It's not a book about Standardbreds, but it is about horses.
It's also about humans. And human nature. And healing. And I have been telling everyone about The Horse Boy, Rupert Isaacson's amazing story about the quest he and his wife set off on, in order to heal their young son of autism.
In one terrifying--and glorious--moment, Rupert discovers that his four-year-old son becomes momentarily "healed" in the presence of horses. Even more remarkable, a neighbor's horse, known to be vicious in the pasture, spontaneously shows Rowan the licking and chewing that shows submission as the child lies dangerously near her hooves.
It is a moment that spawns a crazy idea: To travel to Mongolia, where horses originated and where shamans might just have to key that will free young Rowan from his autistic prison.
Mongolia is a land of vast, impressive--and empty--landscapes. Where the shamans are, only horses can go. The family's trek, the filming of which was turned into a documentary that claimed awards at numerous film festivals, including Sundance, is treacherous, exhausting, sublime, often ridiculous, frequently funny, and ultimately inspiring.
The book is, of course, available in hard cover, but I listened to the audio version. It is narrated by Rupert himself. He reads the story beautifully and his impressions of Rowan's whimsical sense of humor, as well as his devastating tantrums, are enthralling. A lifelong horse trainer, Rupert writes beautifully of his love of horses, and his intense desire to share this with his son. That horses might prove the key to Rowan's healing is a miracle Rupert desperately prays for.
This is a book about faith, the power of love to heal, courage, perseverance, and what powerful healers horses can be to the most damaged of hearts.
Also, your purchase of The Horse Boy goes toward a good cause: Proceeds from the book partially go toward supporting a therapeutic riding center specifically for autistic children and adults in Texas.
To learn more about the book, The Horse Boy, the movie, and "The Horse Boy Foundation," click her.e
To see a trailer for the movie and the book, click here.