Riding with ADD? - Page 3

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Riding with ADD?

This is a discussion on Riding with ADD? within the Therapeutic Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    09-15-2013, 07:31 PM
I not have ADD (I'm too cheep to go to a doctor to find out if I'm not bleeding, broken or barfing) but I am possible the most hyper, air headed human on earth. Seriously, I annoy myself. And I ride all the time. Heck, my friends little brother who is ADHD and developmentally delayed rides regularly. I say screw the doctor and do what you love. And I have actually forgotten to even put my chaps on, not just zipped them up wrong. You're fine, don't worry. I have also completely forgotten my helmet until I was about to mount and had a sudden reality check, LOL. Tell The doctor you will quit riding when you quit breathing.
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    09-16-2013, 02:11 PM
Green Broke
I tried out the check list yesterday and it worked. Didn't forget a thing! Thanks y'all.
    09-16-2013, 02:32 PM
Such an interesting thread!
    09-16-2013, 03:24 PM
I have ADD, but I try as much as possible to not use it as any sort of crutch, so I don't mention it a lot unless something like this is brought up.

I agree with the lists. I NEED lists all the time, regardless of horses involved.

The only time I've actually had a problem while riding is zoning out and thinking about other things. This has never been a dangerous problem, but it leads to letting my horse doing exactly the opposite of what we've been working on (ie, working on paying attention to the rider..then the rider stops paying attention and the horse walks off in whatever direction it wants). Not ideal.
    09-16-2013, 07:17 PM
I have ADD, and am in my 40s. Not only do I ride horses, I also fly gliders, which is even *more* reliant on having focus and attention at the right times. I suspect the OP's doctor may have little "real-world" experience with ADD folk, because in my experience, the counterpoint to the stereotypical scatteredness of ADD is the hyperfocus that also regularly shows up. Hyperfocus - that burning sunlight-through-a-magnifying-glass type of over-the-top focus and attention, is another ADD quirk that doesn't tend to get much attention among non-ADD folk. But it's REALLY handy in situations like riding (or flying)... and for me, a bit of adrenaline is a sure-fire way to summon it! So I have no difficulty whatsoever keeping my attention on what I'm doing when I'm working with horses (or aircraft).

The trickier part is dealing with the routine less-exciting stuff, and for that I too am a strong proponent of checklists, and constructing unbreakable routines for the important stuff.... things like "I always go feed my horse at Xpm, and I always put the scoop for the pellets in the same tub as the daily dewormer powder, in order to make sure I remember to add the dewormer to the pellets"... you know, that sort of routine. If you put a bit of thought into working out what things HAVE to be done when, then develop a routine that includes memory triggers to cue you on to the next stage, it's fairly straightforward to make sure that all the essentials get done, even with heavy-duty ADD.
    09-16-2013, 08:44 PM
Ehh, I think sometimes you have to take what doctors say with a grain of salt. My doctor recently told me to sell my horses and rent a trail horse occasionally because of my Crohns disease. No way, no how. I own two currently, and plan on adding a third at some point.

My boyfriend has some serious ADD, but he's still in the barn with me every day, for a minumum of 2-3 hours each day. He rides, he cleans his mares stall, he feeds his mare, and he fixes things around the barn. He gets done what needs done.

Of course, he will leave a stall open now and again, but thankfully someone is almost always around and his mare is good about that and never tries to escape lol. My pony on the other hand will take any excuse to leave ...she doesn't go far though

I would definitely agree with keeping a check list - I myself need to do this as I am just super scatter brained. I'm not really ADD, I just have TONS on my mind and get bored easy so need to constantly be doing something which then = forgetting everything else in my head.
    09-17-2013, 02:00 PM
Green Broke
All good points.

My doctor has had the pleasure of working in the brain injury unit of a hospital and has apparently cared for patients who were there due to horse riding accidents - so I can see why he would make such as statement.

Will I listen to him? Heck no! To me the benefits of riding and working with horses by far outweigh the risks. His judgment is clouded by his own experiences, so I just nod and smile during his lectures and then go riding anyway :)
Chessie likes this.
    09-17-2013, 06:47 PM
StormCloud summed up a large part of it.
ADD doesn't mean you can't focus. I means you can have a tougher time staying focused on something that isn't of gripping interest to you.

My oldest son was diagnosed with ADHD and they hosed up years of his education because of it and yet at the same time he also tested as gifted so he spent part of the day in classes that wasted his time and accomplished nothing and the other part of the day as one of the top students in the gifted & talented courses. I think they over diagnose it and misrepresent it. They tested me when he was diagnosed (apparently it's suppose to be something you can inheirit) and said I was ADD. Yet I've ridden for 45 years. Worked cattle, gone on rides of about 100 miles for long weekends camping along the way, riding 30 miles round trip to town was to see my girlfriend was not unusual and somehow I managed to survive all that (but that was before they knew about ADD, so I guess that's why )

Forgetting to take off a pair of sunglasses when you're out in the sun is not a symptom of ADD (you're in the sun...why would you think to take them off?). I know people without ADD who forget to put on their helmet (unlike me....I just don't wear one ). If you forget to put on the saddle or are out riding and discover you forgot to put on the cinch then I might think there could be something to worry about. Otherwise I wouldn't worry about it. If my Dr told me I couldn't ride because I had ADD I'd tell him he can't drive because he no longer has the reflexes of an 18 year old.
I'll quit riding when I'm unable to get in the saddle even if I require assistant to mount I don't care what my Dr might say (and he knows it )
StormCloud and 4hoofbeat like this.
    09-18-2013, 07:59 PM
Frisgirl, if your flubs are signs of ADD then we all have it. You're not doing anything the rest of us haven't done. I knew of a gal who was so involved with getting the horse and all the gear to a horse show, she arrived without her purse and not a nickel to pay her entries.
    09-19-2013, 02:00 PM
Green Broke
Saddlebag, I'm hesitant to get into the show ring for that reason. Between getting the horse there, all the equipment and details, I'm sure I will forget something if not many things!

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