Transform Your Horse Into a Unicorn Part I: Where to Buy a Unicorn Horn?

Human beings have universally loved unicorns since their earliest appearances in ancient Greek texts. Girls and unicorns have been linked in stories, art, and on tapestries since at least the Middle Ages.

Unicorns and horses are both creatures that fuel our imaginations, showing us a different way of being in the world, allowing us to be maidens, princesses, knights, and faeries.

What do you envision for your unicorn photo shoot? Something light and ethereal? Or perhaps something a little dark and mysterious? It is unique to create a unicorn out of different colored horses, my Friesian looked amazing as a unicorn even though unicorns are not typically thought of as black.

Creative Inspiration

A few ideas for when having a unicorn would be useful:

  • Halloween costume
  • Portraits/Fantasy photos (for yourself or a client)
  • Think grandkids, birthday party photo prop, senior pictures, or social media (Instagram or Facebook!)
  • Craft project for the kids (summer camp, birthday party, after school program)

My favorite source for inspiration is definitely Pinterest.

Pinterest: I have over 14,000 followers on my Pinterest page with a variety of boards for you to get ideas from. Start with my "Unicorns & Pegasus", "Fantasy & Equine Photo Shoots", and "Costume Inspiration" boards to get started. Click here for my main Pinterest page or select the board you want to see below:

Let’s get started!

The Unicorn Horn

For the unicorn horn, you have a couple options: you can either buy one, or if you’re feeling crafty, you can make one yourself! (DIY information will be in Part:2)

There all sorts of unicorn horns available. There are fabric horns, plastic horns, glass horns, etc., and they range in length. If you have a pony, you may want to consider a shorter horn than you would use for a larger horse. Some horns even come adorned with flowers, gems, or beads. Generally, you will simply tie the horn onto your bridle/halter (either onto the brow band or onto the cheek piece and headpiece) using the ties at the base of the horn. Most horns you purchase will come with instructions.

You will also have color options. You can decide based on your horse’s coat color, mane and tail, costume, or your accessories. Personally, I like to match the horse's coat color as it looks the most natural. 

Many Etsy sellers will also work with you to create a custom piece that is unique to your needs.

Below are some of my favorite Etsy shops that sell affordable unicorn horns: 


Baby Birdie Boutique

Affordable fabric unicorn horns with beautiful floral accents. One size, 12". She offers two attachments including an elastic band and a large french clip. Visit store...

If Wishes Were Ponies

More expensive fabric unicorn horns but they offer a wider range of colors and custom sizes. If you have a very small pony or a large draft they can customize it for you. The Natural-Look Unicorn Horn™ attaches using either non-detachable or detachable loops and the Unicorn Browband comes attached to a browband.  Visit store...

The Unicorn Corner

These horns are made out of durable, lightweight plastic and attach with ribbon or elastic cording. Three sizes available 7, 9, and 12 inch. Visit store...

Gustavos Goods

Handmade horns available in multiple sizes, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10,11 inches. They attach with ribbon or elastic cording. Comes in a wide variety of colors. Visit store...

Part 2: How to Make a Unicorn Horn
Coming Soon!

The great horn that is between his eyes signifies that he is the supreme king.
— Book of Daniel VIII

If you have any questions about choosing a unicorn horn or you sell them online and would like to be added to this post, please send me an email at

Leave a comment below and share your experience or head over to the Fantasy Photo Shoots {Equine} Facebook Group and share photos with the group. It is an amazing group of talented, creative people and you will have fun sharing your photos, getting ideas from others, and asking questions. Click here to go to join the group.

Whose Behind the Mask? Watch these Friesians fly in Fantasia at the Equine Affaire!

"Life is a masquerade.
Everywhere you look are people
hiding behind masks."

