Born fourth of nine children to a Pastor and Nurse, Nathanael was the first Black to attend kindergarten at AV Fawcett Elementary School in 1955 in Tacoma, WA, three months before Rosa Parks sat down on the bus in Montgomery, Ala.
After graduating high school in 1968, he joined The US Army in 1969 and served two tours as a Combat Medic in Viet Nam which he earned several medals for valor and service. Upon his return, he enrolled in the local community college to pursue a Registered Nursing career.
Not letting all that experience gather dust he became an Paramedic to put himself through nursing school.
He specialized in Level 1 Trauma Center Emergency Room Registered Nursing with several years as a Helicopter Medivac, and owner of a Lear Jet Long Range Air Ambulance company as Chief Flight Nurse.
He became involved in horses when he married his wife of 27 years now, Jennie. Although he always had a hankering and love for horses growing up in the hey days of television cowboy shows in the 50s and 60s, he now was able to realize his childhood dreams of being a horse owner.
Jennie, a horse trainer, specializing in Clean, Flat Shod, and Sound Moving Tennessee Walking Horses, together they raised five children with the last two being home birthed.
Since the 1950s training and showing of The Tennessee Walking Horse gained popularity by unconventional methods consisting of "Soring" the horse's foot feet with large pad, chains and harsh chemical products in order to induce the horse to do what famously became known as "The Big Lick"
Following the lead of his wife's heart and her life-changing decision to turn away from the cruel practices of mistreating horses for the sake of entertainment, the Jacksons, along with some like-minded friends, went public against the practices of horse abuse. This put them at great risk and caused consternation of the status quo with the 1985 CNN Expose Report on the abuses within the industry.
Holding to the adage, "That Actions speak louder than words" in 1998, Nathanael orchestrated a campaign to exhibit his Clean, Keg Shod, Sound Moving Tennessee Walking Horse in the breed's biggest and most prestigious annual show, The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration against the sored and padded with chained action devices Walking Horses in The World Grand Championship Class.
The Jacksons worked closely with a new, fledging advocacy group. Friends of the Sound Horse to spread the truth of the controversy through their newsletter The Steppin Out Magazine
They also helped develop FOSH's Independent Judges Association of which Jennie was the first judge.
As a contributing factor of this summer controversy in 1998. National Walking Horse Association was incorporated in September of that year as an alternative Tennessee Walking Horse Showing Group.
Two years of legal wrangling finally opened the door in 1999 to their Clean, Flat Shod, and Sound Moving horse to once again vie for the Grand Championship. Once the norm of the industry, the last time such a horse had competed was in 1954. He also became the first Black owner to enter a horse in this class, his 15-year-old daughter became the first juvenile, and the first Black person to ride in this All-White Southern event held since the 1930s.
Owing to his wife Jennie reverting back to her roots of riding by applying Dressage to the Gaited Horse, Nathanael documented and helped her put into words all of her endeavors. Thus, they developed Dressage En Gait here in the US.Together they wrote and introduced Dressage En Gait in 1998; this was followed by developing the first Dressage test and class for Gaited Horses in 2000.
In 2006, Kentuckian Arlene Gray asked The Jacksons to put together a Musical Freestyle Exhibition using Dressage; As Applied to Gaited Horses for The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. They performed for 3 days with their same stallion, Champagne Watchout, who showed in the controversial WGC Class at the 1999 and (and subsequently in the 2007 National Celebration, as well,)
Using Prix St. George Movements, they inspired the Dressage Movement in not only Walking Horses, but also other Gaited Breeds throughout the world.
The Jacksons and their horses have traveled the States exhibiting and conducting Dressage En Gait Clinics, which has gained great public interest and acceptance. Due in large part to these efforts, today every organization of Tennessee Walking Horses now offers Dressage Classes at their shows.
In 2009, The Jacksons were formally invited by The 2010 Alltech FEI Equestrian World Games to exhibit their Dressage en Gait as one of the Official Tennessee Walking Horse Breed Representatives.
Nathanael believes the framers of Classical Dressage would be delighted to see their principles being applied to Gaited Horses especially in a breed that has long held on to abusive training and riding techniques that harm the horse