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The Inspirational Tale of Angelina Natale

When single Mom Angelina Natale introduced her young daughters to horses she had no idea that the life journey would land them on a mountaintop 15-acre farm in New Hampshire, USA. The cuddly toy horse she gifted her eldest daughter when the now renowned horsewoman Ashley turned five, was greeted with delight.

“You bought me a pony!” Ashley said with excitement. Well, not quite. A real equine critter was not waiting outside tied up with a birthday bow. That was to come later, along with a lifelong love of horses for both of Angelina Natale’s then young children, that started out with riding lessons at a local barn and ponies in the garage.

“We lived in a ranch style house in Massachusetts in a country setting on a quiet back road. While I had been fortunate to ride and had a love of horses from a young age, a bad fall suspended my time with horses at my mother’s behest. My passion for horses was not to be indulged. My mother was frightened by the reality that people can and do get seriously hurt riding horses,” explains Angelina.

As time passed and her daughters, Ashley and her younger sister Gabi became infatuated with all things equine, Angelina didn’t hesitate to convert their attached garage to stall space for ponies, much to the bemusement of her neighbors.

The close bond with horses enjoyed by the three women grew as they grew, and it wasn’t long before Ashley bloomed into a talented saddle seat competitor who loved to show.

“Even at the tender age of five at her first show on a lesson pony, Ashley loved to be in the ring and compete. Gabi would come along and play with her toy horses, and later she too began taking lessons,” Angelina says proudly.

It wasn’t long before the inevitable happened and both girls had their own mounts. Gabi receiving her equine partner Tory when Mom presented the critter all wrapped up in Christmas paper with a bow.

The young equestrians would soon work their way into advanced show circuits.

“Running about on multiple show circuits, 2 girls on 3 different circuits at one point, as a single, working mom with two girls competing was a lot of work. But it was all worth it. We had started with a motley collection of horses but that didn’t matter. Soon we outgrew the garage ‘barn’, and we boarded the horses at a nearby stable. Though it was wonderfully convenient being able to go do barn chores by opening the interior garage door and walking in to do night checks in your pajamas in those early days.”

The challenge of juggling working life with raising two horse crazy kids and fulfilling their dreams to be out on the road showing horses at the highest levels was not an easy one to accomplish. The girls scored some impressive wins including Gabi’s achievements in advanced competition, included trips to successfully compete at the prestigious “Worlds” competitions following multiple Hi-Point Championships including in stock paint and pinto divisions.

“I had always loved to write and wanted to take an undergrad degree in English Literature. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, my parents did not agree that this was a major I should select. Instead, they pivoted my decision to taking a business major. My father had emigrated to Canada from Germany when he was in his early 20’s. He was living in the bleak post WW2 Germany where he worked hard digging ditches. His brothers were already living in Canada, and it was where I was born and spent my childhood. My father developed a very successful business from nothing. He ended up taking U.S. citizenship and moving to America. He knew how hard life could be and was keen that I get an education in something that would stand me in good stead to have a good income and good quality of life. So off I went to business school and graduated. I was fortunate to grow up enjoying such a good life.”

But Angelina Natale’s creative spirit and innovative ideas were not thwarted, and when she later became a single Mom to two young children she knew she needed to pivot her career so she could have flexibility to be around to take care of the girls. She became what was then a new, burgeoning entrepreneurial enterprise, a CFO {Chief Financial Officer} for hire.

“Back then it was not normal to work remotely or freelance services in the financial world. But I got on with it and have developed a business that has worked wonderfully to this day. I still have some of my clients from back when I started,” Angelina states with pride.

The business model allowed Angelina to offer a versatile lifestyle to her girls, attending shows as a horse Mom and being on the road during office hours.

“I would tell my clients. You can call or email me anytime, and I’ll respond and be there for you. But I may not respond right away if we’re in the middle of a session. This job has given me so much freedom. It was unique to be a professional while being able to enjoy that level of independence from office life, especially between April and November when the show scene is at its busiest and to be there for Ashley and Gabby. It has been so rewarding.”

But it was not all daffodils and teddy bears, or even cuddly horses. In 2019 while the girls were off enjoying their lives graduating from colleges and getting on with their own careers, Angelina was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Overall, despite everything it all went quite well, and I was never really sick. Though I lost my hair and had to go through treatments, my fantastic group of friends and of course my girls, saw me through it all. Friends offering to bedazzle my hair, buying me multiple silly hats to wear and embracing the journey with me made all the difference and I am very grateful to each and every one of them. It was so comforting having such a strong support group around me. I’m two years out now and all looks good thus far.”

While Angelina’s daughters were growing up, she had promised them that when they wanted to buy their own home or property, she would sell their house in Massachusetts and use the funds as seed money for a new property that they could all share and fulfil their love of keeping horses together at one site.

When the cancer treatments were done, eldest daughter Ashley and fiancé James, approached Angelina with the idea of executing that plan. It wasn’t long before a 15-acre property was located in New Hampshire, replete with an 1800’s home and plenty of space for horses. The idea was to have a ‘granny pod’ for Angelina to live on at the property now named Sky View Farm, alongside her daughters.

“I had told my girls I don’t want to live with you, and you don’t want to live with me I’m sure!”

However, even before the family found the property they found the horse barn they wanted. And remarkably bought the horse barn before the property.

“Ashley was awesome. We were looking at barns online and asking everyone we knew about where and what to buy. While I was driving to a business meeting and we were barely closed on the new farm, she called me to announce she had found a horse barn on discount, online at Horizon Structures. I was familiar with the quality of the Horizon barns, and a neighbor had one that we had seen and been very impressed. The only problem was we had no site ready to put it yet. I called Horizon and explained the situation. They were great. I didn’t want to miss the deal price. I believe it was Denise I spoke to. I pulled my credit card out there and then and put down a deposit right way when Denise explained they would shrink wrap the barn, place it in a corner and wait until we were ready for it without any problem. So that’s what happened, and we are thrilled with it.”

When the property was located and purchased, and the site where the barn was to be erected was decided, it was not as level as Angelina expected and some preparation had to be done including the addition of 9 or 10 feet of backfill and diversion of an underground stream beneath the concrete pad. Following closing on the property in May, it was late summer when the Horizon Structures team delivered the building.

“It was phenomenal watching the barn arrive and be set up. It was so cool! I’ve never seen anything like it. Everyone came out to watch. Five guys came out and had it all set up in no time. The building is so well-constructed, and everyone remarks on it. Our house electrician and other construction folks have walked down from the house just to check it out and are very impressed. In our local community we are known as the folks with the “red barn on the hill.” It’s been two years now since it was built, and we are so happy with it.”

When asked if there was anything design or otherwise that she would change about the barn Angelina gives an emphatic, “No!”

“The only things we’ve done to it was to add some stain and polyurethane to the interior in a warm cherry color to make it warm and cozy.

We also added flooring in the tack room to give it a more polished look. The weathervane never stops spinning on our hill and we simply love the barn. We enjoyed our entire experience with Horizon Structures and would absolutely go back to them again if we have future needs.”

In fact, Angelina was so impressed by the barn that she decided to write an equestrian tale about it.

Angelina Natale has fulfilled her dream of not just owning a horse property and keeping horses in the backyard alongside her family, but also of becoming a published author in a collection of children’s books, “A Sky View Farm Adventure,” series.

The title, ‘A Horsey Home’, written by Angelina and beautifully illustrated by the talented Jess Bircham, follows the adventure of young Maggie and her mom who true to the real-life experiences of Angelina and her two girls embark on buying a new horse barn, and moving horses out of the garage.

Alongside ‘Pony Parade’ and ‘Mudman and Meatball ‘(based on the lovingly named actual horses that belong to the Natale family and are currently enjoying life on the farm in their vintage years), the book is certain to be a big success.

Everything has truly come full circle for the little girl that grew up in Canada, loved animals especially horses and whose indomitable spirit and creative genius was sure to manifest itself in innovative endeavors throughout her life journey. Angelina is keen to give back to others, and a proceed of her book sales are donated to community organizations in need.

Please visit her website at Sky View Farm Adventures for more information on her equestrian tale and to purchase the book.

About Horizon Structures

Horizon Structures is now the industry’s leader in quality built horse barns, horse stables and run-in sheds. The high level of craftsmanship in our Amish built barns, horse stables, storage buildings, sheds and garages provide for a long lasting structure that comes with our Written Guarantee.

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