Tommy’s journey in the world of Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) began when he stepped onto the trailer leaving behind his life as an Amish cart horse in Kentucky to travel across the country to the little college town of Logan, Utah. Accompanied by his pulling companion Trigger, the two made the long journey to the mountains of Northern Utah. The arrival of Tommy and his partner marked the beginning of Utah State University’s EAAT program.
Today, Tommy continues to support academic students, community volunteers, and participants in reaching their horsemanship and career goals. Over the past year, Tommy has overcome significant challenges due to the loss of his longtime partner, Trigger. Despite this, he continues to serve a vital role within USU’s EAAT program.
Tommy’s patient nature helps academic students learn the ropes of being an adaptive riding instructor. He continues to support students as they learn to evaluate and train horses for this specialized role, showcasing the skill set and temperament needed for a horse to excel in this field.
He is a favorite of many participants in our community program. Riders smile in excitement as he quietly approaches the mounting ramp for an adaptive riding lesson. Excelling in hippotherapy, Tommy provides joy to many families as they visit him each week. In the Veterans program, he shares his quiet strength with participants during a variety of ground and mounted exercises. A horse of many talents, Tommy’s significant contributions makes him a treasured member of our team. —Kylie B.