Watch Sandra and Douwe perform Amazing Trick & Liberty Moves in the Friesian Breed Demo at Equine Affaire 2017

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

                          
 -Bethanne Ragaglia

Here are some highlights of Douwe's performance in the Friesian Breed Demo at the Equine Affaire. Here are some highlights of our performance in the Friesian Breed Demos at the Equine Affaire. I decided to try something different with Douwe this year, working him in-hand rather than riding him. It was a great training opportunity for us to work on focus and relaxation in a high-energy environment. Enjoy! Thank you to our sponsors Adams Horse & Pet Supplies for my ROMFH black breeches, you can't see them but I love wearing them while I perform! Enjoy!

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Watch Sandra and Rovandio perform as Pirates in the Andalusian Demo at Equine Affaire 2017

Noble Andalusians
bred to be a partner
through centuries of care
generous hearts and brilliant minds
make a lovely dancing pair.

                          
 -Bethanne Ragaglia

Here are some highlights of our performance in the IALHA (Andalusians and Lusitanos) Breed Demo at the Equine Affaire. Rovandio was wonderful as usual, he loves to perform! Make sure you watch his dramatic ending! Thank you to our sponsors Adams Horse & Pet Supplies for my beautiful Ariat Volante Boots and to El Sueno Espanol for adding more rosettes to our custom bitless bridle. Enjoy!

Join Sandra's New Online Coaching Group!

CLICK HERE TO GO TO PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP

Sandra Beaulieu - Art on Horseback Featured in the Sun Journal Newspaper

Lovely article about our (Sandra Beaulieu & Rovandio) live art performance at the Healing Through Horses professional expo in New Gloucester, ME. The beautiful photos were taken by reporter Daryn Slover for the Sun Journal. This was our first outing with the new easel my husband built for me. I was very pleased! It is almost 9 feet tall but much easier to transport than my other easel, which I had to leave behind in Florida. 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE

Photo Credit: Daryn Slover of the Sun Journal Newspaper Art on Horseback with Sandra Beaulieu and Rovandio

Photo Credit: Daryn Slover of the Sun Journal Newspaper
Art on Horseback with Sandra Beaulieu and Rovandio

Rovandio was a rockstar as usual. He is the most reliable performance horse I have ever ridden. He knows when he has an audience and completely tunes into me. I don't have to worry about him getting nervous like I do with Douwe

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE

Photo Credit: Daryn Slover of the Sun Journal Newspaper Sarah Kaech, Taylor Burdin, and artist Sandra Beaulieu

Photo Credit: Daryn Slover of the Sun Journal Newspaper
Sarah Kaech, Taylor Burdin, and artist Sandra Beaulieu

The finished painting is available to purchase, with 100% of the purchase price going to Healing Through Horses. Healing Through Horses is a 501c3, oranization offering counseling services that involve Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) in New Gloucester, Maine. Their mission is to help individuals, families and groups overcome life’s challenges by safely partnering with the gentle disposition and compassionate power of horses. Email me at beginthedance@gmail.com if you are interested in this painting. 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE

Sandra beaulieu and taylor burdin hold the finished painting before it is signed.

Sandra beaulieu and taylor burdin hold the finished painting before it is signed.

Arghh! Sandra and Rovandio Perform Together as Pirates!

"Not all treasure is silver and gold, Mate."

-Captain Jack Sparrow

The video below is of Rovandio and I debuting our latest routine, "Pirates", at Elysium Sport Ponies in Atkinson, ME. I had an idea for Rovy to perform the Spanish walk to Captain Jack Sparrow's drunken sailor music from the movie, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the rest of the routine developed from there. I definitely wanted to include Rovy saying pirate lines, so that is where you see him perform the "Argh!". At the end of our performance, I handed out "gold doubloons" for the kids in the audience and Rovy adored the pats and attention! Enjoy!

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.

Inspiration

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.

Costume

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.

Tack

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. 

Location

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! To learn more about Fantasy Photo Shoots with your horse, check out my E-Book series!

Roxie Hart Jazz Routine at the Equine Affaire - Enjoy this fun & sassy routine!

"Mmmm, I'm a star!
And the audience loves me!
And I love them
And they love me for loving them
And I love them for loving me
And we love each other..."

                                                                        - Lyrics from "Roxie Hart" from Chicago

Who can't help but love this song!! It is so sassy and fun to ride to. This year I was given a solo spot in the Andalusian demo with Rovandio and I thought what the heck! It was the perfect opportunity to try something fun that the audience would enjoy. I wanted to highlight Rovandio's amazing personality and rideability. He loves the audience and enters into that electric atmosphere as calm and collected as he can be. It is hard to see me lip synching and playing to the audience but I am sure you can see how much fun I had riding this routine with Rovandio.  Enjoy!

"Sway" Routine at the Elysium Sport Ponies Open House

"Other dancers may be on the floor
Dear, but my eyes will see only you
Only you have that magic technique
When we sway I go weak
I go weak..."

                                              - lyrics from Sway by the Pussycat Dolls

This video was taken at the Elysium Sport Ponies Open House November, 2015. I was SO happy with this routine! As some of you know, I was injured the week before and wasn't able to practice. I decided last minute to ride to the song "Sway", one of my favorite songs that I performed to with Rovandio at the Equine Affaire last year. I knew the transitions of the music inside and out, and it has a fun, playful vibe. Enjoy our dance routine and please share with anyone else that would appreciate it. Thanks!

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.

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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

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

Sandra Beaulieu Painting on Horseback

"In the zen of the moment
living, breathing art
brush stroke upon brush stroke
hoofbeat upon hoofbeat.
The horse forms the artist
the artist forms the horse
flowing, living, breathing art."

                              -Bethanne Ragaglia

Two years ago I was inspired with an idea... a way to combine my two passions, dressage & art. I wondered if it was possible to create a painting from the back of a horse. Hard work, creativity and patience brought my dream into reality! It is so amazing to see the results of a vision come to life. I hope that my journey will inspire others to follow their dreams. This video was made by a small group of amazing interns at the Innovation Center run by the University of Maine. Thank you to Matthew Bullard, Christine Le, Courtney Norman and Jacob Pelkey for their hard work and enthusiasm!

Related Art on Horseback Videos:

Painting for Have a Heart Fundraiser to benefit Triple R Horse Rescue: To learn more about this painting, click here.

Creating a commissioned painting, "Nicole's Dream". To request a commission, email: beginthedance@gmail.com

Originals and more information available at ArtonHorseback.com

(or click the image below)

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!