I hope you enjoy this creative video put together by my talented friend Ashley Mancuso of Ash Equine Productions. Everything in my life is intertwined, the dressage, liberty training, performing, and Art on Horseback. Each avenue offers a unique way for me to connect with my horses and explore my creativity. I hope that my journey can inspire others to pursue their dreams, no matter how different they might seem. Please connect with me (email at email@example.com or Facebook), I would love to hear how you are using creativity with your horses. Enjoy!Read More
Sounds of thunder hit the ground,
feathers flying all around,
Friesian black and Friesian bold,
giant spirit, gentle soul.
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!
bred to be a partner
through centuries of care
generous hearts and brilliant minds
make a lovely dancing pair.
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!
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in this painting.
When you dance, your purpose is not to
get to a certain place on the floor.
It's to enjoy each step along the way.
- Wayne Dyer
After a long hiatus from the dressage competition arena, I decided it would be fun to work on my USDF Freestyle Bronze Bar with Douwe and Rovandio. To earn this award, the rider needs two freestyle scores (above 65%) at First level, two scores at Second level, and two scores at Third level from recognized shows. Douwe earned both of our First Level scores and Rovandio earned both of our Second Level scores in one weekend! I am so proud of them, they seemed to enjoy themselves and I did too! Last week I shared Douwe's First Level Musical Freestyle inspired by the TV show Outlander (click here to watch). Here is Rovandio's Second Level Freestyle with recognizable music played by a pop violin band named Escala. I found them on Spotify and loved their renditions of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir", The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony", and Karl Jenkin's "Palladio". Enjoy!
Inspired to create your own musical freestyle? Enter your email below for my FREE downloads including a Musical Freestyle Checklist to keep you on track and Blank Choreography Pages to sketch your routines. You can also learn more about my Custom Freestyle Design and Freestyle Workshops. Click here.
Thank you Adam's Horse Supplies!
My new sponsors Adam's Horse Supplies generously outfitted me with new Ariat show boots, a Goode Rider show shirt, Toklat saddle pads, a ThinLine pad for Douwe, and a Micklem bridle for Rovandio for our freestyle debut.
Adam's is located in Winthrop, ME but has an excellent selection online and they offer incredible sales and discounts.
I am proud to announce that I have a new partnership with Adams Horse Supplies, a tack shop located in Winthrop, ME. I am officially a part of their team as a sponsored professional. They have an extensive online catalog with an amazing selection of high-quality, top name brands, and generous sales and promotions.
They recently outfitted me for a USDF dressage show with Ariat dressage boots (Volant model), a ThinLine pad for Douwe, a Goode Rider show shirt, and Toklat Originals saddle pads. They have also provided grooming supplies and accessories for my horses from companies like Cowboy Magic, Mountain Horse, Equine Couture, and more!
The staff at Adam's Horse Supplies has been very supportive and I enjoy working with them. They are all knowledgeable horse professionals, with the experience to help their customers choose the right products for their needs. I look forward to working with them and promoting their amazing brand.
Who They Are
Adams Horse and Pet Supplies is a woman-owned business, run by a staff of local Maine riders and pet lovers who want to bring high-quality products and pet foods to their customers. They test and use everything they sell so they can educate their customers and help them choose the products that are right for them and their pets. They are a small town business with small town values and can't wait to make you part of their family!
We dance for laughter,
we dance for tears,
we dance for madness,
we dance for fears,
we dance for hopes,
we dance for screams,
we are the dancers,
we create the dreams.
After a long hiatus from the dressage competition arena, I decided it would be fun to work on my USDF Freestyle Bronze Bar with Douwe and Rovandio. To earn this award, the rider needs two freestyle scores (above 65%) at First level, two scores at Second level, and two scores at Third level from recognized shows. Douwe earned both of our First Level scores and Rovandio earned both of our Second Level scores in one weekend! I am so proud of them, they seemed to enjoy themselves and I did too! If you watch the TV series Outlander you will recognize the music, the tempo and drama of the music really go with Douwe's stride. Enjoy!
Are you inspired to start working on your First Level musical freestyle?
My "how-to" e-book will take you through the creation process of your very own freestyle.
- 10 Fully Choreographed Test Patterns! Just Add Music!
