Skip to content

The Greenhorn Chronicles 39: Alicia Gadban-Lewis on Show Jumping Development and Lifestyle (1)

2023-01-15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Publisher Founding: January 1, 2014

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com 

Location: Fort Langley, Township of Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Journal: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Journal Founding: August 2, 2012

Frequency: Three (3) Times Per Year

Review Status: Non-Peer-Reviewed

Access: Electronic/Digital & Open Access

Fees: None (Free)

Volume Numbering: 11

Issue Numbering: 2

Section: E

Theme Type: Idea

Theme Premise: “Outliers and Outsiders”

Theme Part: 27

Formal Sub-Theme: “The Greenhorn Chronicles”

Individual Publication Date: January 15, 2023

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2023

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewer(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewee(s): Alicia Gadban-Lewis

Word Count: 1,473

Image Credits: None.

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN): 2369-6885

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citations, after the interview.*

*Interview conducted December 16, 2022.*

Abstract

Alicia Gadban-Lewis is a Trainer at Imperial Stables Ltd. in Delta, British Columbia, Canada. She was crowned the 2021 Truman Homes Equestrian Canadian Show Jumping Champion. Gadban-Lewis discusses: trainer who really inspires; horse-based sport; and not winning.

Keywords: Alicia Gadban-Lewis, Badge, Barcelona, Beneficial, Beth Underhill, Covid, Delta, Jill Henselwood, Mario Deslauriers, Nations Cup Finals, Olympics, Pony Club, Southlands, Special Ed.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 39: Alicia Gadban-Lewis on Show Jumping Development and Lifestyle (1)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: So, most of the riders who I have interviewed. They have a very early age of getting into horses. It starts very young. It is a make-or-break period a lot of the time. Sometimes, they will come back after their whole run like Mario Deslauriers. In general, once you’re in it, they do it. It becomes a lifestyle. They continue on with it. 

Alicia Gadban-Lewis: Yes, I had a typical start as a kid. I started in Southlands in Vancouver. It started with weekly lessons. It was called “Badge”, which is similar to Pony Club. We did a lot of stable management. Then I joined the Pony Club. Then I had a really naughty pony. She was horrible. I didn’t last long with her in Southlands. I moved out to Delta, which is where our farm is now. It is a bigger training facility. We were out here in a boarding facility until I was 12. Then my family bought the farm across the street from where we were boarding in 2009. That was when it took off for me. It was always a sport that I did full-time. It became our lifestyle. Not only for me, but for my parents as well. All through my junior career, I rode as well.

From the age of 12 when my family bought this facility, I knew this was what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a professional rider and horse trainer. My focus since, probably, the age of 17 has always been learning how to run a training business with clients. That is where I really put most of my attention. I always knew I was a talented rider, so I developed horses on the side. I didn’t really know it was possible for me at the highest level until Covid hit. Tiffany came to Canada. I started to train with her. She exposed me to a different feel and a different level. I have a horse that is good enough for it. I got a taste for the higher level. It re-energized me. Ever since then, I haven’t really looked back [Laughing].

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Lewis: I am totally invested. I want to go to the Olympics. That is the path I am on, the Olympics.

Jacobsen: There are two parts of the response. The trainer who really inspires you. That is something common among riders. Another thing that I haven’t quite delved into is getting the taste at a more elite level of performing, of riding. So, what is the experience of working with someone who knows what that world is like, how to push you? What is the feeling of performing at that level the first time?

Lewis: Being with someone who has been inside and knows how to push you, I have been really fortunate to have a few really good trainers. It is not just one person for me. It has been several that have brought me along the way. When you have someone behind you, the feeling when they know you can do it is essential as an athlete. I think any sport will tell you the team around you is your glue. You are as good as the team around you. With us and the horses, it is the vet, the farrier, and so on. You can’t out-train or out-ride your team. For example, you have to have your groom; I am fortunate to have an amazing groom. It is open-ended for me. It is a really special thing to feel that support. I have had stronger teams at different points in my career and have had weaker teams. Right now, I feel like I have a really strong team. It’s indescribable when you’re in the ring with someone who believes in you and helped you create a good plan, and is there cheering you on; it gives you a heightened sense of comfort.

To answer the second part of the question [Laughing], it is the best thing ever. The adrenaline, the sense of accomplishment, we work for hours and days to live and breathe it for two minutes in the ring. The connection with the horse, at that level. You’re connected with the horse. You don’t only catch ride. I do catch riding with my training business at home. You get on a horse that is a sales horse. You ride it. You give it back. It’s not the same. Competing at that level, you are, usually, with your partner, like the horse behind me, Beneficial [Ed. Points to photograph on the wall.]. I have had her since she was a baby. So, when I think, she thinks it, too. We have a strong connection. Doing it with her at that level, it is even more special. It is a supreme level of happiness.

