Looking for a good summer read? Check out The Horse Boy, by Rupert Isaacson
July 29, 2014
For those of you looking for a good summer read, check out Rupert Isaacson's book "The Horse Boy". Isaacson touches on several themes from the healing power of equine-interactive therapy, the stress of parenting and autism, and the exploration of shamanic healing in healing autistic behaviors.
About the book:
When his son Rowan was diagnosed with autism, Rupert Isaacson was devastated, afraid he might never be able to communicate with his child. But when Isaacson, a lifelong horseman, rode their neighbor's horse with Rowan, Rowan improved immeasurably. He was struck with a crazy idea: why not take Rowan to Mongolia, the one place in the world where horses and shamanic healing intersected?
The Horse Boy is the dramatic and heartwarming story of that impossible adventure. In Mongolia, the family found undreamed of landscapes and people, unbearable setbacks, and advances beyond their wildest dreams. This is a deeply moving, truly one-of-a-kind story--of a family willing to go to the ends of the earth to help their son, and of a boy learning to connect with the world for the first time. (http://www.horseboymovie.com/Book.php)
An excerpt from the book:
"One moment I was sauntering behind him as he trotted along the familiar woodland trail, the next I was sprinting in sudden alarm as he swung unexpectedly left through the trees in a direction he'd never taken before, out of the woods and into the narrow belt of rough pasture that separated our property from my neighbor Stafford's horse pasture. Quicker than I could make up the distance, Rowan was through the wire fence and in among the small herd of four horses, who happened to be grazing right there on the other side. Laughing delightedly, he threw himself onto the ground, belly up, right in front of the alpha mare, the herd leader, a big bay quarter horse called Betsy. I froze. Any sudden movement - his or mine- could spook her and leave him trampled and broken on the ground.
I knew this mare. She was quiet to ride but was famously grumpy toward the other horses, over whom she was the unquestioned boss. The kind who wouldn't think twice about planting two hooves in the face of any importunate herd member or of whisking a novice rider straight back to the barn.
She stood stock still, as did the other four horses, breathing through her nostrils, unsure whether or not to be alarmed by this strange little human wriggling at her feet. Then she dipped her head to Rowan's soft, writhing form, so close and so dangerously exposed to her hammer-hard hooves. Dipped her head, and mouthed with her lips. The sign of equine submission.
Watching, moving slowly toward her so as not to spook her, I knew I was witnessing something extraordinary. The mare was spontaneously submitting to the child on the ground before her. In all the years that I had been training horses, I had never seen this happen. My son had some kind of direct line to the horse.
And then I cried, the tears coming silent and unbidden on that humid June day, because I thought: "He's got it. He's got the horse gene. But he's autistic. I'll never be able to share it with him. Never be able to teach him to ride. Never share this joy with my son.