- 37 pages of choreography!
- 7 Online Resources to help you find freestyle music.
- Creative freestyle questionnaire to help get your creative juices flowing!
- Freestyle checklist to help you stay on track.
- Blank arena diagram pages for you to take notes and draw your own choreography.
- Rules to remember, arena & sound requirements, copyright laws and more!
"Tale as old as time.
True as it can be.
Barely even friends,
Then somebody bends-
- Lyrics from Beauty & The Beast
My relationship with Douwe has certainly had its ups and its downs. It took many years before he trusted me and
started to enjoy his training. This song holds a lot of meaning for me in regards to our relationship. Douwe was angry and depressed when I first bought him, and over the years has become the goofiest horse I know with a huge personality! It just took some time to uncover what was already there, and to shed his past.
This video was taken at the Riding to the Top Therapeutic Riding Center in Windham, ME. This routine was very emotional for me; I was fighting back tears as we performed because Douwe was so in-tune with me.
This was our first time performing this new routine and it brought laughter and tears to the audience as well.
Don't miss Douwe's "singing" debut at the 4 minute mark!
"Sometimes life gives you a second chance, or even two! Not always, but sometimes. It's what you do with those second chances that counts."
– Dave Wilson
For the past five years I have been involved with my friend, Marsha Hartford-Sapp, and her Mustang gelding, Cobra. Cobra was passed over three times for adoption, making him a "three strikes" mustang, but Marsha adopted him for the 2010 Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover, and in 2013 they started competing in United States Dressage Federation (USDF) shows.
Cobra is a sharply intelligent, deeply intuitive horse. Cobra is fairly big for a Mustang and quite balanced. He likes to work and once he is warmed up he is full of energy and ready to go. Marsha has trained and competed him successfully in dressage through the Prix St. Georges level and Western Dressage. He has won numerous year-end awards and world championships. Here is a video of him competing in Western Dressage, earning a great score of 78%!
Marsha has competed in many Extreme Mustang Makeovers. She won the competition in 2016 with her mare Freedom, and this year with a beautiful palomino mare named Chason's Dream.
You can watch this USA Today interview with Marsha on training Mustangs.
Cobra is particularly talented in his canter work and has learned tempi changes and canter pirouettes, as well as other upper level movements. In the following video it shows him learning two-tempi changes only 2 years out of the wild! That is incredible! I am honored to have played a part in his dressage training, introducing him to the one-tempi changes this past winter in Florida. Over the course of a few months Cobra was able to learn how to do a one-tempi and progressed to four clean one-tempis in a row!
Meet Cobra at BreyerFest
Don't miss your chance to meet Cobra and Marsha Sapp at BreyerFest. They will be performing daily and "signing" autographs. I will also be there to help answer questions for Cobra's raving fans. And don't forget to buy your very own Cobra Breyer model to take home with you. Isn't he beautiful!
Cobra's New Logo Design
In preparation for BreyerFest I was asked to create a logo for Cobra. My good friend, and professional photographer Kimberly Chason put together the logo idea and added the text to my art design. If you are interested in a custom logo design for your horse or business visit my online gallery...click here.
"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!
For the past two years I have been involved with a film project called Falcyyr, which is directed by Ahura Diliiza. I play Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt, and Douwe is the special steed for the main actress Sinai Diliiza.
My character, Artemis, teaches the Falcyyr how to ride a horse in Episode #6, click here to watch. Both Douwe and Rovandio are used for this scene. It was fun to utilize my teaching skills and the horses behaved very well for the different actresses.
You will also see the herd of horses from Isaac Royal Farm where the scenes were filmed. Many of the horses are Lipizzan or Andalusian crosses.
You can watch each separate episode of Falcyyr for $1 on Vimeo. You can also rent them all for $8 or download them for $12.
"Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul.
Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal."
- Mother Theresa
I was very proud of Douwe's performance in the Coliseum. He can get excited with larger audiences but he focused well and stole the show with his kisses, smiles, and wiggles. We also rode in the Mallory South building and he did well, but was not as relaxed. There isn't a proper warmup for the Mallory South building and waiting outside on the pavement isn't ideal for the horses to stay relaxed. I would like to extend a big THANK YOU to Danielle Barrasso for organizing the breed demos and for letting me stable with her in C-Barn. Enjoy this video of Douwe in the Friesian breed demos!