                        - Unknown

Every year I go to the Fantasia event at the Equine Affaire and of course I always keep an eye out for anything with Friesians. This year (2011) there was a new quadrille group called "Behind the Mask". Their costumes were very well done, especially the masks on the horses. It is very difficult to ride in a full mask,  it blocks your peripheral vision, making it harder to see the other riders, especially the horse next to you. The music was very high-energy and the horses showed some electric trot steps. Enjoy!

Let all thought leave your mind, feel your horse rhythm's time...

This beautiful saying was created by my mother-in-law Bethanne Regaglia. It has become my business motto and I love to share it with others. Riding a horse is so much more than learning physical skills. It is a mind-game, an opportunity to become one with the present moment, and a challenge to let go of our anxiety, tension, and our worries. I admit this is definitely a struggle some days...but when I finally get to that special place that's where the magic happens! 

The calligraphy design is one of my art originals. I have a collection of designs on my SandraB. Designs website including clothing, apparel, and gifts. Click here to see the entire collection of designs and sayings.

Watch this beautiful dancer SAIL with an Andalusian horse with her Veils flowing in the wind!

When I dance, the sun sails safely through the night;
When I dance, the future is formed by my feet;
When I dance, the stars move through the heavens;
When I dance, Venus shimmers the desert;
When I dance, dust becomes silver, stones are made of gold!
Cosi Fabian

This video was shot back in 2013. I am riding Rovandio (Andalusian/Lipizzan gelding) bitless with my good friend, and dancer, Lydia Rose Spencer. The footage is from Isaac Royal Farm in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, a picturesque setting. The video was created by Alan Dillingham, the director I worked with on the indie film Essential Realism, Frost Bite and a short film called Invasion. It was a COLD and WINDY day but Rovandio was excellent. I was planning to ride Douwe but he wasn't quite himself so Rovy filled in and was superb. Only one day to practice with Lydia dancing and he figured it out in a snap. Make sure you see the part where Lydia defies gravity in her split leaps at the 2 minute mark! Enjoy!

Find the RIGHT Photographer for a Fantasy Photo Shoot with your Horse - Download the Resource Guide

It can be challenging to find a photographer that understands horses and also has a creative spirit. I created this resource guide to help you find a creative photographer near you. This guide will be updated regularly, just check back periodically for a fresh download. It includes multiple pages with photographers from the USA, Europe, UK, and Australia. If you are a photographer and would like to be added to the guide please email me at 

Click here to DOWNLOAD the .PDF Guide

The image below is just a screenshot of the guide, please CLICK on it to go to the actual .PDF where you can
download it for your own use or click on the links to learn more about the photographers.

Beautiful Friesian Quadrille Performs in the Dark to LIVE Music!

"Quit hiding your magic.
The world is ready for you."

                          - Danielle Doby

There have been a number of quadrilles using the LED lights to impress the crowds but I think this is the first I have seen with all Friesians AND they are performing to live music. This video was taken at the Friesian Proms event, a spectacular show celebrating the Friesian horse in Holland. Enjoy!

Watch this incredible FRIESIAN stallion perform Live to James Bond music in the Netherlands!

"Sounds of thunder hit the ground
feathers flying all around
Friesian black and Friesian bold
giant spirit, gentle soul."

                       - Bethanne Ragaglia

This video is from the 2017 Friesian Stallion Show in the Netherlands. They had an entertainment event called the Friesian Prom that I saved a handful of videos from. I love this Friesian stallion, he is incredible, so light and athletic. You will enjoy his performance to live James Bond music. My favorite parts are the lovely extended trots and the piaffe/passage at the end of his routine. Enjoy!

How To Teach Your Horse To Stand On A Pedestal

Elisha Harvey on her young horse Finn. He was a quick learner and loved the pedestal! This photo was taken only a few days after his first time standing on the pedestal.

Elisha Harvey on her young horse Finn. He was a quick learner and loved the pedestal! This photo was taken only a few days after his first time standing on the pedestal.

