A life-changing opportunity


The Hacienda San Tomas will offer beautiful, functional housing and an exemplary community for people with Down syndrome, autism and other disabilities.

Dear Friends,

What an incredible year! Your support continues to make it possible for Point Rider to impact some of the thousands on wait-lists for affordable housing in Texas. The Hacienda can alleviate this wait for several families and inspire others to do the same. The Hacienda can provide a lovely setting with easy access to local jobs, churches, shops and recreation facilities. It will offer both affordable housing and a small professional staff for needed support.

Point Rider has the momentum to make a difference—but we need individuals like you to help us lead the way in 2019. With your support, Point Rider can transform lives. 

From now until the end of the year, your donation will have double the impact—a generous donor has offered to match all donations up to $3,000!

Will you make a gift today? Help people with ID find independence within a new home and a welcoming community. 


Jerry Horton

P.S. No show of support is too small; we are a grassroots movement! Would you help us spread the word via email and social media? You can find us on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/pointriderfoundation

The Point Newsletter

Our first issue of The Point newsletter is out! You can read it here:

If you’d like to be on our email or our mailing list, please complete the sign up form on the Contact Us page.

Below is the cover article from first issue of The Point newsletter. You can read the rest of the stories about our current activities and future plans here.

“How’s retirement?” that’s something I hear a lot. My reply is, “Wouldn’t know. Haven’t tried it.” And I’m not trying to be cute. I mean it.

You see, there are thousands of people with intellectual disabilities like those at Down Home Ranch, people who want and need a good place to live. Many of them are capable of living independently and well—with needed support nearby.

So, on Oct. 1, 2016, after 27 years leading Down Home Ranch, I started working on a new project: Point Rider, Inc. and the building of the Hacienda San Tomás.

I’m proud of the Ranch and thankful to those who gave so much over the years to make it happen. It is a unique and wonderful place, a one-of-a-kind community. It’s irreplaceable.

But other models are needed too, ones that are independent of government funding, are a affordable to middle-class families, and are something parents, disability groups, even churches, can replicate.

When Kelly was born with Down Syndrome, little did the Hortons know that after nearly 30 years of running Down Home Ranch, they would turn right around and launch Point Rider and the Hacienda San Tomás.

When Kelly was born with Down Syndrome, little did the Hortons know that after nearly 30 years of running Down Home Ranch, they would turn right around and launch Point Rider and the Hacienda San Tomás.

Judy and I have learned so much over the years in starting and running Down Home Ranch. We’ve visited communities from coast to coast, always wanting to learn from the best.

We acquired knowledge of public funding and regulatory and legislative issues. We’ve gained practical knowledge on establishing superior housing and program options for people with IDDs, and, frankly, it would just be wrong to let this hard-won knowledge go to waste.

I am not alone in this endeavor. Point Rider has an excellent and impressive board of directors, advisory council, and professional support.

The Hacienda San Tomás is Point Rider’s first project—a project we hope can be a template for others.

We secured a beautiful one-acre parcel near Elgin’s Main Street, across from a planned CARTS station and within easy walking distance to pools, jobs, recreation center, shops and restaurants.

How will the Hacineda come to be? As before. With the help of you and many others.

Click here to partner with us on the forthcoming Hacienda San Tomas.



Reflections is a series we are resurrecting from the archives with articles old and new, chronicling our journey with Down Home Ranch and our new venture with Point Rider. We hope you'll join us on our new path. 


Jerry, Kelly and I signed up for the National Down Syndrome Congress Convention held last week in Dallas. This is a terrific chance for parents and professionals to get the latest information on the medical, educational, psychological issues affecting our kids. I signed up for the conference and Jerry as an exhibitor for Point Rider. We were anxious to introduce our new project to the people it would mean the most to.

National Down Syndrome Conference, Point Rider

Kelly brought her friend Kristen and they attended the Youth and Adults track at the convention, loving it as always. They enjoyed our nice hotel and especially the pool too. I must say they were model citizens the whole time.

Also very exciting was seeing our friends Nurmat and Dina, with two little ones with Down syndrome, and three and 11-year old boys. They have a Down syndrome outreach in Kyrgystan, where people traditionally have believed that people with Down syndrome can do nothing more than sit in a corner and drool. Precious few families will take their babies with DS home, shunting them off to orphanages where they rarely survive for long.

We also saw our friend Dolores Zarate who began and runs a wonderful program in Brownsville called Down by the Border; Dolores is a parent also. We saw friends from Guadalajara with their little one.

