Due to COVID, our Gaston location is currently open for private and semi private lessons only. The Mountain Trail Course is also open for experienced riders! You can take a lesson on our horses, or bring your own! Masks are not required but highly encouraged in the stabling area.
Lessons & Booking, Horse Sense West, Gaston
Each lesson plan at Horse Sense is unique and varies based on the rider's interests and skill level. Students can choose between English or Western tack for their lesson. Lesson time includes the basics of grooming, tacking and untacking the horse. Our Gaston location has a 220 x 60 indoor covered arena, small outdoor arena, and a mountain trail course on site. When you arrive, we thank you for treating our barn like any place of learning and understanding the need to preserve safety and quiet for all of our horses, staff and students. Family and friends are welcome to watch lessons from our observation room. No dogs are allowed on site, including cars in the parking area. We have dogs that live on the property and ask that you leave yours at home.
Lessons & Pricing:
Pee-Wee Lessons- $30 Pee-Wee lessons are for children ages 4-6. These 30 minute, private lessons are very hands-on and designed to help the student develop the balance, coordination and skill necessary to navigate on horseback.
Small Group Lessons- $40 per rider, (CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE) ages 10+. Small group lessons have a maximum of 4 students per group and last 75 minutes. Riders must be at least 10 years old to take a small group lesson. If only 1-2 students are booked into a group, the group will last 60 minutes. *If riding with friends and family, please be sure to book each individual into the lesson. While adults are welcome in all of our groups, we do have 2 weekly Adults Only Small Group Lessons for adults that wish to ride and connect with other adult riders. You'll find this group under the Adults Only Small Group Lesson category in appointy. Level 2 Group lessons are reserved for students that have begun to work on the cantering skill set and beyond.
Semi-Private Lessons - $50 per rider, Discounted to $45 during COVID ages 7+. Semi-private lessons have a maximum of 2 students per group. Riders must be at least 7 years old to take a semi-private lesson. Level 2 Semi-private lessons are reserved for students that have begun to work on the cantering skill set and beyond.
Private Lessons- $60, ages 7+ Private lessons are for the rider that wishes to work alone in a session. Ages 7 and up.
Mountain Trail Obstacles - $90, Learn how to move your horse through our mountain trail obstacles. Obstacles are built into the ridge side and this class will teach you the skills necessary to successfully work through each obstacle. These sessions are 2 hours long with a max of 2 riders per session. We have not set age limits, however you must have excellent basic walk/trot and control to be successful in this class. It is NOT for beginner riders. This class is not eligible for package discounts.
Horse Training & Ground Horsemanship- $50 This private session will teach you the foundational basics of horse training that occurs before a horse starts under saddle. Other topics may include topics like showmanship or in-hand trail exercises.
Grooming- $25 This small group class is designed for those that wish to get speedier at grooming so that they can focus more lesson time on riding, or for individuals that really want to love and enjoy time with the horses.
Important things you should know before you schedule a lesson-
All lessons must be scheduled online. We're a busy working barn, and don't have a receptionist or a computer handy for scheduling appointments, so please use the online scheduling system to book your lesson. All lessons must be paid for at the time of scheduling, unless you are redeeming a coupon promotion (in which case, follow the instructions on your coupon or use the lesson category naming your coupon promotion type). If you back out of the system before completing payment, your lesson will not be scheduled. If you do not receive a confirmation email from appointy shortly after scheduling and on the morning of your lesson, you made an error during the scheduling process and your lesson was not scheduled.
Cancelling and Rescheduling
Rescheduling your lesson is easy, if you find yourself juggling a busy schedule. Simply log into your appointy.com account by going to the main scheduling screen, and click the Login button. After you log in, you should see your name where the Log in button was, and that will give you a drop down menu. On the drop down, click 'My Appointments', then you will see tabs for each upcoming lesson you have scheduled. On each tab, you will find a Reschedule button. When you see your reschedule options, make sure to change the instructor name to "All Staff" so that you see all upcoming availability for that lesson type. You cannot reschedule from 1 lesson type to a different lesson type (for example, if you've scheduled a level 2 lesson, you can't reschedule it to an intro lesson slot). If you cancel a lesson and require a refund, you must email firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can make sure appointy and paypal properly refund your cancellation. We can also transfer a cancelled lesson credit and schedule a new lesson for you, if desired (but you should totally just use the reschedule function if that's your desire). Either way, you must notify us if you cancel a pre-paid lesson, as the software doesn't always automatically issue a refund.
