If the horses are the stars at Long Hollow Ranch, Katie Williams is the director of the show. She runs the Horse Program, caring for the horses’ health, feeding, and foot care, as well as purchasing and re-homing horses, planning and guiding trail rides and other horse activities. Without Katie there is no horse program. She knows her horses by name, their history, their “personality”, their individual characteristics, and how they behave under saddle. She works with them to improve their manners, and knows how to match riders with the right mount.
Katie grew up in Woodburn, Oregon, with two sisters and a brother. She began riding horses at an early age at her grandparents’ small farm outside of town. By the time she was 10 years old, she had her own horse, joined a local 4-H club, and began competing at the County Fair.
In high school Katie was active in FFA, showing pigs and sheep at the County and the Oregon State Fair, as well as enthusiastically participating in many other competitions. She also participated in basketball and softball throughout her high school career.
After graduating from high school in 1997, Katie moved to Central Oregon and worked at Black Butte Ranch Stables as a trail guide. In 2002, she attended Phagans’ Beauty College in Bend, where she graduated in 2003, passed the state board exam and received her hairstylist license. Katie began working at a salon in Redmond until she moved to a large cattle ranch in the small town of Paulina where she opened a salon in her house.
While living on the ranch in Paulina, Katie got her first taste of helping to brand and process cattle. She lived there for four years running her salon, helping put up hay, and brand the calves. After moving back to Redmond, Katie realized that she preferred working outdoors and it was about that time that the Wrangler position at Long Hollow Ranch became available.
Katie has a young daughter, Lily, who also loves to “go to work with Mom” and is almost as comfortable with the horses as her mom. In her free time Katie enjoys baking, knitting, gardening, and taking her daughter to the beach. She and Lily also enjoy crafts and going on adventures.
Some guests at Long Hollow are new to trail riding and may be a bit uneasy about it. Katie makes sure that her guests get the right horse for their level of experience and expertise. She gives her riders time to practice turning, stopping, and starting before leaving the barn so that they will be more comfortable and confident on the trail. Guests enjoy Katie’s outgoing and friendly nature as she interacts with them not only on the trail but also at mealtimes around the table.
At a ranch like Long Hollow, most of us wear a number of different hats. Katie is no exception. She readily hops on the riding mower to manicure the lawns, helps out in the kitchen, and oversees other activities like weddings and other events that are hosted at Long Hollow. Wow! That sounds like she does it all and there is nothing left for the rest of us. She is indeed a great asset to the program at Long Hollow Ranch, and we are very happy she is a member of the Long Hollow Ranch team.