By Hayley Pugh
A horse trainer has found a novel way of keeping her pet ponies entertained during the lock down – by teaching them how to play TWISTER.
To beat the boredom Emma Massingale, from Holsworthy, North Devon, has been teaching her miniature Shetland Ponies how to play classic games and sports, such as cards, basketball, Twister and Pass the Pig.
The 37-year-old has roped in pony pals Albert, Ernie and Percy but not wanting to be left out, her pet pig, Luigi, can also be seem joining in with a game of Pass the Pigs.
Emma said: “To be honest the lock down is hard for us as my job involves being out and about with them, so being at home is a challenge, but we embrace what life throws at us and I feel super lucky to have animals in my life they give you the best reason to smile everyday.
“The ponies love playing games, maybe not in the sense that humans do but horses can get bored the same as we do and mini Shetlands are so intelligent that they pick up tricks really quickly.
“I think pass the pigs was there favourite, or maybe basket ball. Albert was pretty good and he scored some good goals.
“At this time of year as well we have to be careful not to just leave horses in the field, they can get sick from the fresh grass with Laminitis – a disease that affects their feet – so bringing them out teaching them new things and generally playing with them is good for their mental and physical well being.
“Animals are just like us really.
“I used to play Pass the Pigs when I was a kid. It’s an old favourite of mine.
“The timing was really funny as I was playing with the ponies and Luigi just turned up, he likes to have his snout in all that is going on around him.
“I wanted to join in too. They are so funny as I obviously teach them the tricks but then they really make it their own.
“During Twister Albert was laying down. I think he just thought he would chill for a minute and let the youngsters take the brain strain.”