Addicted to horses and riding. It's not so bad as Ecstasy....

Regarding the well educated-idiot who stated in a the Journal of Psychopharmacology that the drug Ecstasy should be downgraded to a level B drug (less dangerous than the current level A designation) because riding a horse is more dangerous and yet legal:

Here's my own take on it. Many years ago, Johns Hopkins University set up a 20-question survey to be self-administered by a person who suspected that s/he might be an alcoholic. I merely changed the word "drink/drinking" to "ride/riding".

You be the judge.

I've inserted MY answers below.


Do you lose time from work due to riding?

I actually think of the exchange as losing riding time due to work.

Is riding making your home life unhappy?

Only if I don't get to do it. If I don't ride, I'm not happy. If I'm not happy, ain't nobody happy.

Do you ride because you are shy with other people?

Shyness does not appear to be a problem for me.

Is riding affecting your reputation?

Showing up to a staff meeting with mud on my boots and hay in my hair and oats spilling out of my jacket pocket probably doesn't label me as "Type-A Executive" type to the other people in the room. I'm pretty comfortable with that.

Have you ever felt remorse after riding?

Only if I took a short ride when I could've taken a longer ride.

Have you got into financial difficulties as a result of riding?
My vet, farrier, and board bills are always paid first, and most months there's some money left over after that...

Do you turn to lower companions and an inferior environment when riding?

No, I mostly hang out with really dirty people clad in lycra and cowboy hats who pretend to be pirates. We spend a lot of time in cow fields and mountain meadows with no electricity or plumbing. It's not even vaguely inferior.

Does your riding make you careless of your family's welfare?

No (see note above about the vet and farrier bills). On the other hand, I'm rarely able to attend summer family gatherings because they always fall on a ride weekend.....

Has your ambition decreased since riding?

I haven't ridden Tevis yet, so I'm still pretty ambitious.

Do you crave a ride at a definite time daily?

Only when I'm awake.

Do you want a ride the next morning?


Does riding cause you to have difficulty sleeping?

I am mostly successful in not falling asleep while riding.

Has your efficiency decreased since riding?

I can clean the barn in 2 hours. I can clean the house in an hour. That's pretty efficient.
Is riding jeopardising your job or business?
Sometimes the job jeopardizes the riding, especially when I've got a meeting scheduled at the same time as a riding lesson...that can be a problem.

Do you ride to escape from worries or trouble?


Do you ride alone?

I usually take the horse with me (duh).

Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of riding?

I can't remember the first 15 miles of most rides on the Toad. Does that count?

Oh, and there was that time with the tunnel....

Has your physician ever treated you for riding?

Nope, my physician just treats sore muscles, broken or mis-aligned bones, sprains and strains, and metabolic distress.

I have a riding instructor who treats my riding problems.

Do you ride to build up your self-confidence?

There's some would say that I'm self-confident enough.

Have you ever been to a hospital or institution on account of riding?

Are we counting the time Beth's horse accidently kicked her in the head? Because otherwise the answer is mostly "no".


If you have answered YES to any one of these questions, there is a definite warning that you may be a rideaholic. If you have answered YES to any two, the chances are that you are a rideaholic. If you have answered YES to three or more, then you are definitely a rideaholic.

So, there were a few YES answers. I'm comfortable with that. It's cheaper than being addicted to Ecstasy, anyhow.


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