RuPolly Sensory Workshop

Who should take Horse Boy Method 1?

No Horse Experience - No Problem: Non riders can participate in the theory part of the workshop and audit/observe the ridden exercises.


    • $495 for Riders and Handlers (costs for workshops at locations other than Elgin, TX may vary; price includes Evaluation for praticipants that decide to become Horse Boy Method Practitioners)
    • $225 for non-riders ($150 day 1 and $75 day 2)

After completing this course as Rider/Handler participants are eligible to apply to become a Basic Independent Horse Boy Practitioner and offer Horse Boy Sessions. Please check this page to learn more about requirements for Independent Practitioners.

People that might be interested:

  • Therapeutic riding instructors
  • Riders with an interest in Autism
  • Parents, siblings, friends and family of children or adults with Autism
  • Teachers
  • Speech, Occupational and other Therapists

Upcoming HBM1 workshops

Workshops in Elgin, TX are part of a two week long workshop packages hosted at New Trails.

*Also this week Horse Boy Method 2 (see below), Movement Method 1 & 2, Stress Free Dressage

Travel & accommodation details for Elgin, TX


Horse Boy Method Workshops are not designed for kids. Why? Because as soon as a child enters the environment we have to devote all our attention to the child or it is not fair to them.

In the workshops we want to focus on YOU so you can serve the child better at home.

To find a location near you that offers Horse Boy Method check out our "Practitioners near you" section.

Levels of Certification

We offer two levels of Horse Boy Method 1 participation within our workshops. All include a Horse Boy Method Workbook:

  • For Non-Riders - $225
  • For Riders and Horse handlers - This course is two days full of theory, demos, sensory work and ridden exercises which will give you a clear understanding of each part of the method.  HBM1 is designed for riders with basic knowledge. If you are happy to go on a walk/trot trail ride and have a background with handling horses you will be eligible to participate as a rider.(More details here)
    • Only riders & handlers are eligible for applying to become an Independent Horse Boy Practitioner.
    • Since we are working with mostly hyperactive children fitness is important to keep the children out of danger. Therefore riders must be able to:
      • comfortably ride at walk and trot.Requirements on riders:
      • mount 15.2 hand horse on trail ride without mounting block.
      • mount 15.2 hand horse bareback by being boosted by other participant.
      • Body Mass Index (BMI) of 28 or lower. Calculate here:
      • Exceptions: If you are an extremely experienced horseman/woman but are not able to perform a requirement listed above due to an injury or other condition contact us. If you can provide proof of your background with horses (e.g. evented at prelim in college or run a riding stable for 10+ years etc.) we might be able to approve you to be certified as Horse Handler. If approved you will receive a certificate as Horse Handler and can still offer Horse Boy Method to your clients.

What will be covered in Horse Boy Method 1?

We are currently changing our Horse Boy Method 1 course. The same topics will still be covered in the new version but the order will be different. We apologize for the inconvenience!

In Horse Boy Method 1 we go into detail in what Horse Boy Method is, how it developed, what we do, why we do it, what the science is that explains why it works.

Day 1 (about 4-5h):
  1. Introduction:
    • How did HB Method evolve
    • What is it, why does it work
    • How does it differ from regular therapeutic riding
    • What is required from the riders
    • Why do we involve so much dressage
    • How to involve the whole family
    • The methods in detail
    • Transitions
    • Other neuro-psychiatric conditions etc
    • What is the science behind it?
    • Why are we talking about Autism (prevalence)
    • How to set up the perfect autism environment
    • How to address sensory issues
    • How to stimulate oxytocin, reduce cortisol and use balancing exercises to open up the learning receptors of the brain
    • The Method in detail
    • How to involve the whole family (crucial for lasting success)
    • Setting up community and tribe
    • Self-compassion exercises to prevent burn out
    • Teaching through communication
    • Academics
    • Perspective taking
    • Self-advocacy;
    • Understanding how to use tricks, sensory work and back-riding to create a brain that is in the optimum place that to receive and retain information
    • How transitions on horseback affect transitions in real life
  2. Sensory Session (hands on for riders/horse handlers - non-riders will watch exercise)
    Sensory work
  3. Diapershake (hands on for riders/horse handlers - non-riders will watch exercise)
  4. Preparing the Horse Boy/back-riding horse (demo)

    • Transitions: Trot-Canter, Walk-Canter, Halt-Canter-Halt, preparation for terre a terre
    • Lightness
    • Contact
    • Training aids
  5. Trail ride with Freddy (hands on for riders/horse handlers - non-riders will watch exercise)
    Riding with Freddy
    • This is a short trail ride at walk and/or trot (rider's choice). The emphasis being on the interaction with Freddy rather than the ability as rider
    • How to give choices
    • Interacting with Freddy
    • How to order the environment
    • How to engage in the child's interests
    • Following the child
  6. Academics homework
Day 2 (about 4-6h):
  1. Review Day 1
  2. Watch Training DVD
  3. Theory of mind


  4. Social Skills (hands on for riders/horse handlers - non-riders will watch exercise)
    • Applied Tricks
    • Why do they work
    • How do they work
    • Tricks and mouthy horses
    • Which horse will be my trick horse
    • Hot and injured horses and therapy work
    • The use of treats
    • Learn 5 basic tricks – look away, smile, jambettes, pedestal (if available), bow
  5. Perspective Taking  (hands on for riders/horse handlers - non-riders will watch exercise)

  6. Rule Based Games (hands on for riders/horse handlers - non-riders will watch exercise)
    • Games will be played at walk and trot. The emphasis is on adapting games for to teach theory of  mind, perspectives and rules rather than the level of the rider
    • Tag
    • Hide and Seek
    • Play group games
  7. Academics 1 (Math) - (hands on for riders/horse handlers - non-riders will watch exercise)

    • Addition
    • Subtraction
    • Multiplication
    • Division
    • Fractions
  8. Long lining - (hands on for riders/horse handlers - non-riders will watch exercise)


  9. Academics 2 - Using the arena letters to teach any subject (hands on for riders/horse handlers - non-riders will watch exercise)
    • Science,
    • History,
    • Geography
  10. Self-Advocacy (hands on for riders/horse handlers - non-riders will watch exercise)

What to bring

  • If you ride, please bring proper riding attire (boots, jeans or other riding pants, helmet, gloves etc)
  • Please bring plenty of water to drink and something to snack on.
  • Notebook

The Long Ride Home

The long awaited sequel of the Horse Boy.


longridehome 4





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