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Wi-Young So
So-Young Lee
Yoonjung Park
Dong-il Seo


anxiety, depression, self esteem, attention, attention deficit disorder, horseback riding therapy


Background and Objective

There is no report on the effects of horseback riding on children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the effects of 4 weeks of horseback riding on anxiety, depression, self-esteem, attention, and learning disorder in children with ADHD.

Material and Methods

Subjects comprised a convenience sample of 10 children aged 10-12 years with ADHD and 10 children without ADHD. Horseback riding sessions were performed 2 times (40 minutes/day) per week for 4 weeks. Before and after the horseback riding program, we measured the children’s anxiety, depression, self-esteem, attention, and learning disorder. The pre-test and post-test scores were analyzed with repeated-measures analysis of variance.


After participating in the 4-week horseback riding program, anxiety (p = 0.013), depression (p = 0.007), attention (p < 0.001), and learning disorder (p < 0.001) were significantly improved in the ADHD group compared to the normal group. However, self-esteem was not significantly different between the two groups (p=0.096).


These results indicate that the 4-week horseback riding program used in this study was very effective for significantly improving anxiety, depression, and attention in children with ADHD.


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