Video: Shetlands Get Back to Their Roots

Emma Massingale’s exploration of the origins of her beloved pony breeds continues, with a return to the Shetland Islands with her Albert and Ernie!

Emma Massingale has perhaps done more in the modern day to educate the public about the origins of Britain’s native pony breeds than anyone else: her gentle liberty methods have built quite a fan base, and her seemingly off-the-wall plans to try some “extreme adventuring” with her ponies have made her a household name.

You might remember her Island Project, where she “returned” to an island off the coast of Connemara with her trained Connemara liberty team as well as two unstarted ponies. Massingale sought a pure, untouched location to practice her training while honoring the origins of the Connemara breed.

Her latest adventure? Taking her Shetland ponies Albert and Ernie back to the Shetland Isles where their breed originated, exploring the real-world application that led to the breed’s development and the natural conditions that tempered their toughness — as well as a few unique opportunities, such as getting both of her ponies onto an open boat and mixing with the “locals.”

Very few of us can say we truly use our horses for what they were first bred, and that’s okay — the modern world doesn’t necessarily require too many carriage horses or seaweed gatherers. But to keep us grounded and familiar with the roots of our horses’ breeds, Massingale is leading the way. (Maybe with a few modern touches — like sharing a tent with her plucky little ponies.)

Follow Emma Massingale on Facebook for plenty of photos and videos of her various adventures!

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