Horse Program Director and Riding Instructor
“There is nothing quite like the partnership between a horse and his rider. Based on mutual trust and understanding, the bond that forms when a rider truly acknowledges the nature of the horse is something that cannot be replicated. Learning the language of the horse and effectively communicating with him will earn his trust, and having the trust of a horse is a privilege that cannot be described. It is my passion to share this experience with anyone and everyone.”
Katie has been riding and working with horses for over 17 years. When her cousins first introduced her to horses at the age of 12, she was instantly hooked. Katie began taking weekly riding lessons and spent her weekends volunteering at the local YMCA camp.
Katie’s interest in horses soon developed into a passion. She attended Lake Erie College and double majored in Equine Facility Management and Equine Teaching and Training with a concentration in Stud Farm Management. She graduated summa cum laude in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science. Between semesters in college, Katie returned to her hometown YMCA camp to teach riding lessons and horsemanship classes to students and campers.
Before becoming a part of the Nickajack family in June 2017, Katie had been a professional groom for Nancy Smith, MaryAnne Milleman, and Janeen Langowski-Grava; all prominent trainers in Northeast Ohio in the sport of dressage. Katie has managed two equestrian facilities; a twenty-one stall barn and a thirty-four stall barn, each housing high-quality show horses. Katie also began her professional teaching career, accruing over 20 long-term students of all ages and abilities.
Katie has studied the English disciplines of hunter equitation, hunter over fences, stadium jumping, dressage, and cross-country. She also has experience riding western and trail riding. Katie currently owns a 10-year-old Pony of the Americas that she rides both as a jumper and in dressage. While he enjoys jumping, he thinks dressage is boring. (Katie reminds him that dressage is an important foundation for any horse—jumpers included!)
17 years horsemanship
11 years training horses
11 years teaching riding lessons
6 years managing equestrian facilities