It’s not just children who have been busy writing their Christmas lists this year.
Trainer Emma Massingale’s Shetland pony Albert was taught to “write” for a special festive video.
In the short film, Albert pens his list to Father Christmas before tucking himself up in bed.
He asks for a brother and a new pair of boots.
The next morning he discovers his wish has come true and Emma’s other Shetland, Ernie, is standing under the tree wrapped as a Christmas gift.
Ernie presents Alfie with a present, which turns out to be a pair of boots.
“It was a spur of the moment thing,” Devon-based Emma told H&H.
“One of my sponsors, Cavallo, brought out boots for miniatures and we created the film as a thank you.
“I thought it up the night before and filmed it on my iPhone the following day.”
The film was recorded in Emma’s house and she admits the biggest task was smartening up the Shetlands for the camera.
“The toughest thing was getting them dry,” said Emma. “I had to bring them in for a hair-dry.”
Emma said it was “really exciting” to see the results of her training with five-year-old Albert and four-year-old Ernie.
“I’ve been building up their skills,” she said. “Now they have lots of tricks and know how to learn.
“They really enjoy it. Horses have a great sense of fun. In winter they’re quite bored and can’t get up to too much so it’s a fantastic time for teaching them things.”
The Shetlands have gained quite a following from this latest film and their previous adventure in Scotland with Emma, which was documented by The One Show.
In 2018 the pair have further adventures on the horizon, including starring in an advert for Sky.
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The topic divided opinion among owners, with many claiming it was unnecessary to buy gifts for their equine friends when
“It’s nice as it means people can enjoy them as much as I do,” Emma added.
“Shetlands can be tricky to work with, it’s like training a Jack Russell. It’s hard not to treat them like dogs and laugh when they’re naughty.
“They’re great fun. Everyone should have Shetland in their life.”