View Full Version : "Cuts" in a sales video

Dec. 28, 2007, 11:36 AM
When you get a sales tape, do you notice how many "breaks" there are in the tape - moments where the camera has clearly been turned off, and then turned back on again? If so, do you care? Do they turn you off?

I never notice (unless there's so many cuts I feel a seizure coming on), but a client mentioned that when she sees cuts she thinks the camera's been turned off so they can "really get after the horse." I guess I just use tapes to make sure the horse is sound enough, moves the way I need it to, and is at least capable of doing what I need it to do, even if it takes some off-camera work; I would never buy a horse off a video.

Thoughts, especially from the Amateur contingent?

Dec. 28, 2007, 11:45 AM
I'm with you. I don't want to see the horse taking a break, walking around on a loose rein and I hope the rider isn't working the horse for an hour straight. I can't stand long tapes with endles 20 m circles at the trot. Just show me w,t,c some lateral work (one pass each direction is enough), collected work, and whatever else the horse can do. Also, conformation and at liberty. 10-15 min should be enough. I think the only way you are not going to have breaks in a tape is if you are using a test from a show.

arena run
Dec. 28, 2007, 11:56 AM
If I were making the tape I would warm up and record some shots. If something needed to be 'redone' I would do some more concerted training toward improve 'whatever' and then reshoot.

I would also mention why the breaks were needed either in the tape or in a note sent along w/the tape.

I, personally, would think the same thing if there were breaks in the tape.... what exactly did they do to get that better movement? Why did they turn it off when the did? Es-PE-cially if the horse were giving a bit of a problem. It's like, did they cut the buck? <lol> sylvia

Dec. 28, 2007, 12:00 PM
I think they should never assume anything--especially not that the horse is being beaten. Sometimes things are cut for length of time and to show things they feel would be most interesting to the potential buyers. Other times something goes a bit south, they let the horse get itself back together, and they start the tape back up (without any beatings). Some people show it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly. It depends on who you are marketing the horse to. I don't care about the ugly that much, it gives me a broad picture of the horse's abilities and attitude. BUT I also think that even with cuts showing only the good stuff, you can see what the horse is thinking and how it's working so you can still see through to the real horse.

Then again, online, I think you need to put up super short videos so the less internet savvy shoppers, who often have slow dial up connections, can actually get at least a hint of what the horse is like and what it can do.

Dec. 28, 2007, 12:31 PM
videos are very helpful, but not if they are long endless boring repetition.
On a tape I want to see the best of what the horse can do, whether at liberty, or under saddle. This will mean the good videographer will give me snippets of all three gaits, and perhaps a dressage test of a finished horse, and for sure a few still shots for conformation. What is going on in between those snippets doesn't concern me too much. it serves only to pique my interest in viewing in person, altho I have bought right off a video in the past, and dear friends just received their "mailorder bride" which they are very pleased with, from a video viewing alone.

If the tape is more than about 10 min long, I am gonna be really bored. The best sales tapes I've received were videos of a dozen or more prospects, none of the clips more than a few minutes long, quite "professional" in that the horses were groomed and the presentation was in a non distracting environment, with no smarmy voice over or cheerful music obliterating the footfalls.

Dec. 28, 2007, 01:10 PM
No, I wouldn't assume anything bad. Just want to see a few minutes of walk, trot, and canter. My pet peeve is slow-mo. Gimme a break, the crappiest movers in the world can look fancy in slow-mo with some music over top.

Lawn Ornament
Dec. 28, 2007, 01:56 PM
I don't mind editing for time purposes, but I get offended when I know the editing was done as a cover up - for instance, I was looking at an upper level dressage horse, the footage was unedited until they got to the tempi changes... then I felt more tape was cut than kept - on one diagonal you could see the horse lose his balance, get strung out and then the last change was snipped out, resuming with canter work in the corner... now come on... everyone knows that there was something ugly about that last change (or lack there of) - stuff like that makes me suspicious. Why hide it? Do I really look THAT stupid? ...wait, don't answer that!

I usually know after 30 seconds of video footage whether I'm interested in a horse or not, so the endless riding sessions can be annoying... but that's why you have a fast forward button. When I was looking at green-broke horses, I loved the videos that showed uninterrupted footage of the horse entering the arena, being mounted and then what you could tell was a typical training session, very relaxed and consistent - if the horse was the quality I was looking for, then I'd watch the whole thing; if not, I didn't waste my time.

Dec. 28, 2007, 02:01 PM
For youngsters, I show them being led, being groomed, having their feet picked up, free gaits, WTC, maybe over a little jump. Are some of you actually saying that you want to see them walk 'a.....l.....l' the way out to the horse trailer rather than cut and shoot at the trailer? or watch the horse lazing around the ring while you set up a mini jump chute? or watch e v e r y single leg being wrapped? :no: The only way to get something decent and uncut is either a clip from a show doing a test, or videoing a practice test at home. I suppose that if it's a horse under saddle you COULD wait until the end of the training session and then video a 'test'. I'm not sure that would show everything I'd want to see in a video. I like to see the horse being handled and maybe mounted and a bit of each gait, but not a whole training session.

Dec. 28, 2007, 02:22 PM
I don't agree with just videotaping a run thru or a test. I want to see continuous footage, of the horse being taken to the ring, warmed up, schooled. I WANT to see how a horse reacts to punishment, what happens if he spooks, what happens if he tries to run away and the rider stops him - i WANT to see all that. I WANT to see a rider pull the rein, kick the horse, use the whip.

At my house, when we get edited videos, we send 'em back. If the seller is editing the tape, they can be trying to conceal something. Yes, I know that's not always the case, but the fact is that if there is editing, it can be because someone is trying to conceal something. If I have a lot of videos to look at I don't have time to waste wondering what's really going on.