I taught a trick training clinic at Elysium Sport Ponies in Atkinson, ME and one of the popular exercises we did with each horse was to begin working with the pedestal. The pedestal can be a lot of fun and is a great exercise to work on throughout the winter months when it is too cold to ride. I learned how to work with the pedestal with help from the following trainers: Heidi Herriott, Cohn Livingston, and Allen Pogue (by video). As with all training methods there are slightly different ways to approach the process. If one approach isn't working for your horse try to think creatively, the best training happens when you listen to your horse and try out a variety of techniques.

What are the benefits of working with a pedestal?

  • Helps your horse learn to "step-up" which can greatly increase confidence for trailer loading.
  • Gives your horse more self-awareness and better sense of balance.
  • Gives the horse a target and a place to go where he feels more secure.
  • It can help you develop a better relationship with your horse, playing with the pedestal and using it as a reward in liberty work.
  • Helps desensitize the horse for agility, trail classes, and working equitation where they will need to cross a bridge and work with other obstacles.
  • It's fun!!! For both you and the horse!

What type of pedestal should you use?

I bought an aluminum pedestal with a round shape for performing. Douwe learned on this type of pedestal and it was easier to roll around and lighter to carry to shows. The wooden pedestals are much heavier but are more preferable to use at the beginning. A large, square pedestal (around 36" x 36") or a rectangular shape (around 24"x 42") works really well for a beginner horse. If you are interested in purchasing a pedestal please scroll to the bottom of this post for more information. You can also purchase instructions on how to make a pedestal at Allen Pogue's website. Click here:

How do you begin?

  • Safe Space: Make sure that you are in a safe training area, an indoor arena, a roundpen, or a paddock that has good fencing. If you have a horse that gets scared easily you will want to be in a safe, relaxing space. However, do not put the pedestal in a need to have enough space for the horse to move around and for you to move out of the way quickly if the horse spooks or loses his balance.
  • Exercise First: Work with your horse first so that he is calm (riding, lunging, free lunging).  It will be difficult to teach your horse to stand on the pedestal if they have been in a stall all day with no exercise!
  • De-Sensitize: Lead your horse near the pedestal and see how they react, if your horse is really spooky it may take a few days for them to adjust to this new object in their space. If you can leave the pedestal in the ring while you ride that is also helpful for them to adjust. If your horse is really confident and walks right up to it let them sniff it and touch it with their nose. Sometimes I will throw a treat onto the pedestal for the first time so the horse is encouraged to sniff it.
  • First Steps: When your horse is relaxed and interested in the pedestal you can attempt the first "step-up". Some horses will step onto it with no issues, just stay to the side as if you were leading the horse onto a trailer. Do Not Stand In Front of Them! The first time a horse stands on the pedestal they might lose their balance and fall towards you. Make sure to keep your space! When the horse steps onto the pedestal you will ask them to "whoa", using whatever cue you would normally use. If your horse is hesitant you can ask a helper to hold the lead line while you pick up one front foot and "place" it on the pedestal. Oftentimes just setting the toe onto the pedestal is enough to give them confidence. Once their toe is on the pedestal ask the horse to step forward using the lead line. Usually they will transfer weight into that foot on the pedestal and bring up the second foot. 
  • Straightness Using the Wall: If your horse tends to wiggle from side to side around the pedestal you can try placing it against the wall. This will help the horse stay straight, blocking the right shoulder from moving away. Just be careful that the horse doesn't push into you on the left side, make sure that you have determined boundaries with your horse so that they don't crowd into your space. I usually have a dressage whip to lightly touch the shoulder if they want to fall in. You will need the whip to help teach the hind legs to step up as the horse gets more advanced.
  • Always Back Off: You can allow your horse to walk off the pedestal by going forward but this can make it more difficult to get the horse up with all four feet. Every time I ask my horse to get off the pedestal I say "Back" and have him step off the pedestal going backwards. If you imagine that there is a wall in front of the pedestal this will help. However, be careful not to restrict your horse by holding tightly with the lead line, keep it loose and let him find his balance as much as you can. Practice getting off the pedestal multiple times so that the horse starts to anticipate backing off instead of going forwards. Having a verbal "back" cue is helpful when you are riding as well, especially if you are bridleless.
  • All Four Feet: Once your horse is relaxed and confident with the front feet you can start encouraging him/her to step closer to the pedestal with the hind feet using the whip. Lightly tickle the hind end and when they step closer to the pedestal reward them with your voice or a treat. It is important that they get their hind feet really close to the pedestal before they step onto it. This is where a larger pedestal comes in handy. If you have a large pedestal it will be easier for the horse to step onto it with all four feet. You will have the space to walk them up onto the pedestal and tell them to "whoa" once all four feet are up. Continue to back them off using your verbal "back" cue. When that is fairly easy you can decrease the size of the pedestal and the horse will have an easier time figuring it out. If you only have a smaller pedestal to work with it will take more timing and co-ordination on your part. You will be managing the forward energy of the hind end with your whip/voice while keeping the front legs in place with your body/voice/lead line. I would recommend that you seek professional help if your horse finds this part difficult.
Working with Thor, a Haflinger cross at Elysium Sport Ponies in Atkinson, ME. He was proud of himself!

