AUSTIN (KXAN) — A miniature therapy horse in northwest Austin is offering kids in his neighborhood some much needed relief.
Bernard stands patiently, sometimes nibbling on the grass below, while some kids grab a book from the shelf outside his fence and take a seat.
“I started with the chalk station where they can borrow chalk and decorate the sidewalk,” said Martha Smith of the Millwood neighborhood.
Soon after, Smith transformed the area near Bernard’s pen into a reading station. Smith says she set it up after noticing more people walking and biking near her house during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I always wanted a library book house and thought this is the time for kids to just come and practice their reading with Bernard,” Smith said. “He loves the attention!”
Smith says she’s owned the mini horse for almost 17 years.
“I think it’s always going to be Bernard’s reading corner,” Smith said.