Eliza Puttkamer-Banks is a dressage trainer, competitor and instructor with a diverse discipline and breed background. She owns and operates Trinity Dressage in Cream Ridge, New Jersey.
Tell us about yourself and your business:
“I’m a native Midwesterner- my dairy farming family is still is Wisconsin. This farming background sets me apart from other trainers as I tend to have more involvement in management than some. Biomechanics, nutrition and fitness levels are important in both professions – with cattle the goal is production, and for horses, it’s performance. With horses, the personal connection we have attracts us. I grew up watching circus – the connection and ability to speak across species and give non-verbal aids with the body, that’s what makes me tick. Competition is secondary. Sales is not my focus. Development and training is my focus. I like to help owners enjoy the horses they have.
I enjoy holding clinics and teaching, as well as freelance work out of other barns. I’ve achieved my USDF bronze and silver medal, with a focus on horses that I’ve developed. I’m also a big believer in volunteering, I serve on the board of trustees of the NJ Horse Park, the ESDCTA board, and previously was very involved with FFA and 4H. Trainers need to support this business through action, it’s our civic duty. You can’t complain about something if you’re not involved.”
What’s something you’re most proud of?
“My most fulfilling accomplishments are bringing unorthodox horses into regional and national standings. I love the opportunity to showcase a horse that is underrated in the discipline. I want to produce good, well adjusted horses that can be for an amateur. So many high scorers are unrideable. I want horses that a child can help me handle- I love to show those horses off and help them find their hidden potential. There’s a place for these horses- they’re the horses that represent dressage in Its purest form.
I’m most proud of my daughter Paige’s work with horses- she represents a lot of things that I am very proud of: integrity, loyalty, and loyalty to the horse. In 2020 we bought a scraggly, skinny pony of strange origins, with his head in the air. He was from a sale barn, not a kids horse, not broke. He was a bag of bones and couldn’t move properly from some health issues. We used Poulin’s resources and support to get him turned around nutritionally and we can’t believe what this pony has become. He’s now schooling cross country and seems truly grateful to be in our barn, though we needed him more than he needed us.”
Why do you choose Poulin Grain?
“I’ve used competitive brands and was never pleased with the quality and inconsistency. At one point my stallion was suffering a mysterious condition and I was introduced to Poulin Grain’s support staff during this- no one else had and answers including the big veterinary referral hospitals, but Poulin had answers. For high performance horses with ulcer issues, I don’t like using medication daily during competition. My rep has been very helpful in coming up with solutions, even if I’m skeptical that it’ll work, it always does. She comes regularly and checks on the horses and adjusts rations as needed. The support and education offered is unmatched.
The money larger companies put in doesn’t even come close to the personal connection Poulin Grain offers- they’re a smaller company, but work harder. It’s very important to me that I’m feeding the right stuff. All the horses that come into training, we’re not supplementing probiotics, digestive aids, etc. I tell people you’ve got to stick with it, it's worth it.
The one thing I tell everyone is, there are lots of products out there. We have to support one another in the industry and elevate each other with the integrity that Poulin has represented to me. I’m proud to say I use Poulin Grain.”
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