Horse-Boy Review

I received the following book in exchange for writing a review. While I consider it a privilege to receive free products to review, my review is my honest opinion and thoughts of the book.

Horse Boy is a documentary about a boy with autism. His name is Rowan. This DVD is the journey of Rowan and his parents and their search for answers to how to live, deal with and manage Rowan’s autism. Rowan’s father, Rupert Isaacson, is a human rights worker, author and former professional horse trainer, and his mother Kristin Neff, is a psychology professor. Initially, they sought all the normal medical care, but these therapies had little affect on Rowan’s behavior.

In their struggle to make sense of their son’s disorder, they discover an interesting connection between Rowan and horses. It was this connection with a neighbor’s horse that made Mr. Isaacson wonder if he could combine horses with healing. He began researching the origins of horses and where they were first domesticated. What he found led him to Mongolia, where shamanism is known for its healing and is actually their religion. This led Mr. Isaacson to decide to take his family to Mongolia in search of healing Rowan’s autism. Ms. Neff had to be convinced of the feasibility of this trip especially when every day life was a battle, but in the end Mr. Isaacson won her over to the prudence of this decision.

The movie documents the family’s journey to Mongolia. It shows some raw footage (bathroom trips, purification “bath”, which they use a fuzzy image for privacy), but it is reveals their family’s personal journey. I just like to disclose things like this because I prefer to know about these types of things if someone recommends a movie or book to me for the first time. That way viewers can make an informed decision about their family watching the movie. However, I won’t reveal the outcome of their trip overseas in case you want to watch the movie!

I also want you to know that April is Autism Awareness Month, so please be sure to check out the additional resources in the links below for more information about autism.

Watch Horse Boy on PBS!

If you have TV and are so inclined, you may watch Horse Boy on PBS Tuesday, May 11, INDEPENDENT LENS presents The Horse Boy, Michel Orion Scott’s remarkable new documentary about Rupert Isaacson and Kristina Neff’s unorthodox journey with their autistic son and the miracle they find through horses — first on their Texas farm and then in the outer reaches of Mongolia. Rupert Isaacson, who has also written a book about the experience and now runs a learning center, The Horse Boy Foundation.


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