This week I’m chatting with Ecuadorian dressage rider, Mateo Mendoza. Mateo has already represented his country and was part of the gold medal winning Ecuador team at the Bolivarian Games. Read on to discover more about Mateo, his ambitions, and top tips for success
Tell us about you and your horses
I currently don’t have a horse of my own so I ride whatever comes my way because at the end of the day I will learn from every horse. I hope in the next few years to be able to have my own horse that I can compete at the FEI Level consistently.
How did your horses come into your life?
Most of the horses that have come into my life have been through my parents. They own a dressage business in North Carolina which I have been able to ride and learn a lot from.
How long have you been riding?
I have been riding for about 15 years, inconsistently.
When and where do you ride?
I typically ride 3-4 days a week and hope to be riding more. I Usually ride at my parents stable.
How did you start riding?
I started riding around the age of four in Ecuador my grandpa had a jumping farm which I started to ride a small pony and off and on I rode but it wasn’t consistent till I came to the United States when I was ten years old and from then on I have been riding.
What are you and your horses currently working on?
I am Currently working on getting my USDF Gold medal and I hope to be able to do the U25.
What do you love about riding?
I love learning and I think Dressage out of all sports out there is one of the more difficult ones, I love to know that there is something else I am capable of learning in Dressage.
What would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
In the future I would like to be doing the U25 and competing internationally.
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
Sometimes I allow myself to get in my head before a test and try and fix everything but once I enter the ring all I can really do is ride with what the horse is giving me that day.
How do you deal with them?
Typically, I just try to focus on the test and make sure that even if the horse or I are nervous to give a clean test even if it’s not the best test.
Your Top Tip
My tip would be to ride every stride and not just train the tricks.
Down the Centre Line
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
My Dream horse to ride would be Glamourdale
Who is your equestrian hero?
My equestrian hero would be my dad (Julio Mendoza) and Catherine Dufour
If you could have 5 people to dinner, who would they be?
Julio Mendoza, R&B artists Giveon and Brent Faiyaz and the last two people would have to be Lottie Fry and Ingrid Klimke
Favourite colour horse?
My favourite color horse would be an all-black horse with 4 white socks
Favourite horse event?
My Favourite horse Events would be watching the freestyles at shows and all the top-level horses.
My favorite food is pasta or sushi
Favourite way to relax?
My favorite way to relax would be watching tv or going to the gym.
My favourite film would the fast and furious franchise
If you enjoyed meeting Mateo you might like to view more dressage rider “chatting with” interviews here You can keep up with Mateo’s progress and check out his instagram page here