2014 Equine Affaire in Massachusetts

I am so pleased to report that both Douwe and Rovandio did AWESOME in their demos this year! I also had my own booth and was so thankful to have the BEST helpers during the event that not only made everything go smoothly but we had a BLAST, lots of laughs and memories! So here is a daily run through of what we did at the Equine Affaire 2014!

Thursday: Demo at the Youth Pavilion
I schooled both horses in the morning and was really happy that Rovandio had settled in okay and was eating and drinking a lot. This was his first time to the Equine Affaire and only his second time being away from home overnight. Both horses were energetic when I exercised them. Later in the day, Douwe was the featured horse in the Friesian breed spotlight in the Youth Pavilion. He performed many of his tricks including smile, Spanish walk, rear, and standing on the pedestal. He was wonderful! What a ham! Both horses were in the Breed Pavilion to represent the IALHA Booth (International Andalusian Lusitano Horse Assoc.) and the IFSHA (International Friesian Show Horse Assoc.) Booth. Rovy was very tired and mostly just chilled out in the stall but Douwe was a big HAM and smiled for the passing crowds for over two hours! He loved it! Click on a photo for a slideshow and hover over the image for a description.

Friday: the Andalusian Demo
Today was the big day for Rovandio! We had a four-minute time spot in the Andalusian Breed Demo all to ourselves. Originally we were supposed to perform with my friend Lydia who usually dances with us. I thought that would give Rovy more confidence in front of the audience and be more exciting with the veils and dancer. Unfortunately Lydia found out she couldn't make it only days before we left! So I changed songs and made up a simple routine to the song "Sway" from the movie Shall We Dance. I have always loved that song and it matched the Spanish-themed costume I had for Rovy. I tried really hard to get into the Mallory building in the off-hours to let Rovy look at the arena but the schedule was tight and it didn't work out. But, he went into that unfamiliar ring with the big crowd all by himself and was excellent! I was so happy with him and we had a lot of fun performing. We had so many wonderful comments from people about how we were really dancing together and how awesome it was to see a dressage horse being ridden bitless. We were riding in the Beta Bridle by Dr. Cook Bitless Bridle, who generously helped sponsor me at the Equine Affaire. Click on a photo for a slideshow and hover over the image for a description.

Saturday: the Friesian Demo
Douwe's big day! The Friesian Demo! I decided to use our pedestal as a way to help keep him focused if the audience made him nervous. It worked really well because when we first trotted around the arena he was tense and strong. After I had him step onto the pedestal he seemed to be more focused on me and his tricks rather than on spooking at the audience. He was expressive in his Spanish walk, reared a few times, and then I hopped off so that I could ask for the lay down. I am SO happy with him and how he performed throughout the event. Thank you Elisha Harvey for taking a video clip of the demo for me! Click on a photo below for a slideshow and hover over the image for a description.

Thank you to my sponsors!
Dr. Cook Bitless Bridle
They have supported me ever since I started riding Douwe and Rovandio in their bitless bridles. I have used their Beta bridles and the Padded English Leather bridles on both horses and like them both for different reasons. The Beta is easy to clean and is soft right out of the box. The leather bridle is awesome once the high-quality leather breaks in and has a lovely shine. I sell these bridles on my website in the TRAINING section. Click here to see the bridles.

El Sueno Espanol
Lisa Oberman has made two gorgeous bridle & breastcollar sets for me that I have used in two films that my horse has been in, one called Essential Realism and the other Falcyyr. You can read about these films in the Film & TV category on my blog. She is able to make custom bridles for me so I can keep riding them bitless in films and performances. She posts some gorgeous spanish saddles and tack on her Facebook page, click here to follow her.

Aanstadt-Das Deerskin Breeches
I have worn Sonya's deerskin breeches for many years and she recently made a custom pair for the film I am acting in called Falcyyr. To see photos of those breeches click here. I also wore a black pair of full seat deerskin leather breeches in my demos at the Equine Affaire. You can't really see them in most of the photos because I have big skirts on but the breeches kept me comfortable in the saddle. Click here to check out their website.