Working with Thor, a Haflinger cross at Elysium Sport Ponies in Atkinson, ME. He was proud of himself!

Good boy! Elisha Harvey (owner/instructor/trainer at Elysium Sport Ponies in Atkinson, ME) having a successful training session with Finn.

Good boy! Elisha Harvey (owner/instructor/trainer at Elysium Sport Ponies in Atkinson, ME) having a successful training session with Finn.

Yay! First day learning how to stand on the pedestal. Finn is very smart and well balanced so he was able to do all four feet on the first day!

Yay! First day learning how to stand on the pedestal. Finn is very smart and well balanced so he was able to do all four feet on the first day!

Working with the younger girls and their school horses. Quigley found it easy to stand with his front feet but he has arthritis in the hind end so that was as far as he went for the day. 

Working with the younger girls and their school horses. Quigley found it easy to stand with his front feet but he has arthritis in the hind end so that was as far as he went for the day. 


Thank you for reading this blog post! Please leave me a comment down below or send me an email at if you have any further questions. I would also love to see pictures of your horse on a pedestal and if you have any training tips to share please do!



Unique BRIDLELESS, BAREBACK & LIBERTY routine with a gorgeous Friesian and an Andalusian! Amazing costume and clever tricks!

"Keep the circus going on inside you,
keep it going, don't take anything too seriously,
it'll all work out in the end."

                                   - David Niven

Thank you to my friend Elisha for sending me this video. I hadn't seen it before and a lot of the work she does with her Friesian is what I have been working on with Douwe. I was inspired and impressed by her clever performance skills, her costume, her music, and the overall presentation. This Russian equestrian is Anastasia Fedotova Stykan. I also liked this quote because people do tend to take themselves too seriously, especially with horses. It is important to have some fun and play! Enjoy!

Looking for pre-made dressage freestyle music and choreography? Check out Marvin's Music!

Have you always wanted to ride a musical freestyle? Do you listen to music on the radio and find yourself picking out good music for your horse's trot or canter? Picking music is really fun but it can be a little frustrating if you aren't sure where to look. I use ITunes and Amazon to purchase music but Marvin's Music is perfect if you are looking for freestyle music that is ready to ride to!

Marvin's Music

This website offers pre-made freestyle music and choreography for a decent price. The prices range from $23-$57. I have had a few clients use this website to purchase music and choreography. You may need to re-arrange the choreography to better highlight your horse's strengths and weaknesses but their pattern will give you a good base to start from. I encourage you to visit their website and spend some time listening to the music. It will help you get into the creative mindset. 

