Trinket is a miniature therapy horse. She and I are tested every two years by Pet Partners, a national therapy organization. We visit elementary schools and offer animal assisted learning activities for students with disabilities.

Each and every time Trinket and I are tested, I am very nervous. She, on the other hand, is calm!

How does she do this, I wonder? Curiosity is one way, I think she would say.

This year the testing was at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Sugarland. Trinket’s eyes brightened when children asked, “May I pet her?” In the Gems section, she glanced at a huge purple geode and seemed to think it might contain something to eat. She passed by a large German Shepherd (part of the evaluation process) who held little interest for her as I led her into a classroom where she enjoyed being brushed and petted.

Trinket projects a calm acceptance of the present moment combined with a steady curiosity.  She observes, enjoys, and interacts with everything she sees and touches.

This is Trinket in action at an elementary school, listening to a letter read to her by a student.

3 Training Tips from Trinket

Be curious.  When you notice you aren’t, get curious again.

Resist the urge to try too hard to make something happen. Just be there.

Allow yourself to “not know,” and you will find more answers.

I want to be like Trinket. Her Presence guides my riding, teaching, and training.

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