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 (Please visit www.horseboyworld.com for details).
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".
With the successful outcomes for Rowan in mind, 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 realised 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 centres 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.
DIFFICULTY RELATING TO THE EXTERIOR WORLD
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.
LET THE CHILD LEAD
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.
CHILD'S INTELLECT CAN COME TO FORE
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.
Live Workshops, Online Courses and Certifications as Independent Practitioners
Early in 2010 Rupert realised that he could help many more families by teaching the Horse Boy Method™ to others.
As a result it is now possible to train and learn the method through a two day training program.
- Method 1: Horse Boy Method Introduction for parents, therapists, therapeutic riding instructors, riders etc.
- Method 2: Preparing the Back-riding horse for experienced riders.
- Method 3: Running playdates, the right physical and human environment.
- Method 4: Advanced back-riding at canter and rule based games. For very experienced riders only (includes jumping 3' course)
- Method 5: Running Camps
- Horse Boy Learning: Kinetic learning - Horse Boy without horses
- Stress Free Dressage: The road to your dream ride.