Our very own Lila Gendal sat down with one of our newest Brand Ambassadors to learn more about her experience in Eventing and what tips she has for young aspiring riders. Read on to find out more!
LG: How old are you and where are you from?
NN: I’m 30 years old and from Park City, Utah.
LG: What is your background in the equestrian world?
NN: My dad owned race horses and we were at the track all the time, so I had been around horses and started riding at a very young age. When I was about 4 years old, I started riding at an Eventing barn. When I was 18 years old, I moved out to CA to work for Hawley Bennet and stayed with her for five years. I groomed for her at the Olympics, WEG among other big events, in addition to campaigning my own horses. Through Hawley I met Buck Davidson, who would become my longtime coach. In 2012 I moved east to work for Buck where we split our time between PA and Ocala. In 2016 I started my own operation and decided to permanently locate to Ocala.
LG: What level have you competed through?
NN: Advanced / 4*
LG: Was there a horse that set your career into motion?
NN: Tequesterse was my first advanced horse, really my everything horse. He really got the ball rolling for me. He was TB that came from Buck and had done some intermediates. I did my first intermediate on him, young riders and did my first advanced on him, he showed me all the ropes. I’ve been lucky to ride several good ones, but Tex was the one who started it all.
LG: There’s always that one horse, isn’t there?! What about riders – is there someone that has most influenced you?
NN: Buck Davidson because I have a massive respect for him and his program. He’s a great horseman and coach, but most importantly, he’s a tremendous friend. It’s great to have such a good mentor to help you navigate the sport and the business, and I am extremely lucky to have him in my corner.
LG: Tell us about the program you’re running now.
NN: I have several competition horses in training and I do a lot of teaching. I love competing, but I really love teaching as well. I have a really fantastic group of owners, students and horses right now.
LG: What’s your favorite part about living in Ocala for your business?
NN: You cannot beat the winter season in Ocala. The amount of events you have access to is fantastic, not to mention the sunny weather! The horses are really happy here in Florida! Also being able to base my business out of Hidden Oaks Farm is a huge reason I have chosen to stay in Ocala full time, it’s a fantastic facility, owned and operated by really wonderful people.
LG: What are your greatest horse goals for the future – big or small?
NN: To keep producing horses and running a successful business. I’d love to run some bigger tracks overseas, and also help my students to succeed in their riding goals.
LG: I’ve heard you have some exciting news to share! Can you fill us in on how that’s going for you and your husband?
NN: We are expecting a baby boy come October! It was always in the plan to have a baby, but the timing was a little bit of a surprise! I am still riding a little but only flatting, not jumping. My husband Tommy and I are very excited!
LG: What is your greatest piece of advice for aspiring young riders?
NN: Base yourself with someone who has a program you believe in and stick with it for a while!
LG: Last but not least, what made you choose No Slip Success Equestrian Saddle Pads?
NN: These saddle pads are great because they really DO NOT SLIP and they are lightweight and attractive! They use the perfect combination of materials which make for happy and comfortable horses!
Many thanks to Natalia for your great advice and sharing with us your experience. Wishing Natalia all the best for her new adventure!
If anyone would like to learn more about Natalia’s program, you can check out her website here.