Mini ponies ‘go wild at the seaside’ in latest adventure

What better way to celebrate summer than with a ride along the beach, but you can always rely on this liberty horse trainer to change it up a bit...

Horse-trainer Emma Massingale has embraced the summer and dramatic coastline of her home county by taking six horses for a loose adventure on the beach.

The award-winning film-maker created her latest video The Mini Tribe Go Wild At The Seaside with familiar Youtube stars Albert and Ernie, who were joined by young miniatures Stan, Percy and new recruit Peggy for a gallop along the sands.

The minis were accompanied on the North Cornwall beach by Connemara Comet, who Emma was free riding.

“I’ve done a lot of videos with Albert and Ernie but not so many with the miniatures, so I thought it was time we had an adventure,” said Emma.

“Comet came back with me from Connemara and he’s been allocated in charge of the mini team, his job is to baby sit them as he has a fantastic temperament,” she explained. “He’s also not as tall as my other Connemaras, so he’s easier to get on and off all the time!”

Emma, who has eight Connemaras she uses for demos, revealed she is currently expanding her miniature line-up.

“I recently added Peggy who is six and hasn’t done anything — it’s just about early relationship building with her, so this was a bit of an eye-opener,” she said.

“When I am working with new ones like that, I outnumber them with trained ponies and as long as there are more trained than untrained ones, it’s a good way of getting everyone to have a good time! They tend to copy Albert and Ernie.

“The Connemara team usually work at liberty in formation, whereas I am currently playing around with the mini guys as I want them to be a free herd,” she added. “It’s interesting as that way you can see their personalities a bit more.”

She said that the ponies were “really good” on their 5.30am beach trip, although they were “kind of keen”.

“They went a lot faster than I thought,” she said. “I expected a sedate canter, but the minis were off like rockets!”

Two-year-olds Stan and Percy were also experiencing their first visit to the beach, although the youngsters recently took part in a tour of Europe, while still untrained, in the back of a specially-adapted tricycle pedalled by Emma.

“It was an amazing trip,” she said. “The cities were certainly urban adventures and not quite what I expected — there would be people in a tram videoing you one side and the bus driver videoing you on the other!

“Usually I like being on my own in the wild with my animals, but I thought I would throw myself into an urban environment and almost everyone we met on the whole trip was smiling and laughing.

“There aren’t many things you can do with horses that have that sort of impact, so that was really cool.”

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As well as demos and a Connemara island adventure holiday with her ponies in September, Emma is currently experimenting with some new liberty line-ups.

“I’m looking at doing a mixed tribe with the Connies, donkeys and other random pets including the sheep and pig — and the cat,” she revealed. “It’s really interesting to do liberty work with different animals as they go at different paces and have different needs — so it’s fascinating to be able to keep the whole horde happy at the same time.”

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