It has been over a year since we did our last filming days for Falcyyr. This past year (2015) was spent editing the massive amounts of footage that director Ahura Z. Diliiza and his crew took. He has decided to create a tv series instead of a movie so that he can start showing the footage he already has. I have seen pieces of the first episode and the scenes with the horses look fantastic! You can see short snippets of us in this trailer video. I will have more updates soon! Please like the Falcyyr Facebook page to stay updated and show your support. Thanks!
Falcyyr Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/falcyyr/?fref=ts
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/
"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!
I wanted to share this equine art blog that recently shared my work. The Flying Shetlands blog was created by a young woman named Shya who is an aspiring artist and horse enthusiast. She started blogging at age 13! I think it is wonderful to see someone so young sharing their passion with the world. She has almost 100 artists featured on her blog including amazing photographers like Sabine Peters from Germany, sculptures like Gustavo Aceves, and painters including Tony O'Connor. I wish her all the best and I want everyone to send her blog some love!
I was contacted by Paul Morris, a writer for www.littlethings.com, about featuring the video of my Friesian gelding, Douwe, and I performing our "Wings of Isis" bridleless routine. I was thrilled to be included on their channel among other positive, creative, and inspiring stories! It is my hope to inspire as many people as I can, especially young girls that are just as horse crazy as I was - and still am! Please help me share my appreciation to LittleThings.com by visiting the link below and "liking" the video on their page. Thank you so much!
Here is an excerpt from the article:
"Using the most loving and caring of training techniques, Beaulieu has created a whole new school of thought in the world of dressage dancing. Ensuring that the horse's experience is as positive as the rider's, she often rides with bitless bridle, on a bareback pad, and sometimes even completely bridle-less; these horses are all treated with the love and respect they deserve to be given." -Paul Morris, LittleThings.com
To read the rest of the article, watch the video, and see other inspiring videos on LittleThings.com please click here. http://www.littlethings.com/horse-wings-dance/
"So shine bright, tonight you and I
We're beautiful like diamonds in the sky
Eye to eye, so alive
We're beautiful like diamonds in the sky."
-Rihanna (lyrics to Diamond song)
This routine was performed at Safe Haven Farm in Durham, ME in 2015. They have an annual open house that I have performed at many times. This year was special because it was Douwe's birthday on the day of the show. He turned 14 and I wanted to honor the 6 years we have had together. I consider him my "diamond in the rough" so I decided to go all-out with glitter and sparkle! We did a bridleless and liberty routine, performing new liberty moves we have been working on. It will take time to perfect performing together, but I am having a blast thinking of creative new ways to dance with my horse. Please share this video if your horse shines bright like a diamond. Enjoy!
I wrote this article for "the Friesian" magazine that is created by the Friesian Horse Association of North America (FHANA). They send out a quarterly magazine to their members and this was included in their January/February issue (2015). They were very gracious to let me share the article on my blog. I want to send out a big THANK YOU to the editor Laurie Bell for creating such a beautiful article layout with all the photos. This article is under copyright of FHANA and cannot be shared without their permission. There is a list of resources and links that I mention in the article located at the bottom of the post.
Please visit their website if you want more information about the Friesian Breed and their organization: http://www.fhana.com/
Included in this article:
Dr. Cook Bitless Bridle: http://www.bitlessbridle.com/
Falcyyr Film (Ahura Diliiza): https://www.facebook.com/falcyyr
Custom Tack Created by Lisa Oberman: http://elsuenoespanol.com/store/
Isaac Royal Academy of Equestrian Arts (Carolyn Rose): https://www.facebook.com/pages/Isaac-Royal-Training-Center-of-Classical-Dressage/321529202925
Heidi Herriot Trick Training: http://www.heidiherriott.com/
Lydia Rose Bellydance: https://www.facebook.com/LydiaRoseBellyDance?ref=br_tf
Custom Breeches Worn in Falcyyr made by Aanstadt-Das: https://www.facebook.com/aanstadtdasbreeches
Safe Haven Farm in Durham, ME: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Safe-Haven-Farm/272054486150539
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: email@example.com or click here to send me a message on Facebook.