  • You can listen to each piece of music for the walk, trot, canter, entrance, ending halt and passage if it applies.
  • If you love soundtracks they have music from Star Wars, Zorro, James Bond, Pink Panther and more!
  • If you want to try something unique try their new Game Music (Mario, Angry Birds, Sonic). It sounds great!
  • They also have music from popular bands like the Beatles, Abba, and Madonna as well as Classical, Spanish and Violin music.
  • They have a Tailor Made option where you can mix and match music from different themes. It costs extra but would be a good option if you wanted something more unique. They can also match their music to your own choreography. 

Click here to visit their website:

 To help you find your horse's BPM please click here to read my blog post on the topic. I also offer custom freestyle design if you are interested. To read more about the process click here to visit my Musical Freestyle webpage. 

Have fun!

Freestyles are a lot of fun! Here I am with Max, a Percheron/TB cross that I showed at PSG. We did a Fourth Level freestyle using music from the modern King Arthur movie, dramatic and powerful for this big horse!

Freestyles are a lot of fun! Here I am with Max, a Percheron/TB cross that I showed at PSG. We did a Fourth Level freestyle using music from the modern King Arthur movie, dramatic and powerful for this big horse!

Happy New Year! Reflections on 2016 and Resolutions for 2017 {Begin the Dance with Sandra Beaulieu}

When I was younger I used to stay up all night writing in my journal and listing out my goals. My lists were very long! Then I would wake up the next day and try to have the "perfect day", ride all my horses (up to 10 at a time when I was in full training), eat healthy, write in my journal, etc... Over the years I have realized that consistency is more important than striving for "perfect days". There will be many ups and downs, many goals that will be reached and some that need to be let go or put on the shelf for another day. I am very lucky to live my life pursuit of my dreams and passions. It is not easy but the challenges have made me who I am today. 

I would love to hear from you - what are your hopes and dreams for 2017?
What did you accomplish in 2016 that you are really proud of?

One of my goals is to compete a musical freestyle with Rovandio (pictured below) and my Friesian gelding Douwe. The past few years I have been performing with my horses rather than competing. I want to take on the challenge of bringing my personality and creativity to the show arena where I cannot express myself through costumes and acting...although who knows, maybe there are some ways I can add some fun to the experience! 

In 2016 I was so proud to work with Douwe and Rovandio, teaching them new tricks and performing at a higher level. Douwe is extremely smart and loves to learn new things. He continues to surprise and delight me with his growing personality! Rovandio is getting stronger and we have figured out a lot of things that have helped him physically to make his job easier. He loves to perform but does not have the physical ability to match his mind. He has taken me to a new level of understanding into the power of a horse's heart to overcome obstacles. 

Please share your comments below or on my Facebook page at:

Outstanding BRIDLELESS & LIBERTY routine with Alizee Froment and her magical white Lusitano horse...

"Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life,
because you become what you believe."

                                      -Oprah Winfrey

I love watching Alizee Froment ride and perform. She is taking bridleless dressage to a new level, inspiring myself and others to reach for the stars and challenge our training skills. I am in awe at the level of expression of her horse in the Spanish walk and the Spanish trot. She also rides completely bareback, showing complete trust in her horse in such an electric environment. Thank you Alizee for being such an inspiration! Enjoy!

How to Stay Motivated to Ride in the Winter Time, Ideas & Online Resources

I have lived in Maine my entire life and can relate to everyone out there who struggles with motivation in the winter. The ice, the snow, the below freezing temperatures, the frozen bits, the frozen fingers and toes!!!! Riding in the winter is certainly not for the faint of heart! However, the winter training season can also be a great opportunity for you to take your riding to the next level. Here are some ideas and online resources that I have used over the years that I hope will keep you going on those 10 degree days (or colder!) where you really want to ride but are frustrated and tired of winter.


The winter months are the PERFECT time for continuing your education. If there aren't any clinics in your area don't worry! I have included a few online resources that I have devoured in the past.

Clinics: Look at your region and find out if there are any dressage instructors that will be teaching nearby. You can learn just as much or more auditing a clinic than even riding in one. By watching all the different riders and horses you can take away volumes of information to apply to your horse. Remember to bring your notebook to take notes and have a comfortable chair!

