If only they could shop: watch ponies and other animals help out at equine store

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  • If your horse could go to the tack shop, what do you think he would buy?

    Mole Valley Farmers, trainer Emma Massingale and Equine Productions have teamed up for a fun take on what could happen if your pets were in charge.

    As staff at the Holsworthy branch, in Devon, go about their daily duties, viewers may notice some of the shoppers, “helpers” and even some of the mannequins are remarkably lifelike.

    The stars of the short film are Shetlands Albert and Ernie, sport horse Custard, Connemara Atlantis, Dalmatian Ettie, chicken Chick Chick and a duck.

    “Being creative with animals is something I love,” Emma told H&H.

    “The chicken was already trained, but the rest has to be trained specifically for it.

    “It is like a jigsaw — you find the corners and it starts to take shape. You work out one little bit and build the picture from there — it was great fun.”

    She added there was no chance of a dress rehearsal as the shop is open seven days a week, so filming had to take place over two evenings.

    “I had a trolley at home to practise with, but you know what it’s like to try and push a shopping trolley, they have a mind of their own,” said Emma, adding that the filming went “really well”.

    “One slight issue was the chicken got stage fright — she went all shy!”

    Foam-filled sacks were used in the feed-store scene, where Custard can be found pulling bags of feed from a shelf.

    Emma said this was one of the hardest parts to film due to the amount of temptation surrounding him, but that she really enjoyed how he “made the trick his own” by stepping forward to reach more bags.

    It was like taking a kid to the candy store and asking them to eat Brussels sprouts,” she said.

    “That is really owning the task — I’m not telling him to do that. Those for me are the special moments.”

    Related articles:

    This is not the first time Emma’s horses have popped in to “help out” at an equestrian retailer.

    A short film of her Connemaras at Horseware’s Rambo factory went viral in 2015.

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