Welcome to Horse Spa where Ponies are treated to face masks, blow dries and massages
DEVON: Emma Massingale in Holsworth, North Devon has set up a spa for ponies in her back garden.
The 35-year-old professional horse trainer decided to treat her animals after the recent heatwave left them feeling hot and bothered.
Albert and Ernie were treated to a mud mask and clay mask (complete with cooling cucumbers for their eyes), as well as a curl and set blow dry, a hot stone massage and a refreshing dip in the hot tub.
They even had their hooves painted with special animal-friendly clear varnish.
‘The weather has been so hot for them recently and I haven’t been able to do their normal training so I thought, what can I do with them that they will enjoy,’ explains Emma, of her DIY spa.
‘That’s when I came up with the spa idea. They were absolutely loving it. ‘I gave Ernie a clay mask and Albert a mud mask, horses love rolling around in mud so it was just an extension of that really.
‘Although I did have to cut the cucumbers lengthways, so they were big enough for their eyes.’
‘I left the stones out in the sun to warm them up and they just lay there for ages enjoying it,’ says Emma. ‘Funnily enough, the curlers did actually leave a nice wave in their manes too.’
‘A few people have asked how you get a horse into a hot tub, but I just asked Ernie to jump in and he did,’ Emma continues. ‘The only problem has he enjoyed it so much he wouldn’t get out. I had to just get in there with him.’
As well as making ponies feel pretty, Emma also works with troubled horses and is the first British person to have developed a language that is so well understood by horses that she can communicate with herds at any time, and carry out complex exercises and maneuvers working as a team.
‘Any time spent with an animal interacting like that and doing something they enjoy is beneficial,’ she says.
‘It’s all about building relationships and they loved every second. ‘I have had horses all my life, my godmother gave me my first pony at six months old, a Welsh mountain pony called Minnie.
‘Like many young girls, I started riding before I could walk.’