The Island Project with Emma Massingale



Adventure comes in many forms and over the years Berghaus has supported people who have pursued an amazing range of goals in the outdoors. We recently supplied some kit to Emma Massingale, who will soon be marooned for a month on an uninhabited Irish island off the coast of Connemara National Park, with only six horses for company.




From 1st June, The Island Project will see Emma based on 70 acre Freaghillaun South and while there, her objective will be to ‘break in’ two unhandled Connemara horses without using any head collars, saddles or bridles. Freaghillaun South has been described as one of the most remote and least visited places in western Europe. It is regularly buffeted by 70mph winds and its position in the Atlantic Ocean means that Emma has little chance of avoiding the extreme elements.





For her month on the island, Emma will take basic provisions, including a tent and a portable gas stove, but her only ‘luxury’ will be her cameras with which she will film her progress for a documentary to be aired on TV later this year. Her only company will be six Connemara ponies. The challenge of breaking in two of the horses in the way intended will be huge.



Emma comments:
“Normally we bring horses to survive in our world, now it’s my turn to survive in theirs. I have a feeling that the isolation and loneliness will be more difficult to cope with than the physical strains – it’s a long time to be on your own in the middle of nowhere.”



Emma is best known as a stunt horse rider and for pioneering the ‘free riding’ or ‘liberty’ style of no-reins, no rules riding – a daring feat that almost left her paralysed after a back-breaking fall in 2012. Training wild Connemara ponies which have never been ridden in such a deserted and potentially dangerous location, could be the high-point of her professional achievements. We have provided Emma with some essential clothing to help keep her warm, dry and comfortable during her adventure.





She adds:
“I am thrilled to be taking my Berghaus kit with me to the Island. When you don’t quite know what the weather is going to throw at you it is really important to be protected in the best possible way. Personally, I love the fact that the Berghaus kit is so versatile and comfortable in different situations. On the island I will be fishing, camping as well as working with my horses, so it’s great to have products that are suitable for every situation I am likely to face.”



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