Our first ever publication of our new feature; Fitness Feature Friday! Each Friday we will be bringing to you an interview with a competitor, athlete, or organization. We will learn about their background, training, and experience and of course how our beer fits into that!
Today we are featuring Jennifer Giacopelli of Rhiannon Equestrian, in Brewster, NY.
Describe yourself or the business you represent: “I own and operate a full service equestrian training program for hunters, jumpers, and equitation. My business provides training and lessons for all levels of ability. We offer boarding, full service training programs, sales, and competition opportunities from local through national levels.”
How old were you when you got involved with riding: “I started riding and participated in my first competition at the age of 8yrs old and was totally hooked from that point on. I find the intensive physical, mental, and competitive aspects of the sport both challenging and exhilarating. The ongoing progress/growth involved with the training of young show horses is an extremely rewarding process.”
What is the highest level you have taken yourself or your clients to: “I have taken my clients from the beginner to Grand Prix level show jumping. Recently, one of my students achieved her goal of competing in a Grand Prix show jumping event in her last year as a junior rider (under 18 yrs old). The victory, pride, and elation felt on her behalf was beyond words.”
What is your favorite part of riding? “My favorite part of the sport and operating an equestrian business, is the people and relationships that have come into my life as a result. I have met some amazing people, and have developed friendships I would not have had otherwise. I am grateful for the fellow riders, clients, and horses who have inspired me to grow and stretch with respect to my riding abilities, training program, and future goals.”
What is the hardest part of the sport for you? “I believe the hardest part of riding (which I believe is also true if every sport), is maintaining patience, self/discipline, and consistency. It is paramount for the horses that these concepts are woven through all the work I do with them. My training team and I work with the horses daily, and constantly assess skill development/retention as it relates to long term goals. As an athlete, it is equally important that I stay self-disciplined with my own physical fitness, nutritional program, and riding/training plan. I try to keep myself in the best shape possible in order to give my best to the horses and clients in my program. Lastly, riding is truly a lesson in the development of patience. Progress requires constant effort. A patient atmosphere supports that process for both the horses and riders.”
Any additional training or exercise outside of riding that you regularly participate in or outside athletic accomplishments? “I participate in a variety of other recreational activities which complement my riding skills. I love the strength benefits from mega-reformer classes, and try to get at least one or two classes in every week as my schedule permits. I enjoy distance running and have completed a number of running events from 5k to full marathons. I also love to hike, and was fortunate enough to hike into the Grand Canyon with some close friends recently. We hiked all the way to the bottom, stayed a night at Phantom Ranch, and then hiked all the way back up. It was an amazing opportunity, and incredible experience.”
Any training or recovery tips and tricks? “My go-to recovery activity is Bikram Yoga. The heat and stretch is amazing after a long day of training. It also helps with strength and flexibility which is very important for riding. I try to get a few classes in every week, and it makes a big difference. I find it a wonderful “reset” both physically and mentally.”
Last but not least, favorite Zelus Beer? “My favorite Zelus Beer is is the Weekender. It’s super refreshing, light yet flavorful. It’s perfect for any season, and I always have a few in the refrigerator for guests or just to enjoy after a long day of competition.”