Horse Sense Riding School

Helping People, Helping Horses

At Horse Sense our mission is to provide a safe caring enviroment for senior and unwanted horses.
Our horses come to us from all situations, ranging from a loving owner having to move or falling on hard times, to those saved from certain death at auction.
We provide vet care and for some, extensive rehabilitation as we help them get fit and healthy again.


Our Horses:
Bear A.K.A. "Bear Bear"
Age:22 - 24
Special Needs:Arthritis, IBS,
Suspensory Ligament tears in both front legs
Farrier:Chuck Willis
Vet:Columbia Equine
Available for Adoption:No
Bear’s Story: Bear is the horse that started it all. I first found him and dark, filthy barn that we’ll just call the “Barn of Woe” when I went to check out a horse for a partial lease. He wasn’t the horse that I went to see, but there was something so kind in his soft, brown eyes. He rarely got to go outside and spent his days standing in a filthy stall that was only cleaned 2 or 3 times a month. He was skinny, full of worms and parasites, and his joints clicked every time he took a step. It took me almost 2 months to track down his owners, and the barn owners were unwilling to connect me to them and lose their boarding income. The owners hadn’t been out in over a year to see him, and so the horse was receiving minimal care while the barn owners collected their check every month. It was pure luck and circumstance that I met someone who used to board with the owner. They were able to connect us and Bear came home with me the very next day. Bear is smart, patient and loves kids. He was the first horse to teach at Horse Sense, and will remain in our care through his retirement. His arthritis is best managed with light, daily exercise and he now moves with ease. We manage his IBS with a special diet and probiotics.

Intake:April, 2014
Special Needs:Tumor in left hoof, possible a rare osteo-sarcoma (cancer)
Available for Adoption:Only as a “companion” horse
Bella’s Story: Bella is a 13 year old thoroughbred who spent her early years on the race track. After retiring from racing, Bella was a broodmare and gave birth to several thoroughbreds for the racing industry. When the broodmare facility was closed (because it wasn’t a very nice place), Bella was taken in by the “Big Hearts Horse Rescue.” Bella sat at Big Hearts for a couple of years with no interest from adopters because they thought she had a condition called “ringbone”. Ringbone is a severe and career ending form of arthritis. We decided to give Bella a chance and investigate the severity of her arthritis. Following x-rays with our vet, we were surprised to learn that Bella’s issue wasn’t really arthritis (though she does have some due to her racing days) but has a large tumor in her hoof. At the time, the vet felt that it was a rare form of cancer, an osteo-sarcoma. We were told to keep her moving and healthy for as long as possible. Bella has only continued to improve in health and movement during her time at Horse Sense. She has come to be one of our most trusted lesson masters.

Ms. Bobra Striesand A.K.A. "Bob"
Intake:March 2, 2015
Breed:Shire x Thoroughbred
Special Needs:Blind in left eye
Program Status:Foster
Available for Adoption:Maybe
Bob’s story: I’m told that Bob was bred and raised by a lovely senior gentleman that gave her to his owner when he retired from horse care. In early 2015, her owner began a painful divorce process and was unable to care for all of her horses on a single income. We first took Harry into the program, followed by Bob and later Bandit, as the need arose. Bob was initially rehomed, but her owner found her advertised for sale on Craigslist just weeks after her owner took her in. Morghan quickly repossessed her, but was dismayed to find that she spent a few weeks living in filth and had cysts on her vulva as a result. When I learned that Morghan was trying to find a better placement for Bob, I quickly offered to bring her into the program. Her patient and mellow draft heritage mixed with energy of her thoroughbred breeding makes her a unique and really fun horse to ride. We had our vet out to treat her cysts and they’re no long and issue. Bob is completely blind in one eye, but you’d hardly notice that she has a handicap. She is so trusting and calm, despite her limited vision. Bob’s owner hopes to take her home someday, but may be willing to consider adoption to the right family.

