Emma Massingale is on a mission to bring smiles to everyone she meets this year.
And the best way to do that, she’s decided, is load two of her ponies into a purpose-built tricycle and cycle 1,000 kilometres across six European countries.
Emma is a well-known adventurer and horse whisperer whose YouTube clips depicting her life with her equine friends frequently amass hundreds of thousands of views. She enjoys working with horses at liberty, aiming to ‘give horses a real voice and take horsemanship into a whole new world of conversation with not only one horse but a whole herd.’
This year, she wanted to have a brand new adventure, and bring her miniatures along – not an easy ask, since their short legs mean they can’t be ridden or led long distances! The solution had to be challenging for Emma and fun for her companions, Percy the the appaloosa miniature horse, Stanley the miniature Shetland pony and Inca the dachshund. Pulling them all herself was the obvious answer!
‘I am always looking for different equine adventures and I quite liked the irony as horses always used to pull us,’ she told Horse and Hound. ‘This way it means that I get fit and they don’t have to worry about it!’
Together, Percy and Stanley weigh around 300 kilograms (660 pounds), and Emma aims to get them from Switzerland to the UK, travelling along the River Rhine, in a month. Along the way, they will make frequent stops at schools, tack shops and equestrian centres where they can inspire other horse lovers to dream big.
Percy and Stanley are only two years old, and both are untrained – but they are experts at making people smile. Emma explains, ‘I have chosen two untrained ponies for this adventure as I wanted to be able to share my style of training as we go. I wanted to be able to share how getting out of the arena and putting yourself a little out of your comfort zone is a great way of working with horses.’
Aside from spreading the joy to everyone they encounter and enjoying an epic adventure, Emma, Percy and Stanley will be raising money for Brooke, an international animal welfare charity that works to improve the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules across the world.
Learn more and follow Emma’s journey here.
Image credits: Mole Valley Farmers, Emma Massingale.