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The Horse Boy

Rowan suffered from autism. "He screamed and wailed inconsolably for hours. He was physically incontinent and, like most severe autists, completely unable to make a meaningful connection with others through speech or gesture."

Rowan's father Rupert Isaacson is an expert horseman and writer known for his work campaigning on behalf of land rights for indigenous people. His American mother is a psychologist. They were at a loss. It seemed impossible to reach their son or help him.

A neighbour's horse opened "the door to Rowan's inner world" -

Riding on her back with his father his tantrums calmed, he began to speak lucidly and even told the horse he loved it – the first time he had expressed love for anything or anyone.

Riding helped Rowan, but he needed more. "Every family does whatever it needs to do when a child is suffering – they will, literally, go to the ends of the Earth," Rupert wrote.

Rowan's parents took him to Mongolia, a land of horses and shamans. Rowan returned "healed" if not cured.

Rupert tells the story in the book and documentary film The Horse Boy.

I connect horses with the growth of freedom in Britain and America and with the strength and courage of women and men and with the healing of physical and psychological injuries. This is a story I would like to read.

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