Miz Harry
Intake:April 15, 2015
Age:Unknown, Senior (20++)
Special Needs:Severe arthritis and sway back
Available for Adoption:Only as a “companion” horse
Miz Harry’s story: Details about Miz Harry’s life prior to Horse Sense are minimal. We were told that she was a “PMU” mare. PMU mares live horrifying lives where they are kept constantly pregnant and bound to a small stall where they are attached to a catheter. Their urine is collected and a hormone is synthesized from to make “Premarin” a popular hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women. When they are no longer able to carry foals, the mares are often shipped to auctions and purchased for slaughter. Harry was a lucky one, and was able to spend many years packing in rugged mountains. She was eventually given to a neighbor who cared for her for a few months before a divorce forced her to rehome her horses (we also took Bob and Bandit from that home). It didn’t take long for use to realize that Harry’s sway back and severe arthritis made it too difficult for her to teach lessons. We have continued to care for Harry in our Sanctuary program, who gets regular massage by volunteers and loves to tell knock knock jokes. Harry would love to find a pasture home where she can live out her remaining years as a friend and companion.

Intake:April 15, 2015
Special Needs:Had a stroke at age 18
Program Status:Foster
Available for Adoption:Maybe
Bandit’s Story: It’s hard not to love this adorable guy. Bandit came to us for the same home as Harry and Bob following his Owner’s divorce. He was initially sent to live with her friend, but the friend’s horses were picking on Bandit and keeping him away from food, so he was sent back to Morghan because he was losing so much weight. When I heard that she had a great kid’s horse that needed placement, I was happy to help. He was pretty thin and ribby when he landed at Horse Sense, but it only took about 30 days to transform him into a the adorable chubster that we know and love today. Bandit used to barrel race with his owner. He had a stroke at age 18 and the vet advised that he should be euthanized. His owner refused and nursed him back to health. Against all odds, he improved and is now thriving. He has no lingering signs or symptoms from his stroke and appears to have made a full recovery. Bandit’s owner may consider adoption to the right family.

Intake:March 2, 2015
Age:Senior 20++
Breed:Paint, possibly Arab cross
Special Needs:Limited mobility in back left leg, dental issues, asthma
Available for Adoption:Yes
Katniss' story: Nothing is known about Katniss before she was at the Sunnyside feedlot in Washington. She was just about to be loaded onto a truck bound for slaughter when a family from Estacada rescued her. She was emaciated and covered in rain rot. The family had hoped that Katniss would be a good fit to go through 4H with their daughter, but they soon realized that they would need a younger horse that could grow with the family. Katniss then came to Horse Sense, where she has slowly put on weight. Our vet found that she has an old injury to her left hind hock or stifle, limiting mobility, and recommended that we start with light work. We quickly learned that Katniss has impeccable training and is a real pleasure to work with. She is a great fit for our pee-wee riders and younger students that are just learning the basics of horsemanship.

Intake:May 7, 2015
Special Needs:Arthritis, occassionaly “hoof-sore”
Program Status:Foster
Available for Adoption:No
Dreamer’s Story: With 3 very young boys, Dreamer’s owner has a lot on her hands and had care leased him to another local riding program. He was over worked and wasn’t handled with respect and kindness in the program. He was removed after a vet recommended 2 weeks off due to lameness, but was found teaching a lesson just a few days later, despite the doctor and his owner’s requests for time off. Dreamer was referred to Horse Sense through a friend of a friend of a friend. When we were first contacted to take in a sweet, over worked senior horse we were fortunate to have an opening in the barn. As I started to learn more about him, I realized that this sweet overworked horse was an old friend of mine. We met in 2011 when I was trying to overcome a disabling illness. An old roommate of mine leased a horse at a facility in Oregon City and would pick me up and take me out for some riding time. I hadn’t been on a horse in 15 years when I first climbed aboard dreamer, but no matter how sick I felt or how badly my body was rebelling, Dreamer always took care of me and gave me a sense of freedom that I had lost during my illness. We only enjoyed a short time together before my health started to improve and I began looking for my own horse lease, which lead me to Bear. I am so grateful that fate brought him back into my life. Dreamer’s arthritis is managed by light daily exercise. We managed the lameness that he arrived with through time off and light groundwork. He’s had a couple of bouts of soreness since arriving that required time off, but he seems to be managing the lighter lesson load offered at Horse Sense well.

