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Lessons & Booking

As of right now, Horse Sense will be closing on March 31st.   While I have an interested buyer for the business, our landlord is selling the current property and new owners would need to find another location where they can offer lessons.   We hope she'll get that in place by the time I leave for my new life in New Mexico, but until she works that out, we currently plan to close on 3/31 and may not reopen.   If you have gift certificates, please plan to use them before March 31st. 
  • 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. 

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.   Because this is a working equestrian facility, we cannot accommodate drop in visitors and we ask that you leave friends or extended family at home. This is for the safety of our riders, horses and staff. Depending on how busy the day is, guests or family may be asked to wait outside during part of the lesson.  Of course, parents and well behaved siblings are welcome in the barn during lessons.  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.  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:
Riding Classes:

Pee-Wee Lessons- $35ages 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- $45  per rider, 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 a few 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.  Please note that we only offer a few group lessons each week.   

Semi-Private Lessons  - $55 per rider., ages 7+.  Semi-private lessons last 60 minutes and 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- $75  ages 7+  Private lessons are for the rider that wishes to work alone in a session.  Ages 7 and up.  Private lesson scheduling is very limited and we only offer a few slots each day.

Intro to Jumping- $45, 75 minutes, max 4 riders Intro to Jumping teaches students the basic techniques needed to get a good start in jumping.  This is an english riding class.  REQUIRED:  Walk/trot skills with excellent control.  This class will NOT teach you riding basics like how to canter, so riders should continue to build their skills in the regular lesson program while taking jumping classes.   

Equitation - $38, 30 minutes  This is a private lesson for our most experienced riders.   You are expected to arrive 15-20 minutes before your start time, and have enough experience to catch and tack your horse without help. You should be mounting up right at your lesson start time, and will receive 30 minutes of focused instruction. You are then expected to untack and put your horse away without assistance. This lesson type is available to current level 2 riders who have the skill set to catch, prep and put their horses away. If you aren't there currently, you will need preapproval by your instructor before you start to schedule this lesson type.  If you are not ready at your lesson's start time or need help, you won't get extra instruction time, so be sure that you show up early enough to start on time. This lesson type will only be available in Damascus and not eligible for working student, sliding scale or package discounts.

+++I do NOT guarantee that you will get the instructor that you've signed up with.  The staff are always taking vacation, calling in sick, or trading schedules.   Our goal is to give you a great lesson, regardless of the staff teaching.  We do NOT notify riders if there is a substitute teacher or schedule change.  

Non-Riding Classes:

Horse Training & Ground Horsemanship- $55  This  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-

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.   You can check your scheduled lessons any time by logging in to your appointy account from the main scheduling page,

Cancelling and Rescheduling:   

Rescheduling your lesson is easy, if you find yourself juggling a busy schedule.   Simply log into your account by going to the main scheduling screen at, 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 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 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.

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 availale 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

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, your preferred slot may already be full, 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'.  Please note that appointy won't keep track of your lessons and automatically discount them for you.  You must book them all at one time for the discount to apply.  

  • Purchase 4 lessons and get $5 off each lesson.  Use discount code 4LESNPKG  at check-out.

*  Pee-wee lessons are not eligible for package discounts

Working Students:  The working student program provides adult students with lesson credit in exchange for work in our facility.  The program has a winter/spring term, a summer term and a fall/winter term.   We need reliable workers who can commit to at least 4 months with the program (but you can stay as long as you like!).  Working students take on a dedicated feeding or stall cleaning shift.   Shifts take an average person 90 minutes - 2 hours, and pays $20 in lesson credit.   Before you email to inquire about positions, ask yourself if you can handle heavy wheelbarrows and mud once a week.   Ask yourself if you can commit even on the really cold and really hot days.  If you regularly flake out on commitments and responsibilities, this will not be a good fit for you.  Workers MUST be at least 18, but kids can assist their parents in completing the work.  

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 without a documented medical visit summary or accident report.

  • We strive to accommodate riders of all shapes and sizes, but our horses do have limitations.  Our weight limit for riders is currently 280 lbs.

  • 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.


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