Font Size:

Program Details


Activities Offered
  • Hippotherapy
  • Horseback Riding
Adaptive Equipment
  • Adaptive equipment available

  • Accessible by Public Transportation: No

  • Transportation Provided by the Program: No


The mission of Forward Stride is to provide, promote and support quality therapeutic recreation services for all children and adults in the Portland metropolitan area in order to enhance their lives and assist them in healing and growing.

Through our wellness classes and innovative therapeutic equine programs, Forward Stride enables each individual to blossom with confidence and independence.

Our comprehensive classes offer many clients rare opportunities for physical fitness, and their first significant sense of physical empowerment and freedom as they partner with their horses. Our youngest clients are 2 years old and our oldest client celebrated her 95 th birthday with Forward Stride.

It's not just a pony ride! That's our mantra at Forward Stride. Our comprehensive classes offer many riders their first significant sense of physical empowerment and freedom as they partner with their horses.
  • Hippotherapy
    Hippotherapy is the use of horses in a therapeutic setting to produce functional outcomes for a client. Clients are not taught specific riding skills. The sessions are planned and guided by a licensed physical, occupational or speech-language therapist. Clients must be 2 years of age. Hippotherapy is a medically-recognized treatment with an insurance billing code. Forward Stride does not bill insurance directly nor receives reimbursement directly from insurance companies. However, the staff can assist clients with providing documentation in order to seek their own reimbursement.

  • Therapeutic Sport Riding
    Opportunities for fitness and fun are rare for many with disabilities and chronic medical issues. We provide therapeutic sport riding lessons for adults and children, ages 4 and up. In an effort to fully live our principle that "all bodies can ride," we mainstream able-bodied riders into certain classes.
    We teach balanced seat horseback riding for all disciplines and the basics of horsemanship. Forward Stride's exceptional team of specially trained instructors and horses provide an integrated approach to therapeutic sport riding. The building of self-esteem is realized through incremental riding accomplishments coupled with the responsibility of grooming and caring for their horse.
    Lessons are taught by a NARHA certified therapeutic riding instructor, and assisted by a team of trained volunteers who may lead the horse and sidewalk beside the rider if needed. The volunteers provide vital one-on-one contact with the riders at all times. All of our instructors and volunteers adhere to NARHA guidelines on therapeutic riding while maintaining a safe environment.

  • Vaulting
    Some trace the origins of vaulting to Roman games, which included acrobatic displays on cantering horses. Others claim its roots in the bull dancers of ancient Crete. In either case, people have been performing acrobatic and dance-like movements on the backs of moving horses for more than 2,000 years.
    Forward Stride’s inclusive vaulting program specifically addresses the physical and social needs of kids as they grow stronger and more mobile. Therapeutic vaulting classes and the Flying Star Vaulters club offer an environment where kids develop poise, balance, strength, and creativity. Working individually or in teams, vaulting teaches students character building skills that can’t be overlooked: teamwork, trust, and self confidence. The Flying Star Vaulters are club members of the American Vaulting Association. Point to the stars – with your toes!