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Our non-profit has existed since 2007 with a simple mission to bring the healing effects of horses, nature and supportive community to autism families free of charge.
We invite you to look at our activities of 2011 and 2012. We offer playdates in which we establish communication and eventually move on to advanced academics, 3 day camps and intensive family weeks in which whole families can find healing. We also offer and scholarships for families as well as professionals and working students.
To learn more about workshops on Horse Boy Method and Horse Boy Learning visit our for profit Horse Boy World which helps substiute the foundation by training professionals.
To find an Independent Practitioner near you, please visit our directory.
We don't charge local families for weekly playdates, we also subsidize families to go to camps and participate in other Horse Boy Programs. Please help us out by donating here.
The Horse Boy Foundation is the brainchild of Rupert Isaacson, and grew out of his experience with his son Rowan’s autism.
In April 2004 Rupert’s son Rowan was diagnosed with autism. At first Rowan seemed unreachable. However, whenever his dad took him into the woods behind their house his tantrums and stimming would relax. Contact with nature seemed to calm Rowan’s dysfunctions.
One day, Rowan ran away from his dad and got through the fence into their neighbor’s property and in among his horse herd.
Rupert, a lifelong horseman and ex - professional horse trainer, had been keeping his son away from horses – thinking him unsafe around them.
However, that day he witnessed something extraordinary.
Instead of trampling this squirming, babbling little child lying on his back among their hooves, the horses backed off gently.
Then the boss of the herd, a mare called Betsy, came over and began to lower her head in front of Rowan, to lick and chew with her lips. This is the sign of equine submission.
Rupert, Rowan’s dad, had never seen a horse voluntarily make this submission gesture to a human being before. Clearly something was passing between the horse and the little boy.
So Isaacson talked to his neighbor Stafford, who owned Besty, and got the key to his saddle room. For three years father and son rode every day through the woods and fields of Central Texas and – first through Betsy, then spontaneously, Rowan began to talk, to engage with his environment and other people.
In 2007 Rowan, his dad, and mother – Kristin Neff, a psychology professor at the University of Texas – took a journey across Mongolia on horseback, going from traditional healer to traditional healer, shaman to shaman, looking for healing.
They went out with a child still tantrumming, still un-toilet trained, and cut off from other children. They came back with a child no longer tantrumming, toilet trained and able to make friends.
Rupert wrote a book about his family’s adventure, and also produced a film which documented the trip. Both are titled The Horse Boy.
After returning from Mongolia, the Isaacson family started the Horse Boy Foundation to help make horses and nature available to other children, autistic or not, who might not otherwise have access to them.
Copyright © 2009 Horse Boy, LLC.All Rights Reserved.
Information deemed to be reliable but not guaranteed. Check for pricing and trainings. Terms subject to change.
The Horse Boy Method is not intended or offered as a cure for autism. Ameliorative effects may or may not occur. The method was found to be very useful with Rupert's son Rowan and with other children subsequently. We simply follow what worked for Rowan and others but there is no guarantee of outcome.
By participating in a Horse Boy Method session or training or applying them at home you accept full personal responsibility for any injury or death that can follow any equine activity. The Horse Boy Foundation accepts no liability.
Just as a reminder… The Horse Boy Method Training is an intro into the methods including but not limited to back-riding. We do NOT suggest that you go home and start back-riding with children. Practice, practice, practice! Seek professional advice from your trainers to deepen your skills as a rider and horseman/woman. Take lessons! Again, after the training you are probably NOT ready to ride with a child. Practice until you, your horses and your property are ready for back-riding! HORSE BOY LLC, IT’S MEMBERS, OFFICERS, TRAINERS ETC ARE NOT LIABLE FOR ANY INJURY, DEATH OR DAMAGE CAUSED BY YOU BACKRIDING WITH A CHILD OR OTHER PERSON.
We do suggest you and anybody you work with wears protective gear like protective riding helmets etc.