Born one of fourteen children, and raised on a rural Andalusian farm in Los Palacios, Andalusia where life revolved around horses and cattle, Manolo’s career began at age 14 when he began training horses for the Domecq family. Within a couple of years, Manolo was training all of Alvaro Domecq’s personal corrida horses ensuring that they entered the arenas with a brave, settled heart and mind, perfect balance and absolute responsiveness and coherence with their rider.
When the King of Spain approached the Domecq family to create a school to protect Spain’s riding traditions, Manuel (Manolo) Mendez Parejo was made second in command and became the School’s first Head Rider, and one of six founding members of the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art. (Real Escuela Andaluza Del Arte Ecustre).
Based in Jerez, Spain, the school is one of the four classical schools which also include the Cadre Noir in Saumur, the Spanish Riding School in Vienna and the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art in Lisbon.
Manolo is a seasoned horseman with over forty five years of experience spanning classical dressage and every riding discipline from puissance jumping to polo and doma vaquera. Manolo is dedicated to a soft, sympathetic and thorough training method which prepares horses physically and psychologically for each stage of training from training level to Grand Prix and Haute Ecole. In particular, Manolo is well known for training or re-training the 3 Ps: Piaffe, Passage, and Pirouette, without coercion or force.
Over the years, Manolo has become sought after by riders and equine wellness practitioners including veterinarians and osteopaths for his holistic approach to training, developing and rehabilitating horses, which incorporates his unique brand of body work, in-hand and riding. This versatile three-pronged approach gives Manolo the ability to straighten and release tight, stiff, crooked horses, introduce new movements, develop and enhance gait quality and help horses work through physical or mental blockages without stress. Manolo’s dedication to the good of the horse and his proven ability in developing healthy, focused, performing horses using traditional methods have made him a highly sought-after clinician around the world.