How to Edit Equestrian Photos

A quick guide on how to edit equestrian photos, with easy-to-use presets! Horses, like people, are great photography subjects. Whether it’s portraits or sports, edit your equine sessions like a master!

How to Edit Equestrian Photos

All the following edit tips are for use with Adobe Lightroom and creative suite. However, other software programs may have the same principles.

Editing flow is the way someone works on their photographs. File architecture, picks, and editing. I like to make my picks first and the edit what I have initially picked. I do this two or three times to ensure I haven’t missed anything over the duration of a couple of days.

Once I have made the picks I then like to think mainly about the following:

Horse coat colour

How to Edit Equestrian Photos


Setting the tone of the image is a good place to start. Fixing the white balance first makes it easier to work with the image. You can do this with the auto, or by selecting a neutral colour with the picker tool. After this, make sure the lens corrections are on and off we go!

Using the tone curve, you can flatten or deepen the contrast, depending on the look you are going for. Individually use the colour tone curves too to set the tone of warm or cold. These work especially well in portrait shoots.

Coat Colour

The Horse coat colour will be the main focus of editing. Each coat colour demands different levels of shadow and highlights. This is on top of understanding how much vibrance and saturation adjustment is needed. For chestnut horses, bringing out the red or gold undertones of the coat really adds to the image. But with a black horse, it is best to not use colour adjustments to change the hue.


The background of an image is equally as important. Make sure there is nothing that takes away from the subject. If you can be aware of this while taking photos, even better. However, sometimes garish backgrounds can not be avoided. The easiest thing to do to help this is to create a de-sharpening mask. You can do this by using the “subject select” tool and then selecting invert. Use the texture, clarity, and sharpness sliders to create

My Ultimate Equine Presets

In order to learn more about editing, I like to use presets from other photographers as inspiration. Now that I am comfortable with my abilities and consistent with my work, I created my own set that I use regularly!

To add presets to your lightroom library, simply exact the zip folder and Import the presets via File>Import Develop Profiles and Presets…

For extracting the zip folder on an iPad, you will need to download an app for this capability or extract it on a computer to move back over to your tablet.

Et voila! You have your presets ready to go!

Ultime presets to Edit Equestrian Photos

The presets are made with the different colour coats in mind, from greys, chestnuts, bays, blacks and more!

With this set of presets, I have included adjustments of exposure on each one making it even easier to edit your photos with Adobe Lightroom.

Please note that all the images are edited from canon raw files and exported to jpeg. Results for jpeg images may vary.

Edit Equestrian Photos
Examples of photos with the presets applied


Published by Briony-Molly

Photographer & Designer. Horse Owner, Book Fanatic