Thank you to my friends & family at the Equine Affaire!
Without the help of my friends/grooms Elisha Harvey, Sue French and Hannah French I think I would have gone crazy! There was so much to do with a booth and two horses at the event. Elisha does an excellent job trailering my horses to special events and she is also a dressage trainer and does cowboy mounted shooting at her stable Elysium Sport Ponies. Sue French operates Lincoln Pony Pals, lesson barn in Lincoln, ME and her daughter Hannah is an excellent rider and trainer. Having experienced help is so important! I am also very lucky that my mother Peggy and my mother-in-law Bethanne were able to come for the weekend. They helped sell products in my booth and Bethanne had a great time watching her horse Rovandio be in his first big demo at the Equine Affaire! And a big THANK YOU to Danielle Barrasso for letting me stable Douwe and Rovy in her aisle in the C-Barn. She also organized the Friesian Demo and helps me a lot at the event. Thank you to Brenda Hammer for organizing the IALHA booth and I had a great time chatting with her when Rovy was in the breed pavilion. Overall the event was a huge success and I had a great time!
 

Behind the Scenes of Falcyyr: The Ride of the Valkyries!

The costumes turned out beautifully and Ahura and his film crew handmade the amazing armor pieces for the head, arms and legs:

 left to right: Myself, Kaylee Clark, Lydia Spencer, and Elisha Harvey wearing our costumes for the first time. Photo taken by Unicovia Pictures.

left to right: Myself, Kaylee Clark, Lydia Spencer, and Elisha Harvey wearing our costumes for the first time. Photo taken by Unicovia Pictures.

 I love this photo of Rovandio getting tacked up for filming. His tack was made by Lisa Oberman of El Sueno Espanol. Photo taken by Unicovia Pictures.

I love this photo of Rovandio getting tacked up for filming. His tack was made by Lisa Oberman of El Sueno Espanol. Photo taken by Unicovia Pictures.

Filming a scene like this takes hours of preparation. The film crew arrived at my house around 10:30 AM and we were ready to head over to the barn around 1:00 PM. I had bathed Rovandio in the morning while Lydia Rose Spencer and Kaylee Clarke schooled their horses. Elisha Harvey trailered her horse, Thor, over to Isaac Royal Farm around 10:00 AM.

We were each playing stunt doubles for the other actresses so most of the shots would avoid close-ups of our faces. Lydia had wigs from the Isaac Royal Equestrian Theater for her and Kaylee's characters that have black hair.

I was playing Sinari Diliiza's character as Brunhilda, head of the Valkyrie. She is the main character in the movie. I chose to ride Rovandio because he is more reliable and manageable than Douwe in open fields, galloping with other horses.

 Lydia Rose on Zeppelin, leading the way up the pine trail. Photo taken by Unicovia Pictures.

Lydia Rose on Zeppelin, leading the way up the pine trail. Photo taken by Unicovia Pictures.

It was damp and chilly when we took the horses out to the woods and Elisha's horse Thor was quite hyper! He is normally a very lazy horse, but today he was ready to go and not fond of the repetitive walking scenes. We started by walking down the trail past the cameras many, many times so they could film the horses from multiple angles. It was great for the other horses to start out slowly and work our way up to the galloping scene. We did some trotting shots and also cantering our favorite trail we call "the Pines". This field is on my property and is picturesque with planted pine trees all around the slightly uphill trail. The leaves were covering the ground so it was still beautiful even though the trees were a little sparse from all the rain and wind we had last week.

The director, Ahura, had us stay side by side, starting from a halt, then a few steps walk, trot and away we went! The horses were well-behaved, though Lydia's Friesian mount, Zeppelin, through in a buck.

 It is hard to see us but this shot shows us galloping by Ahura as he films the close-ups. Photo credit: Unicovia Pictures.

It is hard to see us but this shot shows us galloping by Ahura as he films the close-ups. Photo credit: Unicovia Pictures.