Jacobsen: It is one of those sports. Of those sports that I have looked into, show jumping, any horse-based sport is interesting to me. On the one hand, you’re dealing with the rider. Theoretically, men and women can compete equally because it is if you can handle a horse, basically. If the horse is too strong, then get a more manageable horse. However, it is interesting because equestrians talk about two athletes when they’re talking about one person and one horse. They’ll be talking about Jill Henselwood and Special Ed when they’re talking about various performances that are pivotal for their career, make or break. To your point, when you’re riding intensely with a horse for several hours, you seem to get that connection.

Lewis: Exactly, it is what makes our sport so unique. Also, we can have a show schedule and plans for our horse. I have a bit of a plan for the Summer. The horses tell us what our plan is.

Jacobsen: Ha!

Lewis: That is what is most important to me. There are moments that you push them for sure. For me, doing it can’t happen without the horse, I feel, too, being able to work with the horse that works for them, individually, and day-by-day be aware of it, and flexible when it needs to be flexible. It is not just a linear path. We are dealing with an animal. Which is what makes it interesting too, you could be having your best day, but your horse might not be. If you’re matching, you feel unstoppable. It doesn’t happen all the time. It is unique to our sport. Also, it gives us longevity, too, as athletes. There are peaks and valleys in our career. You look at somebody who I am so amazed and totally inspired by: Beth Underhill. She has had an awesome career, including many years ago. We went to Barcelona to the Nations Cup Finals this past September. She said, “The last time I was here was the 1992 (or something) Olympics.” That’s so cool.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Lewis: She did that when she was my age now. She is having this second wind in her career. It is because she now has this opportunity with these amazing horses. It is really an interesting thing. It gives our sport so much more longevity. With that comes, as a rider, being ready for the emotions of high times and times of having a training business or a sales business, it is rare to be all out, all the time. I have good horses now. You have to take the opportunity when you find it.

Jacobsen: A lot of the time in the sport, I have heard it said commonly. Actually, I had a conversation with someone here yesterday. They said, “90% of the time or more. You’re not winning.” So, when you get whatever position in the higher end of a class, take it, however, you need the resilience to bounce back because that will be more viable when it comes to those failures.

Lewis: Yes, we jump a lot of rounds. There are going to be mistakes. But also recognizing, you move up to a new level. I jumped my first 1.55m and 1.60m grand prix in Spain in October (2022) with a few mistakes. It wasn’t a negative for me because it is a building block to do it better next time. Both of us needed to get the experience at that level. You have to have a very open mindset. We’re all really competitive at that level as riders and competitors. You have to be careful not to get to obsessed with the end result. You have to love the process. Part of the process is dealing with the trials and tribulations of horses and the sport, and the ups and downs, and training: The whole process. If you are going to have longevity in the sport, falling in love with the process and life of it is important.

Bibliography

None

Footnotes

None

Citations

American Medical Association (AMA 11th Edition): Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 39: Alicia Gadban-Lewis on Show Jumping Development and Lifestyle (1). January 2023; 11(2). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/gadban-lewis-1

American Psychological Association (APA 7th Edition): Jacobsen, S. (2023, January 15). The Greenhorn Chronicles 39: Alicia Gadban-Lewis on Show Jumping Development and Lifestyle (1). In-Sight Publishing. 11(2). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/gadban-lewis-1.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. D. The Greenhorn Chronicles 39: Alicia Gadban-Lewis on Show Jumping Development and Lifestyle (1). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, Fort Langley, v. 11, n. 2, 2023.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2023. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 39: Alicia Gadban-Lewis on Show Jumping Development and Lifestyle (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 2 (Spring). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/gadban-lewis-1.

Chicago/Turabian, Notes & Bibliography (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott The Greenhorn Chronicles 39: Alicia Gadban-Lewis on Show Jumping Development and Lifestyle (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 2 (January 2023). http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/gadban-lewis-1.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. (2023) ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 39: Alicia Gadban-Lewis on Show Jumping Development and Lifestyle (1)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, 11(2). <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/gadban-lewis-1>.

Harvard (Australian): Jacobsen, S 2023, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 39: Alicia Gadban-Lewis on Show Jumping Development and Lifestyle (1)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 11, no. 2, <http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/gadban-lewis-1>.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 9th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 39: Alicia Gadban-Lewis on Show Jumping Development and Lifestyle (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vo.11, no. 2, 2023, http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/gadban-lewis-1.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 39: Alicia Gadban-Lewis on Show Jumping Development and Lifestyle (1) [Internet]. 2023 Jan; 11(2). Available from: http://www.in-sightpublishing.com/gadban-lewis-1

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Based on work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, or the author(s), and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors copyright their material, as well, and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: