Debbie Natarella was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey. She has decades of experience riding, teaching, training, managing and showing to “A” Rated USEF Hunter/Jumper/Equitation disciplines. This experience combined with an extensive and diverse background in Dressage and AQHA, enables her to quickly pinpoint and communicate with her students and horses to solve the most complex issues both on the flat and over fences.
Relatively new to Central Florida, she is now located in Longwood, Florida. Debbie has a great passion to teach children and adults to ride to their fullest potential. Not only does she teach them to ride well, but desires to educate them to understand, feel and think for themselves to become truly effective riders and to develop a winner mentality…that in turn can positively influence and correctly train their horses. Debbie believes that correct riding leads to happier horses and ponies and satisfied riders that results to be a win-win situation for all. Debbie welcomes any students at any level who loves horses, has a passion and a desire to learn to ride correctly whether for upper level competition or just for pleasure. Debbie believes in developing a well rounded rider/person and that there is more to riding than just showing and believes that good riders need to possess great horsemanship.
Debbie began riding “on her own” in New Jersey at the age of five on her parent’s pasture ponies, one was an ex circus trick pony, named Trixie (when it wasn’t taking off with her back to the barn), and the other 11 hand high Shetland palomino cart pony, named Sunday. When quite young she was found clearing “puissance walls” made of milk crates as tall as three or four high with Sunday in her western pony saddle.
Education, Background, Credentials and Accomplishments
Debbie then spent many years riding with instruction at Milestone Farm in Hampton, New Jersey where she was able to become educated and ride about anything put a leg they would let her put a leg over. Her start there as a very young working student developed and grew while working with some of the country and world’s finest instructors. Debbie has intensively trained with and worked for the best in world including the legendary George H. Morris at his Hunterdon, Inc. in Pittstown, NJ, along with Frank Madden, Bill Cooney and Sandra Duryea. Debbie also rode with and worked for Barry and Sandy Lobel of Ravenswood Farm (f/k/a ABS Farms, Morristown, NJ).
As a junior, Debbie qualified and shown twice Nationally at Madison Square Garden, Harrisburg and USET Finals and claiming numerous top USET, AHSA Medal and Maclay and Junior Hunter ribbons at shows such as Devon, Ox Ridge, The Hampton Classic, Lake Placid and Fairfield, and has ridden to many other Hunter and Jumper “A” Rated Championships at large shows in the northeast, south and mid-west.
Debbie apprenticed in Germany working with world reknowned Dressage professional Wilfried Schmidt in Franfurt, Germany. While there, Debbie was also involved with the training, sales process and Import of European Dressage and Jumping Sport Horses to the U.S. at Performance Sales International under Uli Henschke.at the Ankum Sports Hotel in Ankum, Germany. She also travelled many parts of Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden in search of quality sporthorses for import to the U.S. During that time, she was able to spend time at several International shows such as Munich and Amsterdam. Debbie has also has ridden with and worked for extremely qualified dressage riders including USDF Gold Medalists and Olympic riders such as Kay Meredith (UDSF Hall of Fame Winner) and Belinda Nairin, and have attended Clinics with famous clinicians including Anne Gribbons, and Gunnar Ostargardt. Debbie also enjoyed showing lower level dressage and spending countless hours with her friends at the upper level and Grand Prix Ring at UDSF shows as such as Dressage at Devon soaking up any morsels of upper level training.and managed, instructed and gained invaluable training techniques at Andy Moorman’s (AQHA Horsewoman of the Year) Woodmere Farms.
Debbie has been a trainer and manager at several top Hunter Jumper, Dressage and AQHA barns in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Florida with up to 80 horses, such as Woodmere Farm, Venice, Florida, Lacefield Farms and Harmony Farms in Bradenton, Florida. With her Blue Ribbon Training, she has taken students and horses and ponies to national levels and numerous Championships and wins at many A Rated shows in Florida including HITS Ocala, Central Florida Hunter Association, PCHA, Lexington, Atlanta, Tampa and Fox Lea in Venice and other A Rated shows on the Gulf Coast, Northeast and Mid-West.
She has also been a Horse Show Judge for the Alabama Hunter Jumper Association and some local hunter jumper and open shows in Florida. Additionally, she worked as an Assistant at The Equine Clinic in Doylestown, PA and was involved in several research projects with New Bolten Center, at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, in Kennett Square, PA.
Debbie and her family came back to Florida to the Orlando area in 2012 and was a Hunter/Jumper/Equitation trainer at WB Equestrian in Sanford, Florida where she taught riders of all levels for show and pleasure and has taken several students and horses to various year end circuit horse show awards from series in the Central Florida, Weirsdale, Ocala, Gainesville and Tampa area. Debbie also helped students find their own horses when they were ready.
Debbie owns and operates Amazing Grace Equestrian which is now centrally located in the Longwood and Lake Mary areas, in Seminole County, Florida.
Debbie also has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in both English Communications and Political Science from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison , New Jersey.
On a personal note, Debbie is married to Nic and they have a beautiful daughter, Michaela. Nic is the owner of his growing advertising business, AdWise Creative, LLC. and Michaela, attends University of South Florida studying Social Services and is a Club Volleyball Coach for middle and high school girls. They are members of The Journey Church and enjoy time with family and friends as well as spending time working on their farm.