Online Training: This website is perfect if you don't want to miss all the big events happening in the dressage world. They post full videos of national symposiums and events like the USDF Convention, Global Dressage Forum and the NEDA Symposium. Watch clinics with all the top trainers and Olympic riders like Ashley Holzer, Ingrid Klimke and many more. Their monthly membership is $39.95 but if you pay for 3, 6, or 12 months at a time you can get that price down to $24.95 a month. Click here to visit their website: Imagine if you could visit the barns of Olympic riders and watch them school their horses and teach lessons.......this website lets you do just that! They have over a 1,000 videos to browse through and add 10 new videos every month. Their membership fee is currently $28.80 a month and it is certainly worth it to watch world class riders and their horses. They have also added an Evaluate My Ride feature where you can submit your own video and have it critiqued by the trainer or judge of your choice. Click here to visit their website:

Working Student or Riding Vacation: If you can take off a few weeks or a few months why not try a working student opportunity somewhere warm! I have been a working student in Wellington, Fl for international dressage judge Gabriel Armando and I have also taken a dressage riding vacation in Portugal before under George Malleroni. Both experiences were incredibly valuable in shaping the rider I am today. My visit to Portugal boosted my work ethic and showed me what it took to become a great rider (riding over 7 horses a day!) and my experience in Wellington opened my eyes to the behind the scenes. I was able to visit training barns of Olympic riders and watch them train and teach.


The winter months are a great time to relax and play with your horse. Have you been wanting to try some liberty training or teach your horse tricks? I first began riding Rovandio with Douwe at liberty because of the weather. It was too cold outside to take the time to ride both so I just put them in the ring together and started experimenting. That blossomed into a new performance routine for us and has opened my eyes to a new language between me and my horse. Here are some trick training resources I have used to help me get started:

Allen Pogue: Allen has a variety of trick and liberty training videos that can help you teach your horse how to lay down, bow, work on the pedestal and much more. He also sells props like bean bags to teach your horse to sit, pedestals, and balls for your horse to play with. Click here to check out his website:

Heidi Herriott I met Heidi when I was teaching at Southern Oaks Equestrian Center in Tallahassee, FL. She has been the head trainer at Arabian Nights and has her own tv show called Horse Trix TV. She showed me how to teach Douwe to smile, pick up objects and we also worked on spanish walk and rear. She has a variety of YouTube videos to help you get started and she also teaches clinics. Click here to visit her website:


Have you ever wanted to do a winter photo shoot? It can be challenging but well worth it! I have done a few winter photo shoots over the years and my best advice is to LAYER! You have to get creative with layering so that you can wear a fun costume but not freeze to death! Using hand and toe warmers and bringing spare blankets and large jackets out to the site will help you enjoy the photo shoot and have fun. Waiting for the perfect snowfall can be frustrating and you have to be sure there is no ice under the snow. If you want to read more about photo shoot I did last year with a beautiful red cape click here:

I hope these ideas and resources help inspire you to stay motivated this winter. I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below or email me any questions at How do you keep motivated in the winter? Do you have any other ideas that might be helpful to others that are struggling?

Photograph taken by Lydia Rose Spencer

Photograph taken by Lydia Rose Spencer

Spectacular Friesian dressage horse ridden by Julio Mendoza performing with a lovely Flamenco dancer!

She would be half a planet away,
floating in a turquoise sea,
dancing by moonlight to flamenco guitar.

Janet Fitch, White Oleander

This is a lovely performance with a Friesian horse and a flamenco dancer. Julio Mendoza does an excellent job training and showing Friesians in dressage and I see him perform at venues like the Equine Affaire and Theatre Equus. I particularly love the piaffe and when the dancer also gets on the horse towards the end of the routine. Enjoy!

Absolutely adorable pony named Flip performing liberty & tricks - he is truly a STAR!

"Everyone's a star and
deserves the right to twinkle."

