Guest artist on #EquineArtHour- Join me for a Twitter chat!

I have been asked to be a guest artist on the #EquineArtHour Twitter chat this coming Sunday, December 20th at 4:00-5:00pm. Join me in the Twitter chat, ask questions about horses, art, performing, training, anything you feel like! It will be fun! 

Join me on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/BegintheDance

Join the Twitter chat: https://twitter.com/EquineArtHour  

EquineArtHour was created by Shya Beth, an equine artist that shares her passion on her blog The Flying Shetlands. Growing daily, The Flying Shetlands has new articles every Tuesday and Friday. She is also the found of the first ever #EquineArtHour on Twitter for equine artists along with art and equine enthusiasts to share their work and interact with each other for an hour every Sunday, 4-5 pm. 

View her blog at: https://theflyingshetlands.wordpress.com/

Etsy Shop Tips & Tricks For Starting Out

I love Etsy and enjoy browsing and shopping on their platform. Etsy now allows shop owners to include manufactured products. I wasn't able to list my screen-printed products on Etsy in the past because I did not screen print them myself. 

For those of you who might be thinking of starting an Etsy shop, here are a few things I have learned so far:

  • Try to space out your listings to help with Google Searches. Instead of listing 10 products in one day try listing one to two products a day, because they will show up in the "Recently Added" category. This can help drive traffic back to your store more consistently.
  • I have been listening to a podcast called Etsy Conversations that hosts interviews with Etsy shop owners and it is very interesting!
  • High quality photographs are a MUST!
  • Etsy integrates really well with Pinterest. I LOVE Pinterest and they have the "Pin It" button available for all product images on Etsy. I think that is awesome and really helps drive traffic. 
  • Make your product descriptions more like search words rather than cutesy descriptions. I have adjusted my titles from "Begin the Dance" Organic Cotton Tee Shirt to: Horse Tee Shirt, "Begin the Dance", Equine Design by Sandra Beaulieu, Dressage Tee Shirt.
  • Make sure you are seen on social media and be easy to reach for customers.

Do you shop on Etsy? What have you bought from Etsy in the past? Are there any new products you would like to see from my shop? I hope to hear from you soon! You can post a comment below or send me an email at: beginthedance@gmail.com or click here to send me a message on Facebook.

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 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.

2011 Equine Affaire - Begin the Dance with Sandra Beaulieu - Face Painting

I thought it would be a great addition to my booth to offer artistic face painting. I was really busy on Friday and Saturday; I painted a total of 165 faces over the weekend! Luckily it wasn't too busy on Sunday so I was able to take a break and visit nearby booths. I really like painting on skin because it has a texture that makes it easy to blend the paints. I started each day painting my own face using a hand held mirror. That attracted attention as people would stop and watch, commenting on how difficult it must be to paint the image backwards. I had a lot of fun and it was well worth the effort to see all the kids' smiling faces! :)

Dressage horse with polo wraps.

Dressage horse with polo wraps.

This young girl wanted the same horse I had on my face.

This young girl wanted the same horse I had on my face.

Jumpers are fun because the kids can pick out what color they want on the poles.

Jumpers are fun because the kids can pick out what color they want on the poles.

The last day I got all fancy and did a quadrille on my face.

Check Out My Art on Horseback: