Horse Sense Riding School

Helping People, Helping  Horses

Our Damascus location is currently only accepting new riders in our adults only group lessons.  In order to book an adult lesson, please send your full name, email and contact phone number to kat@horsesenseridingschool.net so that we can create your account for online booking.  New riders ages 4-17, please visit our Gaston location for lessons.  The rest of the Damascus schedule is full.  We are not keeping a wait list.  I get 2 or 3 emails a day that say, "I see you aren't taking riders in Damascus but I was hoping..."  We are full.   Please visit our west side campus in Gaston for riding lessons.


Masks are required in the barns at all times.   They are optional in the arena space while riding, as long as social distancing is possible.  I don't care if you're vaccinated, you still have to wear one until all of our staff have had opportunities to do the same.   


Horse Sense Riding School opened in 2012 with one crumbly old rescued lesson horse, and has quickly grown to be one of the busiest lesson programs in the Portland Metro area, with over 20 horses and locations in Damascus and Gaston.  Horse Sense Riding school provides beginner-focused horsemanship education for riders ages 4-adult. Our team of Second Chance horses often come from rescues, require physical and emotional rehabiltation after injury or trauma, or from owners that are struggling to care for them due to a life change. Our horses are paired with students to provide a lesson experience that is focused on their individual learning needs and interests.  At Horse Sense, we care about how YOU learn and design lesson plans based on your riding goals and interests.  We believe that every path to horsemanship is unique.  Our team is committed to teaching the basics of strong equitation while showing our horses the utmost respect and partnership.   Not interested in riding, but still want to learn about horses?   We offer grooming and ground training classes as well!

At Horse Sense, we believe that horses teach empathy, compassion, patience and many other skills, and that these life lessons should be available to everyone through our sliding scale program for low income families and our working student program.  You'll find details on these programs by visiting your preferred Campus page, under the Book Now button. You can also schedule lessons as often or as infrequently as your schedule and budget allow.   Please visit the tabs at the top of the page to search for lesson information, scheduling links, camp, show team, mobile mini and birthday party information. 

**Please note that we cannot accommodate drop in visitors and we do not offer tours, for the safety of our students, staff and horses.  Our barn is also closed for special events from time to time.  Want to see if we're a good fit?  Schedule a lesson and experience why we're different!

In the News...

We got to chat with Portland Family Magazine in the June 2016 issue about unwanted horses and the slaughter industry.


In 2014, we had a chance to visit with writers from the Oregonian...

The Estacada News wrote about Horse Sense in 2013, shortly after our first expanion.

"After decades away from riding I returned to it today with an individual lesson from Kat at Horse Sense. I could not have been happier with Kat's skill as a trainer or my experience there. Kat was thorough and caring and I have no doubt that she is able to meet each student where they are at with a positive and patient but knowledgeable and experienced approach. I felt totally comfortable there, which is saying a lot as an older learner. I signed up for weekly lessons and will be bringing my son in to get him started as well. Highly recommend.” 
-Alyssa S., Adult Student
“Horse Sense Riding School has given my 10 yr old daughter so much. She suffers from a chronic pain syndrome and has several neurological sensitivities. I have seen more growth in her gross and fine motor skills in 6 months of riding than I did in 2 years of Occupational Therapy. I also notice that the horses seem to sense when she is having a bad pain day and snuggle and give her more love and attention (not just the other way around). We had no prior expense with horses. I scheduled my youngest daughter for a few riding lessons as a reward for good school work. Since then, it has become a family interest. My girls (ages 10 and 16) have helped out cleaning tack, sweeping stalls and the arena walkways, and pull weeds dangerous to the horses that grow in the pastures. As a family we care for and try to help where we can with the needs of the horses. It has strengthened our family bond and taught my girls skills such as leadership, good work ethics, and compassion. Thank you Horse Sense for making our family part of yours.” 
-Megan H. Parent & Adult Student.
"I had so much fun today, learned so much and enjoy you off-the-charts as an instructor. You're kind, patient, a good communicator, explain objectives clearly, are super fun, and have a joy about you that is just wonderful to be within. Mike - who has years and years of training experience and is respected in this arena interanationally, said your training was precisely on point. Anywho, I just wanted to tell you what a gift I feel it is that we connected." 
-Sarah K.  Adult Student
“This was a birthday present for our 9 year old granddaughter and she had a fabulous experience. She started with brushing the horse, cleaning his hooves, learned how to put on the saddle, rode around the ring (by herself!) and finished with giving him treats. he trainer was great with a beginning student....very patient! Thank you so much for a wonderful afternoon.” 
-Bill O., Grandparent

Horse Sense Riding School, EAST Campus

25220 SE Sunshine Valley Rd.

Damascus, OR 97089

Horse Sense Riding School, WEST Campus

24241 Hwy 47

Gaston, OR 97119


Message phone:  971-377-9503

Due to a HIGH volume of calls and emails, please visit

the campus page at the top first.  You'll find details on pricing,

scheduling, rescheduling, cancellation policy and answers to just about every question every asked. 

Join us in our mission of helping people, helping horses.

***Please note our 24 hour cancellation

policy- Lessons cancelled with less than 

24 hour notice cannot be refunded or 

rescheduled.   Exceptions can only be made if you can provide a medical discharge summary or accident report to show that you were not able to make your scheduled lesson that day.