After the horses were done with the galloping scene he needed to get close-ups of the real actresses on the horses for their lines. It was interesting to watch the horses' reactions...when Ahura would say, "Action" they would stand perfectly still and almost hold their breath! It only took a few tries to get the scene the way he wanted it.

 Awesome photo of Sinari Diliiza on Rovandio. She was the actress that I played stunt rider for in the galloping scene. Photo credit: Unicovia Pictures.

Awesome photo of Sinari Diliiza on Rovandio. She was the actress that I played stunt rider for in the galloping scene. Photo credit: Unicovia Pictures.

The horses were very patient and seemed content to much on grass in between takes. It was a lot of fun and I think everyone enjoyed it!

 Filming the close-ups. Left to right: Ahura Diliiza filming, Kaylee Clark on Gambit, Lydia Spencer on Zeppelin, Sinari Diliiza on Rovandio, Taus on Thor and Elisha Harvey hiding while holding the horse! Photo credit: Unicovia Pictures

Filming the close-ups. Left to right: Ahura Diliiza filming, Kaylee Clark on Gambit, Lydia Spencer on Zeppelin, Sinari Diliiza on Rovandio, Taus on Thor and Elisha Harvey hiding while holding the horse! Photo credit: Unicovia Pictures


Sandra Beaulieu Performs at Elysium Sport Ponies Fall Fun Day with Douwe and Rovandio

I had a wonderful time performing with the horses at Elysium Sport Ponies Fall Fun Day with Douwe, Rovandio and Lydia Rose Spencer. The weather went from hot and humid all week to cold and windy overnight so all the horses were a little on edge. Rovandio was well behaved considering this is just his third time performing away from home. He is going to the Equine Affaire, Inc. (Official) next month and that will be his big debut in front of a larger audience.

Lydia and I changed our routine slightly to incorporate her fan veils and our loooonnnng blue veil that we used with Douwe a few years ago. We changed our color scheme and our entrance music. We only practiced the week before because the filming for Falcyyr has had us busy, out in the fields getting the horses ready for their group scene. We had some really nice moments in our routine and then other parts we goofed but overall I was happy. Rovy was anxious to get started at the beginning and wouldn't stand still but his focus was awesome once he got moving.

 Riding Rovandio with Lydia Rose Spencer dancing. The long veil is harder to manage but it is beautiful in motion! Photo taken by Laurie Harvey's assistant Kaitlyn.

Riding Rovandio with Lydia Rose Spencer dancing. The long veil is harder to manage but it is beautiful in motion! Photo taken by Laurie Harvey's assistant Kaitlyn.

My routine with Douwe and Rovy came out pretty well, Douwe decided to add a new move where he took his front feet off the pedestal and left his hind feet up....not something we practice!!! He is only allowed to get off the pedestal by backing up but he lost his balance and came off the front. But it was really cute because he paused long enough for me to ride around him and give him a loving pat on the haunches. Douwe got on the pedestal with all 4 feet for the first time in this routine and he also did a nice lay down in front of the audience. Rovy was a superstar when I left him on the pedestal to do some in-hand work with Douwe. He stayed there for the end of the routine and never moved a muscle! He is so reliable, I love both of them so much!

 Douwe and Rovandio working together in their routine. Douwe was a little lazy for the canterwork but they had some nice transitions together. See the video at the bottom. Photo taken by Laurie Harvey's assistant Kaitlyn.

Douwe and Rovandio working together in their routine. Douwe was a little lazy for the canterwork but they had some nice transitions together. See the video at the bottom. Photo taken by Laurie Harvey's assistant Kaitlyn.

Douwe was really good in his wings routine, relaxed and slow enough for me to push him a little bit. I was concerned that the wind and the weird noises from the roof would make him a little on edge but he was chilled out after working him at liberty. We performed bridleless again and he also did his flying changes pretty well. His rein back had a little more energy to it this time and his slow spin was even.

