Horse Boy founder visits to kick off local program |

Horse Boy founder visits to kick off local program

Sheryl Barto and Rupert Isaacson show how a child and practitioner ride together during a Horse Boy camp.
Katie Hankinson / Post Independent contributor |

Smiling Goat Ranch in Carbondale is kicking-off its Horse Boy program, which uses horses and small animals to help children with autism, with a visit Oct. 8-11 from Horse Boy Founder Rupert Isaacson.

Smiling Goat will also be hosting its autism play date sessions during the winter with Sopris Therapy Services/Horses for Heroes at Aspen Valley Polo Club.

The Horse Boy Method is a tried and tested, scientifically proven means of gaining communication and repatterning the brain for people on the autism spectrum, with ADD, ADHD or anxiety; and for veterans with PTSD, using horses, movement and a natural environment.

Isaacson, who is author of the book “The Horse Boy,” and producer of an award-wining movie by the same name, will be making appearances throughout his visit:

Friday, Oct 9

Smiling Goat Ranch Open House, 4-6 p.m., 271 Willow Lane, Carbondale, near the Carbondale rodeo grounds. Visit the newest affiliate of The Horse Boy, meet the goats, rabbits and, of course, the horses.

Movie Screening of “The Horse Boy” and book signing, 6:30 p.m.; Carbondale; Third Street Center, Calaway Room.

Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and winner of the 2009 Feature Film Audience Award for the Lone Star States at South by Southwest, “The Horse Boy” is the title of a book and a documentary feature film that follows the quest of Isaacson and his wife to find healing for their autistic son Rowan.

After discovering that Rowan’s condition improves by contact with horses and other animals, the family embarks on an arduous journey to seek help from the traditional shamans in Mongolia. Hear about Isaacson’s new book launching in the U.S. in 2016, “The Long Ride Home,” which gives an update to Rowan’s progress. Buy tickets at:

Saturday, Oct. 10, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Horse Boy 1 Training at Sopris Therapy Services/Horses for Heroes at Aspen Valley Polo Club, 3275 County Road 100, Carbondale.

This is the first level to become a certified Independent Horse Boy Method Practitioner. Visit for details. People who might be interested: Therapeutic riding instructors, riders with an interest in autism, parents, speech, occupational and other therapists.

Register at $375 for participants; $50 for auditors. Register here:

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