No, this isn’t a post about horses who have ADHD. It’s a post about how horses can help a person with ADHD.

Maybe you’ve heard of horse therapy or Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) before. It’s often used with children who are physically handicapped, and it’s been clinically proven to work.


Did you know, though, that horses can also help kids who have ADHD?

According to Franklin Levinson, who developed the idea of using EFL to help children with emotional or communication challenges, “It’s been clinically proven that just being in the vicinity of horses changes our brainwave patterns. They have a calming effect which helps stop people becoming fixated on past or negative events – giving them a really positive experience”.

EFL helps kids with ADHD learn to communicate, interact with others, and carry out instructions. And because horses are extremely sensitive and can pick up on a person’s demeanor, they can naturally help the person working with them to calm down and focus.

“Horses react as a mirror to the person who’s with him” says Franklin. “He’s a prey animal so he wants to feel safe and is always on the lookout for predators. A horse will become very fearful if he’s with someone who’s aggressive, noisy, disrespectful or too controlling. On the other hand, if the person makes requests rather than demands the horse will begin to cooperate. He is always looking for a leader.”

Learning to work with the horse, including such tasks as grooming, can help a child increase their attention span, learn leadership and communication skills, and feel good about themselves.

We have an abundance of stables near my house, but even when we lived in the suburbs, there were a few not far away. You might want to look into this for your child. I bet they would love it.

For more about EFL and Franklin Levinson, go here.

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9 Responses to Horses and ADHD

  1. de nardone says:

    My daughter has adhd and has just begun a riding program. Already she seems much calmer, less frustrated and is able to focus on several commands.
    Is there any other research in this area?

  2. Brenda says:

    The quickest way to answer that is with a link to a Google search:

    I have personally witnessed such a change in at least one child I know who has ADHD. And just last weekend, my youngest daughter Caitlin went horseback riding for the first time. In addition to ADHD, Caitlin has severe anxiety. She came back from the ride feeling very relaxed; in fact she described it as “soothing”.

    Glad to hear it has benefited your daughter.

  3. Craig Bryson says:

    I signed up to your blog RSS. Will you post more about the theme?

  4. Brenda says:

    Do you mean the theme as in the design of the site? I did it myself.

    Or do you mean theme as in what the blog is about? Ways to help students who have Attention Deficit Disorder learn more effectively.

    Does that help?

  5. This is a best place for such kind of articles, your website is a inspiration for me. i got so very much benefits and good results after visiting here and the grace is increasing day by day in your posts. The above information is extremly essential.

  6. I see a lot of interesting posts here. Bookmarked for future referrence.

  7. Thanks for this good webpage, I grew up with horses and foals and since I now reside in the city, reading about them on the internet is all I can get.

  8. Exactly how did you figure all this out about this topic? I enjoyed reading this, I’ll have to visit other pages on your site straight away.

  9. Perhaps this contribution serves many to better understand this issue, thanks for sharing.

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