Lacking inspiration? This post shares inspiring quotes about Dressage Musical Freestyle. Get inspired to Dance with your Horse. Feel free to share with your friends, family, and audience on your social media accounts, Facebook page, Instagram, and Pinterest.Read More
When I was younger, I used to stay up all night writing in my journal, pondering my goals for the new year. My lists were very long! Then I would wake up the next day and try to have the "perfect day", ride all my horses, 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 stored on the shelf for another day. I am very lucky to earn a living with horses and work with amazing students and professionals. It is my purpose to teach and inspire others to be creative with their horses and benefit from my experiences.
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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.
A few ideas for when having a unicorn would be useful:
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 15,000 followers on my Pinterest page with a variety of boards for you to get ideas from. Start with my "Unicorn Photo Shoot", "Fairy Inspiration ", and "Tack Inspiration" boards to get started. Click here for my main Pinterest page or select the board you want to see below:
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!
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:
Avry Couture Creations
Beautiful unicorn horn and flower crown sets for your photo shoot or wedding. Beautiful color themes with blush, lavender, silver, and gold. Comes in two sizes 8" and 11". 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 which is safe for horses and their handlers. Each horn in the Unicorn Corner studio is made from their original sculptures. They have a realistic spiral and a glittery finish. Three sizes available 7, 9, and 12 inch. Visit store...
Handmade horns available in multiple sizes, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10,11 inches. They attach with ribbon or elastic cording. Unicorn horns come in a wide variety of colors. Visit store...
Baby Birdie Boutique
Affordable fabric unicorn horns with beautiful floral accents. Her horns come in 5', 8", 10" or 12" sizes and she also offers two attachments including an elastic band and a large french clip. Visit store...
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 email@example.com.
Leave a comment below and share your experience or head over to the Fantasy Photo Shoots 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.
Up Next: DIY Glitter Hooves, Manes, & Tails!
Whenever I perform with my horse the first thing that everyone compliments us on is our use of GLITTER! I particularly love to make Douwe's or Rovandio's hooves gold, silver, or copper, whatever matches our costume. Everyone always asks how I get the glitter to stay on the hooves and on their manes and tails. So, I wanted to share this SUPER EASY secret to getting your own "cheap" version of Twinkle Toes!
I prefer to wake up and chase my dreams on my Friesian horse! Please feel free to share this image on social media. I create these motivational images for others to use and enjoy. To go behind-the-scenes on this Red Riding Hood inspired photo shoot click here.
I love watching the Outlander TV series and adore the soundtrack. The songs are dramatic, beautiful, and have a light-hearted quality that fits Douwe's personality really well. Douwe injured his knee a month before this event and I barely had a chance to ride him the week of the show. I brought Rovandio with us as a backup and ended up performing both of them and they felt great. I tend to be more creative on a deadline so I found myself putting together a brand new routine just days before the show, editing the music and pulling together a costume from my collection. I am so happy with how the routine turned out and Douwe really enjoyed himself. We even popped in a few tempi changes even though we haven't practiced those in months! The music gives me goosebumps to ride to and I am looking forward to the next time I can perform this routine.
"We don't create a fantasy world to escape reality, we create it to be able to stay."
I can relate to this quote because I love to daydream and play fantasy dress-up with my horse. This photo was taken of Douwe on the set of Essential Realism, an indie film that we acted in a few years ago. I played the part of Queen's head archer riding a beautiful, black unicorn. The film is not yet finished but I will certainly share information when it is ready!
How do you resonate with this quote? Do you live in a fantasy world? Go to Renaissance faires? Collect costumes? If you do then we would certainly get along!! Leave a comment below so I can meet my fellow fantasy friends! Please feel free to share this image, especially on Pinterest.
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!
The costumes turned out beautifully and Ahura and his film crew handmade the amazing armor pieces for the head, arms and legs:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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