‘I was called horse girl and all these vulgar names, but that never stopped me from doing what I love.’
NATALIE FARINA, SEAFORD
“I have always loved horses since I was little. I started horseback riding when I was 6 years old. But my life really changed when I met my horse, Tuscany. My dad was like, ‘Hey, let’s go to the barn.’ So we went, and I saw Tuscany there. It was just like love at first sight for me.
“I was going through a very hard phase in my life. High school wasn’t the best time for me. I was made fun of a lot. I was called horse girl and all these vulgar names, but that never stopped me from doing what I love. You should not listen to what other people think of you. What really matters is what she felt for me and how she expressed that to me. She gives me hugs. She kisses me. She’s just so wonderful. When Tuscany came into my life, it changed because she showed me what it’s like to feel loved.
During the time I got to know her, she healed me through that hard time in my life.
“During the time I got to know her, she healed me through that hard time in my life. Horses are healing. I say that from my perspective because in my heart she came to me, and she healed me. Not a not person, not anything else — it was my horse. She was the one. She mostly saved my life. I sometimes think about if I would be here without her. It’s incredible what she did for me.
“I have ridden Tuscany ever since we were put together. The place that Tuscany is at is a horse rescue called Mother of Gods Horse Rescue. I see my horse as much as I can. I mostly just ride her for leisure purposes, and I am on the equestrian team at my school as well. I won a few a few ribbons at the intercollegiate shows. I hope to win a show with Tuscany one day. I want to give back and heal horses, too. I volunteer for the Town of Hempstead, and I try to really give back. I did clinicals at North Shore Animal League.
“I’m a sophomore college student in my undergrad studying to be a veterinarian, and I want to help my horse and horses in the future. My love for horses also came with love for animals in general. The number one reason why I wanted to go into veterinary was that I wanted to become an equine veterinarian specifically. That’s my future goal. I know there is a big shortage in equine veterinarians. I hope to take care of Tuscany one day, too.”
Interviewed by Victoria Bell