It's like the pink resumes. Into the waste basket.

When we call and ask for a video, we specify that we want to see 'continuous filming', and we very carefully explain that we EXPECT horses to misbehave in training sessions, and we want to see how they react to corrections, spooks, etc.

IF someone can't provide the kind of video we ask for, we don't do business with them. That's pretty simple.

These days, most sellers put short video clips on the internet. As far as I'm concerned, that's the last chance they get to bs the seller, when the cd or video gets sent, it's time for serious business. And if they can't pull themselves together enough to make a video like that, they don't need my money.

ToN Farm
Dec. 28, 2007, 02:22 PM
I don't mind breaks at all. I want the shortest tape possible while still showing all the things the horse can do. If it is a show horse, then I think the video should be of a test.

If people are making tapes and 'breaking' so as to only include the good parts, they are doing themselves no favor. What is the point to having a client come to see your horse and have it not perform as the tape shows? Same with photos. Don't provide sales information that makes your horse look better than it really is.

Dec. 28, 2007, 02:29 PM
I don't mind seeing cuts in the video and I sometimes recommend that people cut down their videos so that they can show the highlights of all three gaits instead of "everything". "Everything" can get a bit much after a while. Plus, shorter, highly edited video clips can be uploaded easier - this strategy often saves the seller $$, satisfies the multitudes of tire kickers, and can serve as a screening video for serious buyers who are watching dozens of videos. The original video can later be copied and sent to people really interested in the horse.

I would never make an assumption regarding why someone chose to edit a video or not. Maybe the cuts occurred where the horse was reprimanded, but maybe the cuts occured where the camera fell over or the dog bumped it or the rider sneezed or the horse tripped or where someone thought the video was getting long and boring... You just never know.


Dec. 28, 2007, 03:35 PM
I think this is a really interesting issue. I know people who are adamant about the video being unedited, and others who fuss fuss fuss about video length. So I try to compromise...

When I make a sale video I never cut within a movement. So you get the walk uncut, trot uncut, canter, lengthenings etc. Then lateral movements... whatever. I just be sure that I don't cut out the one bad change in a tempi line, or the down transition on a lengthening; that type of thing. I will leave in the little bobbles or mistakes... I want the people buying these horses to know they are not MACHINES.

I do my video editing with a computer though, not while I am filming with the on/off switch. Also always include gaits at liberty and standing conformation shots.

A busy professional looking for a horse for a client doesn't usually have the time to watch a hour video of the horse being groomed, tacked up, walked to the ring, free walked... on and on and on.

Dec. 28, 2007, 03:42 PM
I want to see warts and all.

The best video I've had (bought the horse :)) consisted of a couple of nice dressage tests, and an unedited and rather hilarious jumping clinic complete with heel-snapping, yapping JRT, where the horse took a couple of goes to get the hang of a trot gymnastic rather than just barrelling through enthusiatically leaping over everything in sight. It proved he was capable of learning and capable of forward! (and not scared of dogs.)

Dec. 28, 2007, 06:04 PM
I usually take a couple of hours of video of sales horses, at different times. Believe me, you'd be bored out of your skull watching me ride 20m circles if I didn't edit it. Your friend is paranoid.

Mary in Area 1
Dec. 28, 2007, 08:20 PM
I don't mind edits if they come in obvious places, like walk work, cut, trot work, cut, canter work, cut, etc. Where it upsets me is when you can see that the canter work is deteriorating, they start across the diagonal and poof, suddenly they are on the OTHER diagonal doing changes. Or they do one pirouette, then POOF, they are in a different outfit doing the pirouette on the other rein. THAT is weird and suspicious.

Dec. 28, 2007, 08:58 PM
Best sales video I ever watched consisted of the following:

Horse led in, stood up on flat, level ground. Conformation shots from all four sides, short close up of legs and hooves.

Horse moving at liberty, then through a jumping chute twice.

Under saddle at all three gaits, both directions with SI, leg yield, HI, halt, reinback, counter canter and transitions between and within gaits (horse was schooling 2nd level).

A complete First level dressage test, with a copy of the test.

Tape was approximately 15-20 minutes long. Short introduction as horse was moving, explaining age, level of competition, placings, currently schooling etc, then silence.

Horse wasn't for me, but the sales tape was enough to convince the trainer to go see the horse. Didn't turn out to be the horse she wanted for the client she was looking for, but seemed ideal for another lady. She passed the information on and the other woman bought the horse less than two weeks later. But this was a tape that was mailed, not a short uploadable clip via internet.

Dec. 28, 2007, 10:46 PM
I want to see as much as possible, good and bad. I do understand that the on-line clips need to be short, but I'm always disappointed when someone goes to the trouble of mailing me a video (and expects me to mail it back) when there's nothing useful on it. I don't mind breaks, but I'm suspicious if for example, horse is trotting, rider asks for canter, horse pins ears, camera breaks, comes back on and horse is cantering. I want to see how ugly that transition was! I've received a few videos that were so long they got boring and, IMO, those are the best videos I've received. Any capable rider can get a horse moving well long enough for a snippet here and a snippet there...I want to watch the whole ride, so I can see how the horse rides.

Dec. 29, 2007, 12:44 AM
I don't mind a lot of cuts. I'm always going to go see the horse in person anyway. All I use the video for is to get a general idea of *the best* the horse is presently capable of. I don't want a real long video. Show me a conformation shot, something that tells me about the horse's temperament (being caught in the field or being groomed by a child or something), all three gaits, whatever movements the horse does well, and jumping as applicable. Also, sometimes what's being cut out is camera wobble/camera malfunction/camera operator error/people walking in front of the camera, etc., not 'bad moments' or training holes.