How to Take Adequate Christmas Hat Pictures of Horses with Your Phone

By Patty Wilber

Here are a couple of tips for Christmas Hat pictures, which, as we will see, I apparently don’t follow all that well.

Get your stuff together:  Hats, gloves, garlands etc. and your phone. Take it all to the barn.

Enlist help or do it yourself.  Either way will work.

Catch the horse(s) you want. Duh. Knock off the dirt? Up to you.

Choose your background.  I mean, we are focusing on the horses heads so you can get away with a lot, but if the back ground is less busy, it is easier on the viewer.

This back ground is pretty terrible (2019) but LT is still pretty cute…

I really thought the white trailer would be a good back drop…but first off I did not center the subjects and second, it is still too busy! At least I though about it! 2021

Apply the decorations. Keep in mind that each horse is different and not every horse will love every thing we may wish them to wear.  Work with your model and accept that you might get just the look you want or you might have to accept something else.

Most horses are fine with ordinary Santa hats tucked under their halters. If you put two horses together, though, one horse might help remove the other horse’s head gear.

Chaco helping de-decorate Atti, 2017

Many horses do not mind gloves on their ears, which I think is kind of amazing.  Some are good for a bit, but then do a little flick of the head and the gloves go flying.  Some horses don’t like gloves on their ears at all. They can learn to tolerate them, but on the other hand, maybe sticking with just a hat will make the subject happier.  Ask your horse, and then decide.

2015. Cometa is fine with anything!

2018 photo. Penny is apparently the queen of the head toss. This year (2021) I put gloves on her ears. She stood for a few minutes then gave a flick and one flew 20 feet to the right, then she gave a second flick and the other flew 20 feet to the left! She got her 2021 picture taken with just the hat.

Head bands. In looking though 12 years of Christmas hat photos (almost all with horrible back grounds) it appears that the only horse that really hates headbands is head-flicking Penny.  No one else seems to mind them.

Goodbye, headband. Penny, 2014.

Introductory head band: Indy, 2014. Indy is with Kathryn and Ryan and is expecting her first foal in the spring! She will be 8 in 2022

Don’t shoot into the sun. The light will refract off the lenses of the camera and the images tend to lose crispness.

Be patient.  Remember we are asking our horses to do something unusual!

Take a lot of shots.  You may capture some silly thing you did not even know you got.

Buckshot (LT’s Dad), was fine with the head band but he is sticking out his tongue! 2010

Most of all have fun!

Me, 2014.

And you can blow off all this advice and just go out and do it.  Your pictures will probably be just fine!


Merry Christmas from Lucy (coming 6), Heidi (12) and Penny (coming 15!). A slightly better angle than the earlier take.

Cometa, our Spanish Barb, is coming 25 and is still as handsome as ever. He says “Feliz Navidad”.

LT, demonstrating the correct way to show off glove antlers AND a hat, all with a semi-decent back drop. She will be 12 in 2022.

Beauty, living up to her name, says, “have a beautiful holiday!” The round pen background is not too bad. The light was coming from the right of the picture. She will be three in 2022 and is going home soon. We will miss her!

Jude. He has been here about seven weeks as a colt start. He went on his first solo trail ride, walk, trot and lope, last Friday. He took the Christmas attire in stride! He says, “do i get a horse cookie for this?” Answer: yes. And, your green neck wreath looks nice, too. I think there is too much shadow on him in this shot, but I liked his ears. He is coming five.

Sombra (coming five), Mary Ann (age withheld), and Breeze who might be 11 in 2022. The horses look pretty good, but this is a nice shot of Mary Ann, so I went with that!

Leo! LOOK he is sticking out his tongue! He will be 22 in 2022 and belongs to Maddie.

And a late entry from Canada! Note the much more horse friendly antlers! Javex, Lucy’s mom, sends her best Yuletide wishes (via Connie Hunter) to America!

We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!

Christy and I had planned to leave Dec. 25 for Canada to get Gino and Gette, but now they are being shipped down and will arrive in Raton Dec. 31 (if all goes well)! We will meet them there! So, in two weeks they will get top blog billing!  Next week is the annual New Year’s Poem.

About BlogPatty

Here's the skinny: I have a thing for horses. They make sense to me. I have a small horse training business (it's a "boutique" training business, not because it's super fancy, but because the horses get a lot of personal attention). I also go by Dr. Wilber, and teach biology full-time at a Central New Mexico Community college.
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4 Responses to How to Take Adequate Christmas Hat Pictures of Horses with Your Phone

  1. dorannadurgin says:

    Merry Christmas to you and the gang! Silly horses. I like Javex’s antlers! (Boy, Lucy didn’t fall far from that tree!)

  2. Patty says:

    Merry Chritmas to you too!

  3. Elizabeth+Moon says:

    Love the decorated horses! I’ve enjoyed the ones on the blogs I follow in England, too. They have more costuming stuff (for both horses and people) than I’ve seen here, but then I haven’t been looking for two years. They do something they call “Vlogmas” (videos on Twitter during December that involve holiday prep, holiday antics with their horses, etc.)

    I missed a couple of weeks of this blog, because I finally (!!) got a farrier to come trim Ragtime and Tigger, and then started Rags back into work. The weather turned good for same…even got to ride my spotted pony on Christmas morning (between baking a pie and cooking the ham.) Early stages…starting slowly. I’m still having a lot of trouble mounting (much less getting back off, though it’s still imperfect.) However, it’s definitely easier to ride balanced at my new weight than the 50 pounds heavier I was.

    • BlogPatty says:

      I am glad to hear from you! was getting ready to see if all was well. Please send pictures of you and Rags! That is very exciting! Congratulations on losing 50 oounds! That is impressive!!

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