Our Story

Our Story

As a child Katharine Payne was either making art or in the barn with the horses. Not much has changed in the last 30 years. Originally from Mendocino County, she grew up with her older brother. They spent much of their time on their Grandparents horse ranch. From an early age, in fact before she could even walk, her journey with horses began.

Some of her fondest memories are the days spent with the horses and helping her Grandpa with ranch chores. More often than not, once at the ranch, she would jump out of the car to get the gate and wouldn't be seen until dinnertime. If she had it her way, she would be eating dinner in the barn with the horses!

Payne experienced some severe sensory processing disorders during her youth and became increasingly sensitive to her environment. As she cultivated her interests in horses, she realized that it was not a disorder but a tool that could be used for communicating with the horses, as they are highly sensitive creatures themselves. She pursued her art and equine interests into adulthood and spent many of those years researching Equine Assisted Programs and dreaming of one day starting her own.

After returning to the area from Art school in 2016, she knew it was time to start working towards that dream. While Payne had her own business as a professional artist and art teacher working with kids as well as adults with learning disabilities, she began laying the groundwork for Braided Tales. She has dedicated the last two years to developing the program, raising funds and received her first EAL Certification in 2018. Her dream for the program has expanded far beyond the barnyard and is a stepping-stone towards building a retreat ranch were in adition to EAL, art and outdoor education is offered under the same core values as Braided Tales.