Student with ADHD says horseback riding helps control the disorder

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - A local ranch is using horseback riding to help children with learning disorders.

Kate Evans owns the Life in Stride Riding Center in College Station, she says their riding camps focus on the strengths of students rather than weaknesses.

“We provide riding lessons, birthday camps, anything that’s related to horses and what children enjoy,” said Evans.

For the past three years, local charities have benefitted from the center’s earnings, but Evans says the students at the center have benefitted the most.

“I’m here almost every day,” said rider Emma Stanford. Stanford has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) that she says makes it difficult for her to focus.

“Whenever I do focus sometimes I hyperfocus and I lose track of what’s going on around me,” said Stanford.

She says often times it’s hard for her to sit still but she’s found with riding she can better control the disorder.

“After I ride, it’s easier for me to do homework; it’s easier for me to think,” she said.

Stanford says having her whole body engaged with the horse helps. According to Evans, people with ADHD have special character traits that are excellent for riding.

“Time after time my ADHD kids were the best students,” said Evans. “They were the most focused, involved and the most interested and the most tenacious.”

Evans’ program allows those riders to lead with their strengths.
“Horses are different every day. Maybe one day they are sore maybe one day they are hyper and it’s windy and they are a little goofy on those days. These kids are constantly able to go ‘ok I’m going to take this situation and roll with it. I think they relate to the horses that way,” said Evans.

Evans tells her students it’s important they recognize their strengths and use them for their future.

“You’re going to have more confidence, more self-esteem, and more fulfillment,” said Evans.

For more information on the day camps offered by Life in Strides visit them online at Lifeinstride.org