Intake:January 16, 2015
Age:Mid teens
Special Needs:joint disease, stilt foot disorder x2
Available for Adoption:Only as a “companion” horse
Fabio's story: Fabio is the most challenging rehabilitation case that we have taken on. Little is known about Fabio prior to coming to HSRS. We assume that he was a working horse (drafts are still used frequently for logging in Oregon). He had a stilt foot injury to his front right leg, resulting in tendon shortening. We can only guess that this is the reason he was sent to auction and landed at a feedlot, bound for slaughter. Fabio was rescued from the feedlot but not long after, his adopted owner died and he was sent back. He was again rescued and brought to Oregon but his new owner soon lost her job and was unable to provide for him or manage his medical needs. That’s when he came to Horse Sense. Following surgery to correct his front leg, Fabio suffered the same injury to a back leg, probably due to degenerative joint disease. Unable to perform surgery, his injury worsened and our vet recommended euthanasia. Of course, we always need to raise funds for that kind of expenditure and in the meantime, Fabio had a miraculous recovery, possibly due to the anti-inflammatory properties of a turmeric supplement. Fabio still has a long road to recovery, be we remain optimistic about his success. We hope that someday, Fabio may be a parade horse for Horse Sense. Regardless of his abilities, we have committed to caring for Fabio in our Sanctuary Program.

Intake:August 20, 2015
Breed:Quarter Horse
Special Needs:Degenerative arthritis, navicular
Available for Adoption:to a retirement home or
equine facilitated learning program
Cody's story: Cody is a 13 year old Quarter Horse. He came to our attention via an ad on Craigslist seeking a retirement home for him due to his severe arthritis. We felt that Cody was too you and capable to be retired and hoped that we could manage his arthritis with light, daily exercise. Compared to many of our horses, Cody’s had a fantastic life. He joined a family at age 5 and spent the next 8 years doing 4H and OHSET (Oregon High School Equestrian Team). Joint disease ended his career, but at Horse Sense, we know that the best thing for arthritis is to keep the horse moving. The work at Horse Sense has been a perfect fit and his movement has improved tremendously since he joined the program.

Intake:November 12, 2015
Special Needs:PSSM
Available for Adoption:No
Keioki's story: Keioki is a 17 year old paint mare with PSSM. PSSM is a disorder in which the muscles are unable to properly store glucose, so it is unavailable when needed for energy. PSSM horses require a very special diet and daily exercise. With 3 horses and 2 jobs, Keioki’s owner was unable to manage her special needs and chose to place Keioki in long term foster care at Horse Sense.

Intake:November 15, 2015
Special Needs:None
Available for Adoption:Yes
Khayjun's story: Khayjun belonged to a lovely senior lady who first contacted us last March in an attempt to rehome him. Now in her 70’s she still cared for 10 horses and was running out of money and stamina. When she contacted us again in October we knew that her situation was becoming more challenging and we agreed to take Khayjun. We don’t know much about his early years but he has excellent breeding and descends from Khemosabi, a famous Arabian. His owner rescued him at age 8 and gave him a wonderful life before surrendering him to Horse Sense. Khayjun is fit, healthy and still young enough to enjoy many years with the right person. His temperament and training aren’t really suitable for a Horse Sense lesson master, but we are committed to caring for him until we can transition him to a suitable forever home with an owner that will love and value him.

Intake:December 20, 2015
Special Needs:Senior, extreme weight loss and lack of muscle tone
Available for Adoption:Yes
Rosco's story: Rosco is a 21 year old Belgian that came to us from the Coast to Coast Draft Rescue in Howlitz, Michigan. We believe that he was used as a plow horse in the Amish community, but not much is known about him prior to his rescue. Rosco was extremely thin and deconditioned when he arrived at Horse Sense, and we have been working on his weight and conditioning.

Intake:December 20, 2015
Special Needs:Emotional trauma
Available for Adoption:Yes
Zeke's story:Zeke is a 9 year old Shire that was donated by a family in Colorado, who had adopted him from the Coast to Coast Draft Rescue in Howlitz, Michigan. Zeke was a plow horse in the Amish community and was severely abused by men. He has some trust issues and is reluctant about making physical contact with humans. We have been working on trust with Zeke and he is warming up slowly to our staff and volunteers.

Intake:October, 2014
Breed:Welsh Cob x Thoroughbred x Haflinger
Special Needs:Suspensory ligament damage, navicular
Available for Adoption:Yes
Emma's story: Emma’s early career was competing in 3 Day Eventing shows (jumping, dressage, and cross country jumping). She had a suspensory ligament tear that ended her career. Her owner was seeking a safe place where Emma would have a job and receive a lot of attention, so she offered to donate Emma to our program. Emma had some intermittent lameness issues and after working closely with our vet, they determined that Emma also has navicular disease, which is an inflammation of the navicular bursae in her hooves. Emma now receives annual injections in her front hooves, which have kept her sound, happy and comfortable.