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MEET LJ: Introducing Laura-Jane Tidball - also known as LJ - a professional equestrian, athlete, and coach who spends every day doing what she loves most. An average day for LJ involves training young riders alongside their horses and preparing them to compete. LJ - whose family operates Thunderbird Show Park and Thunderbird Show Stables in Langley, BC - has been competing in FEI from 2008 onwards, and has competed in over 120 FEI competitions! Most recently, LJ has been selected to represent Canada at the Nations’ Cup in Mexico, alongside some of the best riders in the world. We had the opportunity to watch LJ truly in her element, coaching our founder Miriam Alden and being a perfect example of babes supporting babes by helping her students learn and grow. 

Cansport Photography 
What does babes supporting babes mean to you?
Babes supporting babes means to me that women are raising each other up. It’s about seeing the best in each other and embracing others successes and embracing each other when we fail.  It’s so important to see the greatness in one another and not pick apart others to make yourself feel better. I am incredibly blessed to be surrounded by some amazing woman in my family that have been incredible role models for me. Be courageous and be kind are always words I try to live by.
If you could choose your nickname what would it be?
My nickname is an easy one! Everyone calls me L.J. Sometimes I forget that I have an extended version! L.J. Started when I got my first job at the Keg. My whole name didn’t fit on the schedule so they put an L.J. Up and from there it stuck.
What is your spirit animal?
My spirit animal is for sure a horse. They are graceful and strong, everything I try to be.
What is your proudest babe moment or achievement?
My proudest moment is making the Canadian national team, which happened 2 weeks ago. I had the goal of making the team when I was 7 years old watching my aunt (Laura Balisky) compete in the 1984 olympics. It’s an uplifting feeling to have a goal from that young an age and keep going for it! I feel that I am proof you should never give up on your dreams. I am on a flight right now to compete in Mexico for team Canada.
What is the most unexpected thing you have in your purse or wallet?
I have a charm of a bumble bee a friend gave me for good luck and have carried it with me ever since.
Tell us about a time you were faced with a situation that you could have been unkind, but chose to be a babe instead?
I think there are so many situations where we are put in a position to judge people. I try to find the positive out of every situation and sometimes I remind myself that what has been put in front of me may have been put there to teach me patience. (That’s the hardest one for me) 
What product would you seriously stockpile if you found out they were selling it anymore?
That would have to be Kiehl’s original musk. I wouldn’t smell like me anymore!
If you had a yacht, what would be the name of it?
The Last Unicorn 🦄 
What was the best piece of advice you received when you were first starting your career?
That would have been from my mom.  She has always told me “never give up!”
What is the best piece of advice you have received now that you are in your career?
The best advice I have had in my career is that we are like a canvas that is already mostly painted and when people give us advice they can add to that canvas but we will never have to start with the blank one again. 
Red,white, or rose?
Rose because it’s pink!
When I dance I look like.....
A 90s dance party! Lol
Who do you channel when you do something that scares you?
My aunt Laura the Olympian. She is fearless! I always think as I am entering a big competition on my horse you can do this it’s in your genetic make up!
What is your favourite destination to visit?
St. Tropez- it’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. 
What is your favourite meal to eat?
Anything French.

What is the most fulfilling part of your career?
The most fulfilling part of my career is knowing I get to do something I love everyday.
Where is your favourite place to draw inspiration from?
I love the property I work on, I find going for a walk up the road with my dog Nelo is as good as it gets.  Especially when it’s not raining. 
What is your guilty pleasure?
Macaroni and cheese out of the box.
What are you working on yourself right now?
To be in the moment and enjoy it. I tend to plan ahead and get 10 steps ahead of myself.

What is the biggest hurdle you’ve had to overcome in business?
I have had to learn that just because I am moving at the speed of light doesn’t mean that everyone can keep up with me. It’s about knowing the qualities in your team and appreciating each person's talents, because let’s be honest, I wouldn’t actually want ten of me running around! I would be in a fight with myself constantly. 
Coffee meeting or drinks meeting?
If your going out for a cocktail you’d order....
A Shirley Temple
If you had an unlimited budget for 2 hours of shopping where would you go?
Horse shopping in Europe! 
What’s your favourite movie?
Pride and prejudice with Kiera Knightly, I can watch it over and over.
Keep up with LJ on Instagram @ljtidball


Introduction written by Lindsay Pearce

Photography by Ryan Pugsley.

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