My gelding has ADHD...help!
   

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My gelding has ADHD...help!

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  • Can horses get adhd
  • Horses with adhd

 
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    03-10-2009, 09:21 PM
  #1
Weanling
My gelding has ADHD...help!

I am thoroughly convinced my gelding is ADHD!

FOCUS.....a word not in his vocabulary!

Here is some background, he is a 15 hd, 1000 lb, 6 yr old QH/App cross, he gets 24/7 turnout with a gelding to play with and a mare to respect (what every good man needs!), 3 lbs of a 10/10 sweet feed twice daily along with coastal hay and grass (I know the feed seems excessive but free choice hay is not an option right now), he is on Equine Leg Magic supplement loaded with lots of good stuff, he gets a good workout 3+ days a week, possible vision problems that have improved greatly with herbal/vitamin remedies (biggest symptom is mild photophobia---can't stand bright reflections)....anything else you need to know? Haha!

When he is asked to perform or learn a task, he is usually very willing (but like most horses he tries to get away with whatever he can)...when he is rewarded with a whoa and relax, his head goes bobbing this way and that looking over here, over there, "hey what's that out in the field or by the house?" "Can I get the reins in my mouth?" He is relaxed, but never enjoys being still....ADHD! If we are working on groundwork and he performs well, he is too busy being a busybody to get his good boy pat on the neck or other reward. He doesn't appear worried about what is going on around him, it is just more of a "little boy who can't sit still" behavior.

You can imagine how this makes training a little difficult when he doesn't get to enjoy his reward! Is there anything I can do for him to help him to slow it down and enjoy just being still. Something to calm him down, mellow him out like "horsey ritalin or aderall?" Maybe a few swigs of whiskey before we work???? Is there anyone else out there with a horse who is also ADHD?
     
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    03-10-2009, 09:23 PM
  #2
Foal
What do you do for a warm up or other ground work?
     
    03-10-2009, 09:31 PM
  #3
Foal
I would first do ground work that gets him to focus on you. You want him to have both eyes on you most of the time (depending on what you are doing). Lounging is always good, but you have to make sure he is paying attention to you and not every flower and bird he sees. You can do this by making him speed up and slow down and change directions frequently and randomly.

Something else I would do is the yo-yo game. Stand facing him then make him back up and then everytime he loses focus or moves make him back up again. That way he'll start focusing on you.

My best advice is to keep everything unpredictable and random. So feel free to show your random side. And when he does lose focus get him to focus on you. For example, if you are leading him you could suddenly stop and then he would invade your space so quickly turn around and kinda "chase" him out of your space. You don't really chase him but raise your hands and stomp your feet while walking towards him.

Does any of that make sense?
     
    03-10-2009, 09:37 PM
  #4
Weanling
I guess I should rephrase....he does focus and is a very willing boy when working on the ground or undersaddle. It is when he gets his reward of "whoa" or pats that he is everywhere but enjoying his reward! He doesn't just stop and "BE." Maybe he gets bored very quickly, but I would like to make his reward worth his while!
     
    03-10-2009, 09:50 PM
  #5
Foal
If he wants to move you'll have to keep him moving. When he moves when you want him to stand still, turn it into you telling him to move. At first it seems a little off, but eventually he'll learn that if he moves you'll make him work more, but if he stands still he'll get a reward. It's pretty much teaching him to appreciate his reward. Like giving a little kid cake, but then they play with it and turn it into a toy. Then if you start taking it away when they play with it they'll eventually stop playing with it and just eat it.

Does that make sense?
     
    03-10-2009, 09:56 PM
  #6
Weanling
"You can imagine how this makes training a little difficult when he doesn't get to enjoy his reward!"

It sounds like that when is he being "flighty" that is his reward. You say you want him to calm down and enjoy that, but maybe he enjoys being able to not focus. Does he gain focus the minute you ask for it back? While he is unfocused does he do anything dangerous or that bothers you?
     
    03-10-2009, 10:39 PM
  #7
Weanling
Wanderlust, he usually does a great job of going right back to work. Now he is difficult in the sense that he is smart and tries to find a multitude of ways to get out of work...but once he realizes it is easier to do the work (and once I get the cues down as I am still learning too!), he is great. He doesn't do anything dangerous or anything that really bothers me, it is just when I let him have his moment or when I give him his "good boy" he is just "here and there" with his mind.

Example from today: About 45 minutes into his workout, after a lot of trot/walk/trot/whoa work earlier, we worked a bit on bending at the walk and he was doing fabulous! I was really proud of him....let him have his break to relax and what does he do? His head is left then right, up/down. Nothing seemed to be worrying him, he just wasn't still. I watch the trainers on RFDTV work their younger horses, and when they get their reward, they ENJOY IT by standing still and relaxing. Fella doesn't stand still!

Do you think that is his personality and as long as he is not being bad, don't worry???
     
    03-10-2009, 10:44 PM
  #8
Foal
The trainers on RFDTV have trained their horses to know how to enjoy their rewards. In the words of Pat Parelli "Don't just do anything, stand there." That's what they've learned. And they know that if they move without their trainer's consent they will be forced to work. Therefore, they learn to appreciate their reward and enjoy it for all it is worth.
     
    03-10-2009, 11:04 PM
  #9
Weanling
Move him around/make him work, even if it is not his feet that are moving? He WILL stand with his feet still, it is mostly his head that bobs and weaves...hehe!
     
    03-10-2009, 11:06 PM
  #10
Foal
This is difficult to give you the right advice without actually seeing what he is doing. I would just work on getting him to focus on you when you are just standing there. Sorry, I'm stumped. I wish I could help more, but theirs only so much I can do since I don't know your horse
     

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