 Douwe bridleless with his wings. Photo taken by Laurie Harvey's assistant Kaitlyn.

Douwe bridleless with his wings. Photo taken by Laurie Harvey's assistant Kaitlyn.

Please follow Elysium Sport Ponies on Facebook for upcoming events:
https://www.facebook.com/ElysiumSportPonies
To see more photos from this event click here to see my PHOTO GALLERY.

Here is a highlight video of my routine with Rovandio and Douwe together. Thank you Kaylee Clark for videotaping for me!
 

Related posts

Falcyyr Movie: Filming with Douwe & Rovandio

So for our second day of filming (with the horses) we worked on the teaching scene. The director, Ahura Z. Diliiza, brought his filming crew to Isaac Royal Farm for the day. I bathed the horses first thing in the morning and then we had makeup/hair from 10:30-1:30 and filming from 2:00-6:00. It was a cold, windy day but the horses behaved very well and everything went smoothly. In the scene my character, Artemis, is instructing the main characters how to ride a horse. Douwe and Rovandio were very well behaved as the riders mounted and dismounted many times in the paddock area and out in the field. Sinari (who plays Brunhilda in the film, the leader of the Falcyyr) was able to ride Douwe by herself in the field and get some shots of her walking and trotting. With my help she was able to do some Spanish walk and even rear! She has had the most riding experience of the group and fulfilled her dream of riding a Friesian! The hardest part was the keep her from giggling when the camera was rolling! I was a little nervous when Sinari rode Douwe by herself in the field but Douwe had his game face on and stayed focused. He did an excellent job of posing for the camera and Ahura commented that he was a camera hog! We are filming a few more times with the horses and will hopefully get all the footage needed before the fall foliage is gone. To see more photos please visit the PHOTO GALLERY. A big thank you goes out to Lisa Oberman of El Sueno Espanol for designing and creating the beautiful bridle and breastcollar that Douwe is wearing. She designed it to match my costume and I think it looks amazing! I am also wearing custom deerskin breeches made by Aanstadt-Das Breeches that were made for the film. Click here to check out their Etsy listing for these specific movie breeches.

Check out more information about Falcyyr on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/falcyyr?ref=br_tf
Visit El Sueno Espanol on Facebook to see more of her gorgeous tack!
https://www.facebook.com/pages/El-Sue%C3%B1o-Espa%C3%B1ol/148004241927777
Visit Aanstadt-Das on Facebook to see more of their custom breeches!
https://www.facebook.com/aanstadtdasbreeches

 Teaching Sinari how to ask for Spanish Walk...Douwe decided that he would like to do that instead of trot!

Teaching Sinari how to ask for Spanish Walk...Douwe decided that he would like to do that instead of trot!

 Sinari had fun riding Douwe's rear while I asked from the ground. Douwe doesn't go up too high so it isn't as intimidating to ride.

Sinari had fun riding Douwe's rear while I asked from the ground. Douwe doesn't go up too high so it isn't as intimidating to ride.

 Getting Douwe warmed up and used to his new bridle and breastcollar made by El Sueno Espanol.

Getting Douwe warmed up and used to his new bridle and breastcollar made by El Sueno Espanol.

 Checking Sinari's stirrups. Isn't Douwe so cute!

Checking Sinari's stirrups. Isn't Douwe so cute!

 Rovandio teaching his actress!!!

Rovandio teaching his actress!!!

First Day Filiming with Horses for FALCYYR

We finally had our first day of filming at Isaac Royal Farm for the independent film Falcyyr. This was the first time that the director, Ahura Z. Diliiza, his wife Sinari, and the other actors have visited with the horses. The first scene that he wanted to work on was having my character, Artemis, introduce the Falcyyr to the herd of horses. The weather was up and down all day and ended up being SOOOO cold and windy when we headed out to the pasture. Our teeth were chattering and our hands were freezing but the show must go on! :) We had a hard time getting the herd to come to us at first, even though they usually gallop over to anyone that calls them. It was one of those crazy weather days and the horses were a bit spooky and hyper. And it didn't help that we suddenly appeared at the top of the hill in funny costumes! But the horses had a lot of fun galloping around us and showing off for the camera. Eventually, they came right up over the hill and approached us perfectly, lining up so that there was one horse per person. The sun came through the clouds and created a magical setting. It couldn't have been planned more perfectly! The horses obviously knew what would look the best on camera! :) We will be filming scenes with Douwe and Rovandio in the coming weeks and hopefully finish filming before it gets too cold!! My costume isn't meant for freezing temperatures!