                           -Marilyn Monroe

This little pony is absolutely adorable! I was impressed with his "starry" clip job, that must have taken a lot of patience! Enjoy this little guy that is full of personality and pizzazz! His trainer Eva Roemaat is wonderful, I have shared videos of her in the past and she exudes a light, happy energy and a pure love for her horses. I love watching her train and perform. Enjoy!

Video of Sandra & Douwe at the Equine Affaire 2016 {Friesian Breed Demos}

"Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul.
Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal."
 Mother Theresa

I was very proud of Douwe's performance on Thursday in the Coliseum. He can get excited with the larger audiences but he focused well and stole the show with his kisses, smiles, and wiggles. On Saturday we rode in the Mallory South building and he did well but was not as relaxed. For those of you familiar with the Equine Affaire you know that there isn't a proper warmup for the Mallory South building and waiting outside on the pavement isn't ideal for the horses to stay relaxed. I hope in the future that the Equine Affaire can remedy the warm-up situation to make it a safer, more positive experience for everyone involved. I would like to extend a big THANK YOU to Danielle Barrasso for organizing the breed demos and for letting me stable with her in C-Barn. Enjoy this video of Douwe in the Friesian breed demos!

Steampunk Inspired Photo Shoot with a Train!

I am having such a great time with my new Fantasy Photo Shoots Facebook group. People are sharing some amazing photos and ideas with each other. I will be featuring some of these creative equestrians on my blog to help inspire you with ideas. Featured in this blog post is Heather Hayes. Heather and I met when I lived briefly in Ashford, CT. I asked her to share the behind-the-scenes details of her recent steampunk photo shoot. The rest of the article is in Heather's words...

About the Rider

I grew up the daughter of horse-loving parents! My mom grew up around horses and my dad was a trainer for over 50 years. I was on a horse before I could walk and never looked back!  My background includes reining, hunters, jumper, eventing, dressage and driving. I hold a BS in Equine Science and am certified for equine massage and myofascial work. 

About the Horse

Cinta de Seda (Sadie for short!) is a 2003 Azteca mare that I found totally by accident in 2009. She's absolutely brilliant, has a huge personality and loves to work every single day! Sadie has top 5 national placings in a variety of disciplines and has shown through Third Level dressage and Level 3 in Working Equitation. 

Heather Hayes with her Azteca mare Sadie.

About the Photographer

Melissa Ferrucci and I met thru the horse show world and have been friends ever since. She does photography as a hobby on the side and has a fantastic eye. Click here to visit her Facebook page.


I am NOT a fu-fu princess girl! My background outside of horses includes work for DOD (Department of Defense) and extensive exposure to firearms. I've been wanting to do a shoot that combines two of my passions and am glad to have finally had the chance! Additionally, I absolutely love the grit and feel of the TV series, Hell on Wheels and wanted to capture some of that vibe. I think we pulled it off pretty well!

Heather Hayes riding her Azteca mare Sadie. Photo taken by Melissa Ferrucci.


The hat and accessories are homemade, antique firearms are from our collection and the corset and skirt are from Damsel in this Dress. 

Hair & Makeup

I am the first to admit that I am incapable of hair and makeup. It's a good day if I wear lipgloss.  Hair and makeup were done by Jillian Labrie, click here to visit her Jillian & Company Facebook page. I can't say enough how great she is to work with and her background in the horse world made working with her on something like this super easy. 

Heather Hayes modeling with hair and makeup done by Jillian Laurie. Photo take by Melissa Ferrucci.


The bridle is just a training bridle and the saddle was my mom's wedding gift to my dad. After helping them both through serious health issues the last two years...well...I couldn't have used another saddle for this. That simple. 


We were allowed to shoot at the Antique Machinery Museum in Kent CT. This is a fantastic place and open to the public for the cost of a small donation. Wonderful people, loads of history. 

Back to Sandra

I hope you enjoyed this blog post! If you are interested in being featured on my blog and/or in my Fantasy Photo Shoots e-book please send me an email at