When asked where she grew up, Natalie Cannon answers “everywhere”. For some, moving around as a young person would be traumatic but for Natalie “it shaped who she is today” being resilient, independent, and adventurous. When her life was full of change and upheaval and she missed her friends, horses were always there.
The self-professed “horsey girl” remembers her passion began while living in New South Wales South Coast towns. At three years of age she first sat on a horse and “loved the feeling of being up high, taking in the horsey smells”. Her loving, middle class parents paid for riding lessons every Saturday, and she volunteered at the local horse stables helping to clean, feed and lead trail rides and she relished the horsey smell on her clothes when she got home. Natalie will never forget the Christmas her parents surprised her with her very own horse named Buster, he was “a beautiful buckskin colour just like the one from The Man from Snowy River”.
When the family moved to Arizona for her father’s job, Natalie sadly left Buster behind, yet felt at home in Arizona as it reminded her of Australia with the warm climate and sporty outdoor lifestyle. Some of Nat’s happiest times were in Arizona where she and her brother attended an international agricultural school and it was there that disaster struck when Natalie broke her arm and collar bone falling off a horse. She recalls showing off in front of her high school crush, a cowboy named Dan who was a senior she used to watch lasso cows. “He was oblivious to my crush but I finally managed to get his attention that day though for all the wrong reasons,” she laughs.
The Cannon family returned to live in London where Nat celebrated her 18th birthday, happy to be reunited with friends, taking advantage of London nightlife as a wide-eyed impressionable teenager. A life lived in the city to the country and back again. Moving around taught Natalie how to be adaptable and value experiences over “things”.
Nat and her children have recently traded their life in the rural town of Albury for Randwick in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, where she gets her country fix taking walks in the wide-open spaces of Sydney’s largest parkland, Centennial Park, surrounded by enormous trees, and tranquil lakes with ducks and swans. The horses are her favourite part of the park thanks to the nearby equestrian centre where she enjoys inhaling the horsey scents, seeing tourists on scenic group rides, middle-aged ladies taking riding lessons and little girls who love being around horses as much as she did all those years ago.