The goal for this animation was pretty narrow: Create a fake online horse jumping game. I spent a day researching horses and horse designs and getting ideas for something I liked and then went to work building the scene. The fence is animated using CC Repetile. The clouds move in the final (had to forgo movement for a perfect loop). And then the stanchion jump and fence are pretty much the only other scene elements that move. Both obstacles are animated with shape layers mophing in perspective. You'll see below, the horse basically just runs in place. It makes the run cycle a lot easier, too.
Still not entirely sure what the best way is to render animation with handles. I think it's fun to see the underlying skeleton of the animation itself. On the horse and jockey, there's a combination of DUIK and Rubberhose. I used RH on the character's arm and the horse rein, everything else is DUIK. Oh, the tail is just puppet pins. The reflection is just a flipped precomp of the finished animation using the pond as a matte. I think the lily pads help sell it.
Speaking of which: The keyframes! Super basic. I didn't have a lot of time to build it. When I'm roughing out an animation, I always start with linear keyframes, build the arcs, then adjust the timing. In this case, I basically had time to rough it out. It kinda felt more like the Flash driven animation in this way, so I didn't tweak it.
And here it is implemented into the spot. I also did the VFX transition and other graphics including tracking.