Rupert Isaacson was born in 1967 in London to a South African mother and Zimbabwean father, and grew up half in London, half on a remote horse farm in the British countryside and also with Africa looming large in his life. Coming from a family of pioneers and adventurers – Russian Jews who went to Africa on his father’s side, British, Dutch and mixed race settlers on his mother’s side – Rupert’s grandparents were journalists, war correspondents, cattle ranchers and artists. His father is an architect and his mother a sculptor.
So making your own destiny is something he grew up with. He is the author of The Horse Boy, a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller, which tells the story of his journey across Mongolia on horseback with his autistic son Rowan. The long-awaited follow up book, The Long Ride Home, was published in 2014 in the UK and tells the story of the three subsequent healing journeys he and his son made to Africa, Australia and the Navajo Reservation, as well as his discovery of how horses can help autism and special needs in general.
He has also been a journalist for the British and America press from the early 1990s (Daily and Sunday Telegraph, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Independent on Sunday, Esquire, National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveller – among others), has published several guidebooks to Africa and India, and is the author of a third non-fiction memoir – The Healing Land (a New York Times Notable Book), which tells the story of his family in Africa, and of his own time spent living with the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert.
Rupert runs the Horse Boy Foundation, from his New Trails ranch near Austin, Texas, which offers services to autism families, and helps direct several satellite centers offering similar services in North America and Europe. In partnership with Iliane Lorenz he also teaches Horse Boy Method, Horse Boy Learning (a homeschool technique aimed at autism, ADD and ADHD families among others), and other kinetic learning techniques, along with Stress Free Dressage, a way of introducing riders to the higher levels of equitation without being screamed at(!).
Additionally he is makes documentaries, The Horse Boy and Endangerous, and writes and conceives reality TV shows (ABC’s The Quest was his original concept and he helped produce the show) as well as mainstream movies. His Hollywood projects include The Horse Boy feature film and The Goth Lords. He also founded the Indigenous Land Rights Fund, which helps hunting and gathering tribes gain legal title to their ancestral land. He also loves cross country riding, classical dressage (his main mentor has been Janine Pendlebury in the UK, Lusitano horses, reading historical novels, planting trees and drinking beer, especially IPAs. He quite likes wine too. And food.