Make sure to like Falcyyr on Facebook to see more photos & updates:
https://www.facebook.com/falcyyr

Thank you to Aanstadt-Das for donating my gorgeous breeches for this film. Please visit their website to view their amazing selection of custom deerskin breeches.
http://www.aanstadtdasbreeches.com/

 My character, Artemis, introduces the Falcyyr to the herd of horses. This is Shen, a Lipizzan/TB gelding taking the role as the herd leader.

My character, Artemis, introduces the Falcyyr to the herd of horses. This is Shen, a Lipizzan/TB gelding taking the role as the herd leader.

 My character calling the horses to us. We were in the beautiful fields of Isaac Royal Farm where I keep my horse Douwe. The views are spectacular!

My character calling the horses to us. We were in the beautiful fields of Isaac Royal Farm where I keep my horse Douwe. The views are spectacular!

 The weather was touch and go but the sunrays that came through the clouds were gorgeous!

The weather was touch and go but the sunrays that came through the clouds were gorgeous!

 Filming us at the top of the field overlooking the herd of horses below. The clouds were so beautiful!

Filming us at the top of the field overlooking the herd of horses below. The clouds were so beautiful!

 In the beginning the director, Ahura Diliiza, had us run to the top of the hill before we called over the horses.

In the beginning the director, Ahura Diliiza, had us run to the top of the hill before we called over the horses.

First Art on Horseback Painting

I am feeling overwhelmed to share this painting. In 2012 I had the inkling of an idea. I wondered if it was possible to create a painting while riding a horse. I obsessed about it and it took years to figure out the logistics, months to acquire the necessary supplies, days to prepare for, and hours to set up, but, two "practice canvases" later, I have my first finished piece, "Prancing Water Horse":

 This painting will always hold a special place in my heart. <3

This painting will always hold a special place in my heart. <3

This painting is made of two 36"x48" canvases to make a full 4'x6' canvas. The background was created with a paint roller at the trot and canter, using the movements of the horse to help mix the colors. I rubbed the paint onto the canvas directly with my hands and created the drips with a water bottle. I let the canvas dry and turned it upside-down before I painted the horse. My painting partner, Lipizzan/Andalusian gelding, Rovandio, and I had to work together in the collected movements so that I could paint while remaining in motion. We used piaffe, Spanish walk, collected canter, and rein-back. This painting is an expression of my passion for the art of riding. Please help me share my story so that I can help inspire others to turn their dreams into reality.

Art on Horseback

Filming Update for Falcyyr

I have been traveling to Standish, ME for filming just about every week so far this summer. Each session we work on a new scene and recently that has included some night scenes. The director, Ahura Diliiza, created a scene where my character (Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt) leads an initiation and celebration for the four main characters. We all had to learn a Gaia chant in a made up language along with dance choreography. Ahura composed the music/chant and it has a great beat to dance to. It took about 3 weeks of practice to perfect it as a group. We had some issues with the weather and a thunderstorm forced us to work inside with a green screen on one occassion. Here are some beautiful photographs during practice and filming courtesy of Unicovia Pictures. We just finished our last night scene for now and will be moving onto the next portion involving the other characters Thor and Athena.

Join the Falcyyr Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/falcyyr

 In between takes...we have a little too much fun! There will be plenty of footage for the blooper reel! Photo courtesy of Unicovia Pictures.

