Apparel Other Tips

Interview with The Sand Arena Ballerina

dressage rider canter
Written by Lindsey Rains

An Arena Down Under

When people are full of passion, they cannot help but let it show every aspect of their lives. For this reason, I am continually inspired to follow The Sand Arena Ballerina, my most favorite equestrian blogger. Andrea Parker, who writes from Australia, oozes with passion about dressage, her horse Nonie, and the things and people who inspire her.

I got to catch up with Andrea about her competition life, blogging goals, and her current favorite things. Hop on over to her blog review, if you haven’t already. Read on to get a more intimate picture of the woman behind this stellar blog.

Without further ado, let’s catch up with Andrea!

Q: What is your competition life like right now?

I’ve had a big shake up in my competition life this year. We weren’t quite ready to start medium level (the equivalent of third level in America) having only started the flying changes at the end of 2016. My mum, Nonie and I traveled away to one competition mid-year to have our first start at medium level. While the tests weren’t perfect, it was pretty exciting to be competing at this level.

Not competing in traditional competitions opened up the door to a unique way of competing. Mid-year I stumbled across a company based in the UK called EquiMind. They specialise in online equestrian competitions in a variety of disciplines.

For the past four months, I have competed in their online dressage competitions. It has been brilliant to be able to ride a test at home, get feedback, and even be placed. In September, we competed in the Summer Championships where we were fortunate enough to become the dressage champions.

I believe that this form of competition will really take off over the next few years, as it just has so many advantages.

Q: How much does competition/training life inspire your blog?

I think it would be fair to say that my primary inspiration for my blog is my own experience as a rider. In particular, I love sharing the learning that I have experienced within my riding.

I have also loved getting to know and share the stories of other riders such as Emily Grimstead, Bailey Nolte, Mathilde Kvernland and Danielle Pooles. Writing product reviews has also be a really fun excuse to do some shopping!

Q: What do you hope people find at The Sand Arena Ballerina?

I want The Sand Arena Ballerina to be a place for all equestrians, in particular the everyday equestrian and rider. Those who don’t necessarily have the money to buy a school master or a super talented youngster. I love writing for the riders who aren’t “naturals,” but love what they do. I hope that by sharing my story in an honest way I might help others believe that they can achieve their goals too.

Source: The Sand Arena Ballerina

Q: What are your favourite products in the equestrian world?

I am absolutely obsessed with:

  • Celeris ‘Bia’ boots, having boots which not only fit, but are also comfortable, has been an absolute treat.
  • My Wilson Equestrian Denim Breeches, are again comfortable and a great fit. They are the type of breeches that make you feel great the moment that you slip into them.
  • Le Mieux saddle pads and bonnets. I’m a sucker for the stunning colours that these saddle pads and bonnets come in and they fit beautifully.
Le Mieux dressage pad

Click to shop Le Mieux saddle pads at Amazon

Q: Who is your equestrian inspiration at the moment, and why?

Just last night I actually had a dream that I was walking around a major equestrian centre casually chatting with Laura Graves! She is definitely an Olympic level dressage rider that I look up to. Her and Verdades always look so harmonious. Laura is proof that riding is not about strength but rather about tact and cleverness.

I am also a big fan of Manolo Mendez. He was one of the founding member of Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, but now lives here in Australia. His philosophy is all about training the horse in a manner that promotes their wellness and mental state, something that can be easily overlooked. He and his horses made it all look so effortless and easy.

Q: What propels you to continue writing?

I’ve been writing for almost twelve months and in this time learned more about myself, my mare, and my riding than I could have ever imagined. I think this is one of the biggest things that pushes me to keep doing it.

I also love that feeling when someone tells me that I have put into words something that resonates with them and their experience.

Q: What is your favourite part about blogging about equestrian life?

I love the connections and friendships that I have made being an equestrian blogger. The opportunity to connect with other people who live in the global equestrian community and share in their struggles and successes has been incredible!

P.S. Enjoy this article? Trot on over to:

Love it? Share it!

About the author


Lindsey Rains

Lindsey Rains is the owner of Hoof Print Marketing, a boutique equestrian social media agency serving clients like The Plaid Horse, Savvy Horsewoman, and (of course!) Horse Rookie. She resides in Post Falls, ID, USA, with her husband, where she loves taking jumping lessons.

Add Comment

  • […] is a Clinical Dietitian, dressage competitor, owner of Nonie the wonder mare, and Creator of The Sand Arena Ballerina. Andrea and Nonie have dressage aspirations of reaching the Grand Prix competition level, and […]