From time to time, we may need to cancel lessons due to weather or illness. We will always endeavor to notify you at least 2 hours before your lesson if we must cancel for any reason. We ask that you please enter your phone number when you create your appointy account, so that we can get in touch with you quickly if we need to. If you only enter your email, you may not get the memo if we have to cancel due to stormy weather, a flooded barn or an instructor with penumonia. We've had folks make the journey to learn their lesson was cancelled, they hadn't checked their email that day to get our message, and we didn't have a number to reach them at.
***Please note our 24 hour cancellation policy. Lessons cancelled with less than 24 hour notice can not be rescheduled or refunded with a medical visit summary or accident report.
Sliding Scale, Package Discounts, & Working Students:
At Horse Sense, we believe that the gift of horsemanship should be available to everyone. Sliding Scale discounts are available for children in low income families for group, semi-private and private lessons. Pee-wee lessons are not availabe for sliding scale discounts. Families making less than $55,000 a year may receive up to a $20 discount per lesson. In order to be approved for the sliding scale discount, please contact email@example.com.
Package Discounts: Instructions to book a package: On the Order Summary Screen select "Repeat this booking on other days" and then "weekly". Select the number of weeks you'd like to schedule for. The order summary screen will update accordingly. From time to time, some of your preferred slots may already be full and you won't have the right number of lessons on your order summary screen, so you may need to go farther out on the calendar to get the proper number of lessons needed. After booking, lessons can easily be rescheduled by logging in to your appointy account, clicking 'Edit' on the appointment and 'Reschedule'.
Purchase 4 lessons and get $5 off each lesson. Use discount code 4LESNPKG at check-out.
Purchase 8 lessons or more and get $10 off each lesson. Use discount code 8LSNPKG at check-out
* Pee-wee lessons are not eligible for package discounts
Working Students: The working student program provides adult students with free lessons in exchange for work in our facility. Workers are scheduled weekly to a stall cleaning or feeding shift lasting about 90 minutes, and receives $20 in lesson or boarding credit per shift. The program has a winter/spring term, a summer term and a fall/winter term. If you would like to join us as a working student at our Gaston location, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you Visit Our Facility...
All students must have a release of liability waiver in order to ride. If you are bringing a minor that is not your child, you must have a parent or guardian fill out a form prior to their lesson. The form is available for download below.
We provide and require helmets for rider safety. Bike and snowboarding helmets do not meet safety standards for riding and are not allowed. Please wear long pants and a pair of boots or a sturdy shoe with a heel.
We ride indoors, but please dress appropriately for the weather.
We ask that you treat our program like any learning space and leave extended family and friends at home.
We have a very small space and we do not have a separate viewing area.
Visitors tend to be distracting for the instructors and horses, and interferes with the safety of the riders.
If you bring friends and family at other times, they may be asked to wait in the parking lot until the horses are in the arena for lessons.
Please leave your dogs at home. Do not leave them in your car. We have dogs on the property and they do not all play well with others.
We have a strict 24 hour cancellation policy.
Lessons cancelled with less than 24 hour notice cannot be refunded or rescheduled for any reason.
We strive to accommodate riders of all shapes and sizes, but our horses do have limitations. Our weight limit for riders is currently 300 lbs.
Please ensure that we have your phone number when you create your online account for scheduling.
From time to time, we may have to cancel lessons due to instructor illness, equine injury or weather.
We will endeavor to notify you as early as possible for any changes to the lesson schedule,
but need to have your best contact information to do so.
We are not a therapeutic riding facility. All students must be able to mount, dismount and remain seated without assistance. Students should be able to engage with the instructor and have the ability to make some progress in their riding skills over time. If you or your child has a disability, please contact us prior to scheduling. Providing safe riding experiences to individuals with special needs requires a level of both staff and horse training and certification, along with specialized equipment that we do not have. Please contact Forward Stride, Healing Winds and TherapyWorks NW for Portland area therapeutic riding resources.
All riders and guests must sign a liability release form. If you are bringing a child and you are not their legal guardian, please be sure to bring a copy of our liability release waiver signed by a parent or guardian. This is form is not e-filed. Please print & bring a copy to your lesson.