It is the story of an incredible journey on horseback to the outer edges of Mongolia. More importantly, it is also the story of Rowan Isaacson, a small boy suffering from some of the most debilitating symptoms of autism: uncontrollable temper fits, agonizing anxiety attacks, the inability to connect with his environment and incontinence at the age of almost six. Shortly after Rowan is diagnosed at the age of two and a half, Rupert Isaacson, an avid horseman himself, notices a strange yet wonderful connection between his son and an old mare, Betsy, who belongs to one of Isaacson’s neighbours. During the first ride on the mare, with Rowan perched in front of his father, the boy’s speech becomes more lucid and he is able to engage in simple to-and-fro conversation. An idea – and hope – is borne and, after a couple of years of planning, Isaacson

takes his wife and son on an arduous trek on horseback through the steppe and mountains of Mongolia to see one of the most powerful shamans in the world. ‘Ghoste’ belongs to the reindeer people in Siberia. It is during those long days in and out of the saddle, surrounded by one of the truly wild natural habitats, that Rowan starts to show signs of real improvement. He is able to connect with others, starts to show imaginative thought and is even able to overcome some of his paralyzing episodes of fear. Having finally arrived at the camp of the reindeer people, Rowan undergoes a traditional healing ritual performed by Ghoste. Whether it is indeed the ritualistic healing or whether it is the gently rocking rhythm of the horses during the long journey across country that brings about what happens next, remains impossible to say. Nevertheless, the results are truly wondrous: only 30 hours after the visit to the shaman, Rowan is healed of his incontinence, his tantrums and his inability to connect with the world around him.