It put me in mind of when our second-oldest daughter Martha, then a junior at the University of Texas, Austin, and I left baby Kelly with the grandmas and headed to San Antonio for the 13th Annual Convention of the NDSC in 1984, five weeks after Kelly was born.

Our family had been wonderfully supported by our pediatrician, Dr. Ana Garcia, but Kelly’s condition was a big blow to us nonetheless. On top of the diagnosis, Kelly’s blood showed suspicious cells typical of leukemia, so in addition to trying to recover from childbirth and the DS diagnosis, we soon found ourselves in the pediatric oncology suites of a local medical center. Still reeling from Down syndrome, we were devastated at the idea of losing our already much-loved baby girl and heartbroken at the pain she had to endure from the marrow harvest and blood tests.

We’d only just received Kelly’s karyotype, which showed her not to have the expected Trisomy 21 but something even our doctor had never seen: Tetrasomy 21! This meant she had not one, but two extra 21 chromosomes. Surely this could not be a good thing.

We loaded up the car and headed south. I had been reading every book I could get my hands on and had learned that the keynote speaker was to be Dr. Jerome Lejeune, the French physician who discovered the cause of Down syndrome in the extra 21st chromosome a few decades before.

Once at the conference we were amazed at the sight of so many energetic, happy families and their kids of all ages with Down syndrome. The first workshop I went to was given by a doctor from the City of Hope in Duarte, California. It was titled Leukemia and Leukemoid Reaction in Down Syndrome. I sat through the presentation, learning that leukemia is indeed overrepresented in the Down syndrome population. However, chatting with the doctor afterwards about Kelly’s condition, he reassured me warmly that it would most surely go into remission, and she would face no greater odds of developing true leukemia than any other child with Down syndrome.

After the keynote speech by Dr. Lejeune that evening, I stood in line clutching Kelly’s karyotype, desperate to speak with him. Reaching the head of the line at last, I said nothing, but handed him the paper.

Dr. Lejeune studied the report carefully for a minute, then looked up at me with a big smile and said in his strong French accent, “Zis worries you very much, no? But not to worry. I have seen zis, and it make no difference! Very rare yes, but make no difference! She will develop as any other child with Down syndrome.” (I desperately wanted to grab his hands and kiss them but I restrained myself.)

The rest of the weekend was spent in one gigantic sigh of relief, after, of course, with many calls home to relay the good news to Jerry and the grandmas. I often wonder if the people who run the NDSC and work so hard on our behalf have any idea of the tremendous impact it makes in our lives.

I know everyone there has a story to share about the NDSC Convention. We all soon each other the convention as we did from the formal workshops, and the Exhibits Hall is a treasure trove of creative responses to the challenges we all face.

And it was a joy to meet older parents, like us, at the convention. We face head-on the implications of the question we have asked ourselves every waking moment of our lives since our children were born: What will happen to my child when I am gone?

Several people stopped by to thank us for Down Home Ranch and our work with Point Rider—as we continue to work to create affordable and attractive communities for people with Down syndrome and other conditions. 

Sign up for our e-newsletter to receive updates on new Reflections blog posts. Thank you for your support!

Create-a-thon UPDATE

Point Rider was honored to be 1 of 8 nonprofits selected to participate in the 2018 Create-a-thon in Austin, Texas. The yearly event is hosted by Alchemy Systems who pairs local nonprofits with Texas State design students. In 24 hours the students and their mentors are challenged to create logos, branding, fundraising campaigns, and videos. 

"The final product helps Horton get his nonprofit heading in the right direction, and for the students, the experience is also invaluable as they're already picking up clients before they graduate." - KXAN. Point Rider President, Jerry Horton, was interviewed by KXAN. You can read the full article here.

Point Rider is grateful for all the time and effort given by the students and Alchemy Systems. You will start to see our new logo pop up on the Point Rider website and Facebook as we begin to integrate the ideas made possible by the entire Create-a-thon team. Let us not forget, without the good people at Amplify Austin, none of this would have been possible. A big thank you to ALL those involved in helping support local nonprofits. 

Would you help us spread the word?

Please share this article with any who may be interested. 


Design Students to Support Point Rider

Point Rider will be a beneficiary of a 24-hour creative graphics/design event here in Austin, Texas. You can watch the coverage below and read more on the KXAN website about how the students and design mentors worked together during Createathon. 

We'll actually receive the design package produced at Createathon next week, which includes a new logo, style guide, business cards, letterhead, and a new video--all of which we'll share soon!

We made some great new friends for Point Rider. Here's the Alchemy site:  https://www.alchemysystems.com/createathon/  Please take a look.