We received an email from a mom and thought it will help quite a few people in similar situations. Here is the gist of it:
- single mom with early adult son that struggles with autism like and other neuropsychiatric things
- was homeschooled, struggeled with college (sensory, bullied...)
- has been predominantly house-bound for 7 years, the isolation increasing over the last year or two to where he doesn't even go outside most days.
- likes to ride. riding helps him
- trip to Mongolia not possible but would be interested
What to do? How to get out of this situation and create a more fulfilled life for her and her son?
I know many, many, many of you can relate to this 'story' and thought Rupert's input on this would be valuable to everybody!
You don't need to go to Mongolia - that journey was very personal to us and yes such an expedition is expensive, time consuming and full of all sorts of stresses. What does always seem to work however is a radical and positive life change based on the effected child/ young adult's passionate interest. Always this seems to involve immersion in nature, contact with animals, and some sort of tribal culture.
This can happen right here in the USA. For example: before my adventure with autism we led a relatively normal nuclear family based life like most people in america do. It didn't work so we changed it - radically; much more radically than by simply going to Mongolia and the other places which you will read about in the follow up book "the Long Ride Home" which comes out this year.
What we did was change everything!
We changed everything, we rethought everything.
We changed the way we lived from a nuclear family who owned a couple of horses to a horse tribe. Similar to what you might find in Mongolia or among certain native American tribes or anywhere else where such collective, mutually supportive, nature-based cultures exist.
Of course this was an evolution over 3-5 years and an adventure that was not without it's stresses and freak-outs but then show me something in life that doesn't have it's stresses and freak-outs. What we knew was that we were getting results. Not just with Rowan but with all the other families - and we stress Families - that began coming first to new trails and then to the various satellite operations that have learnt Horse Boy Method and Horse Boy Learning over the last few year.
So it comes down to something very simple. What does your child love?
What do you love?
How can you change your home-situation in order to pursue these two loves in nature with animals?
If you establish such a life, gradually other people become attracted and the tribe becomes to establish itself.
You look up 3 years later and you are in a radically different position to where you began but it has happened gradually and at the pace that our poor, beleaguered human brains can handle.
This does not take money. what it does take is first identifying what the real hearts desires re and then asking the universe: "is it possible that my child and I can find a livelihood through this medium?" For example at New Trails we produce stories (books and films), education, horse training, and an online platform for personal development as well as family support and services. This now provides livelihood for several people. So we know it's possible.
So the question is: Do you want to stay in the area where you live or have you and your son always dreamed of being somewhere else? Either way, throw out to the universe of "How could it be possible for us to create our nature based tribe and livelihood in the place if choice?" And inevitably it will start to happen.
I don't think your son needs to come here to an alien place run by strangers (New Trails is no longer mainly run by me and Rowan is only rarely here.... it it rather run by our staff and volunteers and is a busy place). What he probably needs is to find horses, community and the know how for his story telling career right where he lives or at least near by.
I think the best way we can be of service it so provide know-how through our online forum - this includes everything from how to set up the tribe to how to make a living as a writer.
So please go to our website,
, join the community and post your question on the forum. That way we can answer them and allow other people to bring their collective expertise to bear and you start to build your tribe.
We will in fact post an edited, less personal version of your question with this reply on our forum because there are many people in your/our position out there with these pressing dilemmas and the more people that have access to the answer the better.
We hope this helps. We look forward to seeing you online and also to watching as you build the version of New Trails that is right for you and your son.
~The Horse Boy Team
LIVE FREE *** RIDE FREE