In between takes...we have a little too much fun! There will be plenty of footage for the blooper reel! Photo courtesy of Unicovia Pictures.

 Kazi fixes my makeup between takes. Every once in awhile I rub my chin and the design smudges....ahhh! Photo courtesy of Unicovia Pictures.

Kazi fixes my makeup between takes. Every once in awhile I rub my chin and the design smudges....ahhh! Photo courtesy of Unicovia Pictures.

 Kazi taught us the choreography for the Gaia chant, here she is leading the group. And yes she is wearing one of my tee shirt! :) Photo courtesy of Unicovia Pictures.

Kazi taught us the choreography for the Gaia chant, here she is leading the group. And yes she is wearing one of my tee shirt! :) Photo courtesy of Unicovia Pictures.

 Action shot during the Gaia chant dance. Not a flattering pose but at least you can see that we were really moving! :) Photo courtesy of Unicovia Pictures.

Action shot during the Gaia chant dance. Not a flattering pose but at least you can see that we were really moving! :) Photo courtesy of Unicovia Pictures.

Sandra Beaulieu Performs at Open House for Elysium Sport Ponies

We had such a wonderful day at Elysium Sport Ponies open house this past Sunday on June 15th. Elysium is owned by Laurie & Elisha Harvey in Atkinson, ME. The facility includes an indoor arena with attached stalls. It is well set-up and clean with a lot of natural light in the stalls and the arena. Douwe and Rovandio really liked the open stalls so they could visit with each other and see everything that was going on. The demos started in the afternoon followed by a wonderful bar-b-que later in the day.

I rode Rovandio with Lydia Rose Spencer dancing and we did our "Music Box" routine. We added more color to our costumes and glitter to the pedestal to help it stand out more. Rovy was impatient to start but once the music began he was really focused. He loves to have a job! His flying changes were better today and he had a really high rear at the end.

For my final ride I rode Douwe in our "Wings of Isis" routine. Today was the first time I tried doing the routine without a bridle and he was fantastic! He even did his flying changes! Good boy! This was such a fun ride, he was with me the entire time, relaxed and enjoyed performing.

Rovandio and Douwe also did their "Liberty Dance" routine again and today Douwe really wanted to stay on the pedestal. At the Safe Haven demo he really wanted to roll and was distracted away from the pedestal but at Elysium that's all he wanted to do!! He is so funny!

You can see more photos from the event on the Elysium Sport Ponies Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ElysiumSportPonies

First Day on Film Set for FALCYYR

Today was my first day on set for the indie film FALCYYR. It took about 5 hours to complete hair, makeup, and put together the finishing touches to my costume. Ahura's wife Sinari did an excellent job with my hair and spent two hours curling it and braiding the top half. Kazi experimented with my makeup for a little while to come up with just the right look for my character. My costume looked amazing after the countless hours that Ahura put into redesigning my bow, quiver, bracers, half chaps, and corset. He also created my leather skirt and headdress from scratch! We will be doing more filming next week and the process should go a lot quicker next time. They were able to take some amazing photos during and after the filming so you can see what my costume looks like. It is pretty awesome! We worked on the scene where my character Artemis is introduced to the Valkyrie. We had a lot of fun and definitely got some awesome clips for a blooper reel! :)

Join their Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Falcyyr/245021428904719?ref=br_tf

 Ahura, the director, putting the final touches on my headdress. Photo Credit: Sinari Diliiza of Unicovia Pictures

Ahura, the director, putting the final touches on my headdress. Photo Credit: Sinari Diliiza of Unicovia Pictures

 Costume for my part as Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt. Photo Credit: Sinari Diliiza of Unicovia Pictures

Costume for my part as Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt. Photo Credit: Sinari Diliiza of Unicovia Pictures

 Costume for my part as Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt. Photo Credit: Sinari Diliiza of Unicovia Pictures

Costume for my part as Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt. Photo Credit: Sinari Diliiza of Unicovia Pictures

