Over approximately seven years of working with autistic children and horses Rupert Isaacson, father of Rowan Isaacson (the Horse Boy) stumbled upon a number of techniques that seemed to bring about better verbal communication with his son.
For some years Rupert and Rowan literally lived in the saddle together on board a Texas Quarter Horse called Betsy. The story of how Rowan opened up to the outside world through Betsy is told in the bestselling book and award winning film, both entitled "The Horse Boy".
Soon after Rowan's success Rupert began working with other local children on the spectrum to see if what had worked with Rowan and Betsy would also work for them.
While no method can ever be right for 100% of people Rupert did find that a sufficiently high percentage of children did seem to benefit in sometimes quite astonishing ways.
After a couple more years Rupert realized that he had a system of techniques in place, that targeted different types of autism spectrum challenges. Since 2009 he has been working internationally with the Horse Boy Method™ at camps and centers in North America and Europe.
Horse Boy Method is specific to Autism and neuro-psychiatric conditions.
It's a simple 6 stage process. We create the right environment, address sensory issues and these then allow perspective taking and academics to be taught from the saddle: riding with the child and finally self-advocacy.
Though some children emerge as riders, we are not here to teach children to ride. We are here to get communication. The horse is our colleague in this process.
If there is one thing that defines Autism it is the difficulty of relating to the exterior world. The horse can carry a person into the exterior world without resistance and provide a living, breathing environment where information can be easily received and retained.
The methods we use are not based on theory. They are child led: based on years of working with Rowan and other people on the spectrum and developing what worked consistently for them.
Get the environment and sensory work right and the child's intellect has a chance to come to the fore. Often astonishingly so.
By following the child's lead, honing our riding skills so that we can create soft rhythms at walk, trot and canter, involving the family and addressing their needs too, using circus tricks, and even dressage we get to see rapid and lasting changes.
Learn the Method in detail.
Early in 2010 Rupert realized that he could help many more families by teaching the Horse Boy Method™ to others.
Accordingly it is now possible to train and learn the method through a two day training program.
We offer different certifications.
Completion of the training gives the participant a certificate that allows them to advertise that they are using Horse Boy Method™ in their program.The hands on training is very important.
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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.