Emma Massingale has opened the UK’s first horse spa. The 35-year-old professional horse trainer decided to set up the facility behind her garden in Devon.
Massingale’s first clients were her own horses, Albert and Ernie, who she treated to face masks, hot stone massages, and mane blow dries. The equines also took a dip in the jacuzzi and enjoyed a pedicure, as well as having their hooves painted with clear nail polish.
Massingale, from Holsworthy, said, “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. 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 lengthwise, so they were big enough for their eyes,” she added.
The video shows the horses enjoying the mud mask and clay mask, as well as cold cucumber slices on their eyes. Albert and Ernie were very cooperative a held still while receiving their various treatments.
Massingale placed stones in the sun before applying the hot stone massage. “I left the stones out in the sun to warm them up and they just lay there for ages enjoying it.”
“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,” she said. 'The only problem was he enjoyed it so much he wouldn't get out. I had to just get in there with him in the end.”
The trainer also works with troubled horses and is the first person in the UK to develop a special language understood by horses that she uses to communicate and carry out exercises and maneuvers. “Any time spent with an animal interacting like that and doing something they enjoy is beneficial. It's all about building relationships and they loved every second," she said.
“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,” she added.