set the privacy setting to “Unlisted”. Unlisted means your video will not come up in search results or on your channel. Only those who know the link can view it. You will be sending Patrick the link to your video, and he will never share the link without your permission.
It’s always a great idea to save your videos as you make progress, rather than deleting them as you go. This way you will be able to look back later and see how far you and your horse have come along your journey together.