Beautiful Dancer SAILS with Andalusian Horse

"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!

My Top 5 Favorite Equine Artists

Lydia Rose Spencer

Not only is Lydia one of my close friends she is an amazing artist that I have watched develop her talents over the years. She works with all mediums, particularly acrylic, oil, and watercolor. She also paints beautiful people and pet portraits and has a unique ability to capture the essence of her subject. She is also an accomplished dressage rider and dancer (you can see her dance with Douwe & Rovandio in the video gallery). Here is a little blurb from Lydia's about page: "My art focuses mainly on portraiture of people and animals, I have always been drawn to faces because they are so complex in their ability to tell a story, human and animal. I love painting because it shows us the beauty in everyday life from the perspective of the artist." -Lydia Rose

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Tony O'Connor

I am drawn to Tony's paintings because he does an excellent job at capturing the drama and emotion of each subject. He uses plain black backgrounds and also paints on linen (shown below). He has the ability to draw you into each painting and really feel the emotions of the horse. He is fun to follow on Facebook and posts quotes with his art that are nice to share. He also does an amazing job with other animals like deer/elk, dogs and people. I hope to meet him someday and see his art in person.

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Elise Genest

I have been in love with Elise's work ever since I saw her booth at a dressage show many, many years ago. I love her style and how she can make the horse appear to leap off the canvas! She paints a lot of spanish-type horses which I love and sometimes uses poetry to add emotion. I have only seen her paint horses but she has so many paintings I can't even count them all! I am a big fan of using drips and raw edges with paint which she is able to do so perfectly. She is truly a unique artist and I know so many people that have said they wished they could paint like her!

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Morgan Cameron

I have known Morgan since she was quite young and learning to ride horses. I used to teach her lessons at Isaac Royal Farm many years ago and I love how she has blossomed as an artist. Besides horses she also paints other animals like ravens, foxes and owls. Her work is always evolving as she develops her style and finds her niche. “These subjects are so deeply routed within my past and soul. Even though each piece can be vastly different, they still relate to one another through their own roots. I want to resonate the emotion I get when I see, smell and feel these subjects in person to other viewers, as if they too had been present. I wish to create a sense of sentimental and nostalgic meaning within my work, and to one day capture the beauty in subjects that may otherwise have been passed by in person.” -Morgan Cameron

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Jache Studio

The artist behind Jache Studio is Jennifer Brandon. She is an accomplished artist that has her own unique style. I have seen her at the Equine Affaire for many years and have always admired her loose, energetic style. Her artwork has been featured on the cover of the Equine Affaire program along with many other accomplishments. She is also fabulous at painting dogs, landscapes, and people. I love seeing her paintings in progress on her Facebook page, particularly when she works on a large canvas.

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Royal Vanidor, Lipizzan/Thoroughbred Performs with Bellydancer - 2008 Isaac Royal Equestrian Theater

"Forget your troubles and dance!"
                   -Bob Marley

I have fond memories of this routine- it was the first time that I performed with a dancer! My best friend, Lydia Rose Spencer is dancing. Lydia is also an amazing dressage rider and equine artist. I am riding Royal Vanidor, a Lipizzan/Thoroughbred cross gelding that was born and raised at Isaac Royal Farm in Dover-Foxcroft, ME. I started working with him as a weanling and trained him up through the dressage levels to Pre St. Georges before he died in 2008 due to a tragic vet error. It was devastating but at least I have some wonderful memories of the times we performed together. RIP sweet Vanidor, maybe someday we will dance together again!

Who are some inspiring horses from your past? Leave a comment below!

Rovandio and Douwe Perform Together at Safe Haven Farm

To dance is to be out of yourself.
Larger, more beautiful, more powerful.
~Agnes De Mille


I am so pleased to share this video because it was Rovandio's first time performing away from home and the first time for all three of us to perform a liberty routine! Rovy was SUCH a good boy, relaxed, focused and loved the audience. Douwe did really well but had a few moments where he decided to do his own thing! But that is the challenge with liberty training and performing, I have to follow Douwe's lead as much as create the routine myself and be ready to adjust at a moment's notice. I can't wait to try it again! Enjoy!

Sandra Beaulieu Performs at Safe Haven Farm with Douwe and Rovandio

Rovandio & 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 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.