Robert Mendoza has ridden with some of the best horsemen and women in the industry, taking what he has learned over the decades and developing his own successful training and teaching systems.
At a young age, he began as a working student for Joe and Patty Forest at Horton’s Farm in Grantham, New Hampshire. A highly respected trainer throughout New England, Joe taught Robert the skills required to successfully start young horses in a patient, organized step by step manner. As time went on, Robert grew to work side-by-side with Joe as assistant trainer at Horton’s Farm.
Ready for new challenges, Robert accepted a position as head trainer for a private show jumping barn in New Hampshire where he developed his first Grand Prix horse. During this time, he continued honing his skills through numerous opportunities to ride and talk with several notable horsemen and women. Olympic Silver Medalist, Michael Page, provided Robert with words of wisdom that he has come to live by, “Learn something from everyone you ride with, but you will always be you. Take the tools you learn from everyone and add them to YOUR toolbox”.
Personal Philosophy – Trainer and Teacher
From 2012 to the present, Robert has been part of the team at Bannockburn Farm, a BWP breeding farm in Bowling Green, Indiana, and home to some of the best-bred horses in the United States. At Bannockburn, he has had the opportunity to start, train, and sell horses for the show jumping, hunter, and dressage rings. Applying the skills he has learned over the years in conjunction with his own natural talent, he has brought two of the farm’s broodmares up to the Grand Prix level, winning multiple ribbons throughout the Midwest. His approach in training is quite simple, he shares, “Each horse is an individual and has its own path to learning. I look to find the right way to connect with each one.” This philosophy becomes readily visible when you watch Robert compete.
Robert’s love for teaching has allowed further application of his philosophy. Possessing a unique ability to not only understand and explain the requirements of the rider, but the horse’s needs as well, students see an improved partnership between themselves and their horses. He has helped many amateurs and kids, from crossrails to Grand Prix, reach their individual goals, always encouraging, and always with the key ingredient of making it fun. As he reminds everyone very often, having fun is the point of showing.
Robert and his daughter, Nora.
“Learn something from everyone you ride with . . .” (Michael Page)
Foundation of both horse and rider is critical to success, and always seeking to better ones’ self is equally important to Robert. He developed a strong foundation in dressage through the help of International French Classical Dressage rider Bettina Drummond whose instruction enabled him to improve the ride between jumps on course and make for more productive flatwork. Grand Prix top competitor, Aaron Vale, has given him the tools and exercises to improve his horses as they advance from learning to jump to the Grand Prix ring; and Argentine Olympic showjumping competitor, Federico Sztyrle, helped Robert improve his ride on course and how to approach the larger tracks. It’s this incredible mix of shared wisdom, talent, and a positive attitude that makes Robert Mendoza a true horseman.
Robert currently serves on the Board of Directors and Studbook Committee of the Belgian Warmblood Breeding Association – North American District.