About Short Acres Farm

Kathryn grew up on a farm located on Whidbey Island in Washington State. A graduate of Calpoly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Marketing Management, she later returned to her passion for horses and dogs and obtained several awards for her expertise. Having grown up around horses, it wasn’t suprising when she and husband, Dan, started their first riding stables in Renton, Wa in 1991; eventually moving in 1999 to the 14 acres now located in Brush Prairie.

2020 marks the 21st season for Kathryn Tilkin, her family, and Short Acres in Hockinson. In this fast-paced, plugged-in world she believes focusing on life lessons for her students is as important as learning to ride a horse. Kathryn’s instructing is designed to build confidence, teach time management, improve communication skills and goal setting to achieve success. She also believes it is important for kids to enjoy a full farm experience, which means students will learn about animal behavior, nutrition and medical care, as well as the hard work that comes with farm chores.

Owning and operating Short Acres is a true passion for Kathryn, and she is grateful to have such a magical place to teach her students.


My name is Emily Curley, I am the Barn Manager and Trainer here at Short Acres Farm. My obsession with horses finally found an outlet at age 5 when I had my birthday party here on the farm. I instantly fell in love and haven’t looked back since. I started out with western riding and moved to the jumping world and eventually found my way back to western. I’ve been in numerous horse shows, and parades participated in riding clinics, and learned how to sort cows. I was a personal support worker during college and have worked with a horse therapy program down in Corvallis.

I am now 25 with two horses, a very energetic puppy, and a pampered house cat. I spend my time teaching ages 4-15 with all different abilities how to ride horses, building life skills, self-love, and confidence to help navigate through all stages of development.

I am so fortunate for this opportunity that I have been given to teach all ages of kids with all different backgrounds how to unplug from this fast-moving world we have around us and be present. Watching problem-solving, confidence building, and learning who
they are as an individual no matter what age. Horses are very powerful animals and they love and accept us for who we are, even during the days we may not love and accept ourselves.

My main goal is to help this next generation have a safe place for them to be heard, spark that imagination again, and learn about nature that surrounds us while having fun in the process.

Alicia grew up in Milwaukie, Oregon with a childhood filled with outdoor experiences. This passion for the outdoors continued into her early twenties as she
contemplated what to complete her higher education in. She finished her associates degree in 2009 and decided to take a year off from school to spend the time
volunteering with an Americorps program called the Nevada Conservations Corps.

This program pushed Alicia mentally, physically, and emotionally but is what she pays credit to for her hard work ethic and resilience she has today. After her year off she returned to Oregon where she enrolled in school at Portland State University to begin her degree in Environmental Science. With one year of school under her belt she was ready for her next adventure and ended up spending the summer working with the Gifford Pinchot Forest Service and The Mount St. Helens Institute. It was a summer that showed Alicia the joy of educating others on the natural wonders of the outdoors.

This interest in educating led her to her next adventure in the fall of 2011. She returned to school part-time while becoming a teaching assistant full-time at a high
school forestry technical program. She worked for two years with the high school class where she got to witness students going hiking for the first time, use a chainsaw, complete aquatic macroinvertebrate sampling, trail construction, firewood cutting, and a host of other activities that were a first for most of the students. Summer of 2013, she went back to school full time and a year later completed her bachelor’s in environmental science and a minor in sustainability in June 2014.

Upon graduation, she got engaged to her now husband Ryan and they began their life together. However, finding work that paid a living wage in the environmental field was slim, so she ultimately began working for Providence Health and Services for 4 years where she learned the ins and outs of corporate health care. In 2017 they welcomed their first daughter Audrey and then in 2018 she became a stay-at-home mom and welcomed their second daughter Abigail in 2019. She has spent the past few years sharing her passion for the outdoors with her girls while instilling respect for nature and all it has to offer. Alicia and her family recently moved to Battle Ground on 5 acres to pursue their dream of having a “farm” where their girls can grow and learn the many positive attributes and skills having property and animals can provide.