Top Gun Final Showcase in Portland

After 5 months in the Top Gun Entrepeneur Program we ended with a final showcase held at the University of Southern Maine in Portland at the Abromson Center. Each business was given the option to present a 4 minute pitch to an audience including other business owners, investors, innovators, media and other professionals. After the 4 minute pitch we received 1 minute of feedback from a panelist assigned to us. I had been practicing my pitch for the past week and had it memorized but was still nervous about presenting to 300 people! The stage was really beautiful and there was a monitor on the floor so I could see what was displayed on my slideshow. I used the 4 minutes to share my new art project where I create a painting from the back of a horse. The Top Gun program encourages meaningfully unique ideas and I received so much positive feedback.

I would like to thank everyone involved in the Top Gun program including Jesse Moriarty and Jennifer Hooper for coordinating our Bangor group and connecting us with mentors. I had some wonderful mentors including Deb Neuman who has her own radio show Back to Business and Jeff Spaulding who gave me excellent legal advice. But I think the most valuable part of the program for me was meeting other business owners and sharing our struggles and our ideas together. The Bangor group included many wonderful businesses including Oats Any Time, Loyal Biscuit Co., Specialty Sweets, the Juice Cellar, Genotyping for America, and Twenty-Two Vodka. Please take a moment to check out their Facebook pages (click on their business name above).

Costume Update on the film FALCYYR

I wanted to give everyone an update on the film FALCYYR that Douwe and I will be acting in this summer. Right now the director Ahura Z. Diliiza is working on my costume for my part as Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt. I bought a beautiful new corset and he is adding some armor to it as well as improving upon my bow, arrows, quiver and bracer from the film Essential Realism that we did last fall. I am also excited to announce that Lisa Oberman of El Sueno Espanol is making a custom bitless bridle and breastcollar for us to use in the film. Lisa made the beautiful bridle and breastcollar that I used in Essential Realism for Douwe, click here to see photos from that film shoot. The new set will be made of brown leather with gold medallions to match my new costume. I am also getting a custom pair of breeches from the fabulous Sonya Bergstrom of Aanstadt-Das Breeches. She is making something really special for me, I can't wait to show you photos when they arrive! Please check out her breeches on Etsy, click here. Filming will begin in a few weeks for me and then the scenes with the horses will be later in the summer.

Check out FALCYYR on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Falcyyr/245021428904719

 My new steampunk style corset. He will be adding some armor-like pieces and other details so I am more of a warrior goddess.

My new steampunk style corset. He will be adding some armor-like pieces and other details so I am more of a warrior goddess.

 My newly improved bracers, quiver, arrows, bow and headdress.

My newly improved bracers, quiver, arrows, bow and headdress.

 Director Ahura Z. Diliiza putting the final touches on my new bow.

Director Ahura Z. Diliiza putting the final touches on my new bow.

 Handmade piece from one of the Valkyrie costumes.

Handmade piece from one of the Valkyrie costumes.

Art on Horseback - First Day Painting on Horseback!

What an exciting day! In 2012 I was inspired with an idea- a way to combine my two passions, dressage & art, into one. The first painting from horseback day I wanted to get Rovandio, a Lipizzan/Andalusian gelding owned by my mother-in-law, used to the hanging canvas, the table of paints, and the idea of going back and forth in front of the canvas. In addition to basic walk, trot, and canter I also use the piaffe and rein-back to work on the canvas. Rovandio is well-suited for this project because he is compact, smooth to ride, and sensitive. My Friesian gelding, Douwe's stride is too big and he isn't fine-tuned enough for me to do this.

I will be starting my first real painting soon and will be taking plenty of photos & video of the process to share with everyone. I am so excited to bring my vision into reality!

 Practicing my brushstrokes while Rovandio does the piaffe.

Practicing my brushstrokes while Rovandio does the piaffe.

 Working on my technique with Rovandio at the Spanish walk.

Working on my technique with Rovandio at the Spanish walk.

 Done for our first day!!! Can't wait for my next painting session!

Done for our first day!!! Can't wait for my next painting session!

