Local horsewoman rides for the love of it | ParkRecord.com

Local horsewoman rides for the love of it

Natter wants to specialize in equine therapy

By Steve Phillips
Record contributing writer

Paige Natter moved to Silver Creek two years ago. The avid animal lover works at Starbucks while studying at Utah Valley University’s Wasatch Campus in Heber.

Paige Natter calls the Starbucks on Park Avenue her second home, and those who work there her second family. Employed as a barista there, she feels a real connection to the Park City community.

"I've met a lot of wonderful, diverse and unique people there, both co-workers and customers," she said.

The Silver Creek resident said moving to Park City changed her life for the better.

"I love that this city is full of active and strong people who are grateful for the outdoors and respect nature," Natter said.

An accomplished horsewoman, Natter loves nothing better than riding the abundance of trails in the area, which she calls "beautiful and full of life."

Natter, who grew up in Salt Lake City, has a deep love for horses. She said her connection with all animals, not just equine life, developed intuitively.

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"I've always felt I have a very intense connection with animals," she said. "I believe we can all be very much in tune with nature and all that the outdoors can offer us if we are willing to listen."

Horses have been in Natter's life since she was 8 years old.

"I love riding horses and find so much joy in spending time with them," she said. "They're very intuitive animals, full of such sensitivity and overwhelming power."

In addition to her day job at Starbucks, the 20-year-old multi-tasker is also a full-time student at the Utah Valley University's Wasatch campus in nearby Heber. She's working toward a master's degree in behavioral science and plans to specialize in equine therapy.

"It's a type of therapy that uses horses to help people who are struggling with mental health issues, such as depression, post–traumatic stress disorder, autism or general anxiety.

"I don't believe humans were meant to feel as much pain as our world has in it. I want to help people understand that it doesn't last forever and help create ways to deal with life's battles."

Natter speaks from self-experience. She recently went through a tough time when her horse passed away, but has sense turned to nature and animals for comfort.

"My most meaningful animal companion was my horse Red, who died in 2015," she said. "It was the most painful and heartbreaking loss I have ever experienced. I grew immensely from this loss. I made a Native American prayer stick and did a very special ash-spreading ceremony in the Book Cliffs last summer."

In her precious little spare time, Natter takes to the slopes.

"My dad taught me how to ski when I was 4 years old, so skiing has been in my life for a long time," the 20-year-old said. "Over the years I've become somewhat decent at it."

Natter "relaxes" at her other job as a house sitter for another family in Silver Creek, taking care of their home, horses, cows and dogs.

"I love nothing more than being around animals and taking care of their needs, so this 'job' is the best thing that could have happened to me," she said.

A practical young woman, Natter has a backup plan if equine therapy is not in high demand.

"I will most likely go in the direction of a holistic psychotherapy practice, using mindfulness tools to help people really recognize what is happening within their minds and bodies in the present moment," she said. "We must be aware of what is happening within and around ourselves in order to make changes."

Regardless of the path Natter chooses, she said it will likely wind through the Park City area.

"Living and working here, I've found that most of the people who live here full time are genuine and full of compassion," she said. "The natural beauty that surrounds Park City is like something out of a fairytale. Every season has something beautiful to offer."

Steve Phillips is a Park City-based writer and actor. Send your profile comments and suggestions to him at stevep2631@comcast.net

 

VITAL STATISTICS:

Favorite activities: horseback riding, skiing, yoga, hiking, weightlifting, writing

Favorite foods: Nachos at Deer Valley, Blue Burger at Sushi Blue

Favorite reading: nonfiction, mostly educational reading about psychology or animals.

Favorite music: I love falling asleep to calming music, although I’ll listen to anything during the day.

Favorite musicians: Suzanne Teng, John Mayer, The Head and the Heart, Yanni, Alison Krauss, Nickel Creek and Tim McGraw.

Animal companions: Kya, A German Shepherd-Aussie mix. My best friend and sweetest heart.

Bucket List: I just let opportunities come to me. Travel to Greece, long backing trip in the Tetons.