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How it began...

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 neighbour’s property and in among his horse herd.

Rupert, a lifelong horseman and former 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 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 Rupert 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, 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  not 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 bring families and their children into contact with horses and nature.

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What we do

Horse Boy Foundation UK exists to bring the healing effects of horses and nature to autism families via the Horse Boy Method, a unique approach to gaining direct communication with children on the autism spectrum using the horse as a colleague.

It was pioneered in the US by autism father Rupert Isaacson and his son Rowan and is now gaining worldwide momentum.

 Click here for more information.

Horse Boy Camps

There are a few Independent Practitioners in the UK offering Horse Boy Camps – a chance for the whole family to immerse themselves in a natural, autism-friendly and non-judgemental environment, for 3-4 days.

As well as providing interactions with horses via Horse Boy Method, families have the time and space to go on an adventure with their children.

Details on camps world wide can be found on www.HorseBoyCampAdventures.com

Horse Boy Method

We also train people in Horse Boy Method.

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We finally became a registered charity in October 2013. Our aim in the short term is to have someone in the UK who can co-ordinate and grow Horse Boy activity (trainings, camps, play dates and Horse Boy Learning) and make sure that standards are really high. In the longer term we want to have a New Trails in the UK! All this needs money so we are in the middle of planning how to raise the funds we need to achieve our vision.  If you have time and would like to help then do let us know – we would be delighted to hear from you.

We are also raising money to subsidise the training of people and horses to deliver Horse Boy Method and camps and play dates for families who can’t afford them otherwise. We want to work with other partner centres and support research into the method.

Watch this space…

Contact

For more information about Horse Boy Foundation UK, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

UK-sensoryTo help us send autism families on Horse Boy Camps, create new centres, feed our horses and train professionals in the method please donate here:

What your donation buys:

  • One bag of feed: £15
  • Trimming one horse's feet: £20.00
  • One round bale of hay: £60.00
  • Get 2 horses shod: £150.00
  • 2 Horse Boy COPS playdates: £250.00
  • 1 Western Saddle for backriding: £500.00
  • Send one family to a camp: £750.00
  • Intensive family week:  £1,000
  • Train a practitioner through HB 1,2,3: £2,000.00
  • Organise and deliver a camp: £2,500.00
  • Buy and train a horse for a Horse Boy Centre: £5,000.00
 

Horse Boy Foundation UK Opportunities

Horse Boy Foundation UK is currently hiring a Charity Co-Ordinator and Fund-Raiser.... Click here for details...

Horse Boy Foundation US

To see the work of the Foundation's sister organisation, please visit www.horseboyfoundation.org

Horse Boy Books, DVDs etc.

You can purchase the Horse Boy book, movie and other Horse Boy products at our Horse Boy US shop. Proceeds of the sales help us to run the Foundation.

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Please fill form or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Please help us to send families and children on Horse Boy Camps in the UK. Every pound you spend will help us to bring families into contact with the healing effects of horses and the natural environment . Thank you for your help!

What your donation buys:

  • One bag of feed: £15.00
  • Trimming one horse's feet: £20.00
  • One round bale of hay: £60.00
  • Get 2 horses shod: £150.00
  • 2 Horse Boy COPS playdates: £250.00
  • 1 Western Saddle for backriding: £500.00
  • Send one family to a camp: £750.00
  • Intensive family week:  £1,000
  • Train a practitioner through HB 1,2,3: £2,000.00
  • Organise and deliver a camp: £2,500.00
  • Buy and train a horse for a Horse Boy Centre: £5,000.00

 

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