Sandra Beaulieu Performs at Safe Haven Farm with Douwe and Rovandio

 Rovandio &amp; Douwe. Photo taken by Kim Stone.

Rovandio & Douwe. Photo taken by Kim Stone.

What a wonderful first outing of the year! Douwe, Rovandio and I traveled to Safe Haven Farm in Durham, ME for their annual open house. There was a full schedule of great horses and riders from the area including jumping demos, sidesaddle dressage, cowboy mounted shooting, jousting, and much more. I rode Rovandio with my good friend Lydia Rose dancing in our first routine and then did a liberty ride with Douwe and Rovandio. This was Rovandio's first overnight trip away from home and he was wonderful. He was a little nervous and unsettled in his stall but when he got out in front of the audience he was 100% focused and relaxed. Last year the demos were in the large outside arena but the weather forced the riders and audience into the smaller indoor. We practice in a fairly small indoor arena at home anyway so the space wasn't an issue. The only hard part was that there was no warm-up and I only had a couple minutes to get on Rovy, do a few rounds of trot and canter and then start. I wasn't able to practice any of our harder movements so we could have done a much better job in the routine. But I was SOOO pleased at how relaxed Rovy was and how much he loved performing. There was absolutely NO tension in him at all, he knew what we were supposed to be doing and he watched Lydia dancing as well.

 Good boy Douwe! Photo taken by Annette Begin Masselli.

Good boy Douwe! Photo taken by Annette Begin Masselli.

In my second routine I rode Rovandio with Douwe at liberty in the arena. This was the first time I have shown any of our liberty training in public. I have had such a fun winter working these two horses together and every day they come up with new moves and teach me how to stay in the moment. Rovy was so relaxed that I was able to use my bareback pad on him (I am also riding him in a Dr. Cook Bitless Bridle). I prefer riding him in the bareback pad because I can feel his movements and keep his back swinging. Douwe was a really good boy except that he wanted to roll so he was a bit distracted...in hindsight I should have just let him roll at the beginning and then he might have focused better! But I knew that he would be happy to lay down so I was able to put that into the routine even though I hadn't planned on it. Most of the moves I hoped to show involved Douwe going on the pedestal which he usually LOVES to do but today he wanted to roll instead. Haha so you never know what you are going to get!! I want to thank Jennifer Poulin-Novaria for having her open house each spring and giving local riders the opportunity to perform for the local community.

Sandra & Douwe Cast in a new Film, FALCYYR!

I am excited to announce that Douwe and I have been cast in another Maine film called FALCYYR. My character is Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt. Filming will begin this May in Standish, ME. I met the director, Ahura Diliiza on the set of Frost Bite, a film directed by Alan Dillingham. I was cast as a news reporter in a scene with Ahura, in which he played one of the main characters. Douwe will also be in some of the scenes that will be filmed during the summer months. I am looking forward to practicing my acting skills, learning some sword fighting, wearing some great costumes and of course...riding my beautiful horse in another film!

Plot Outline (taken from the Falcyyr Facebook page):
Five women are chosen by the Fates at the request of Odin (the Great All-Father of the Nordic gods) to be trained, empowered and transformed into legendary beings known as Valkyrie. These four women are chosen from different time periods and backgrounds as the gods are not limited by time and space. Each of them are plucked moments before the time of their demise and given a choice to serve Asgard and therefore the world of Earth, or be placed back within the grasp of oblivion. Once transformed they will save the earth from an aggressive alien race that views humanity as a source of food.

Please take a moment to like the Falcyyr movie page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Falcyyr/245021428904719

You can also visit their website with photos and blog posts from last year's filming. http://falcyyrmovie.com/

 The director Ahura, shown in the photo, will be playing Thor the God of Thunder in this film. They have done some filing over the past few years and hope to finish by fall of this year, 2014.

The director Ahura, shown in the photo, will be playing Thor the God of Thunder in this film. They have done some filing over the past few years and hope to finish by fall of this year, 2014.