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Dressage Trainer, Douglas Puterbaugh

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  • Dressage Trainer, Douglas Puterbaugh

    Hey all,

    I was wondering if anybody could send me a PM on this trainer? Anybody ever hear of him? He is newer to Michigan and I've been hearing some good things...but before I sink tons of money into my horse with him I wanted to know if anybody knew of him? He's from the bay area in Cali. I'm skeptical because I have to wonder why anybody would go from California to Michigan if they were so successful out there!


  • #2
    Oh boy.........

    He was pretty well known around here. But not in a good way........

    I would keep looking for another trainer.


    • #3
      Originally posted by NorCalDressage View Post
      Oh boy.........

      He was pretty well known around here. But not in a good way........

      I would keep looking for another trainer.
      Last edited by MysticOakRanch; Dec. 19, 2010, 06:18 PM.


      • #4
        Isn't this the Doug that once worked for S judge, Sonya Vracko?

        We once went to look at a horse at her place somewhere in Washington. The was an, um, "interesting" trainer guy there with that first name that tried to present the horse to us. (cringe).

        Probably not the same guy, however . . . .


        • #5
          Originally posted by Fantastic View Post
          Isn't this the Doug that once worked for S judge, Sonya Vracko?

          We once went to look at a horse at her place somewhere in Washington. The was an, um, "interesting" trainer guy there with that first name that tried to present the horse to us. (cringe).

          Probably not the same guy, however . . . .
          The same guy. If you go to his website he has testimonials from Ms Vracko...
          Last edited by MysticOakRanch; Dec. 19, 2010, 06:19 PM.


          • #6
            ditto NorCal avoid


            • #7
              You are kidding!!!! Sure didn't sound like testamonials on that day! Holy smokes!


              • #8
                No kidding on the "holy smokes" but mine would be for the "philosophy" section on his web site. Can't even read it with that horrible font--and italicized, no less.
                "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"


                • #9
                  I had the same experience as Fantastic. Rude does not begin to cover it. Avoid! I felt sorry for the horses.


                  • #10
                    Thanks guys I was quite skeptical about him from the get go. Again it sounded a little fishy to me why somebody who was "successful" where they were living would move all the way across the country and start all over again in a state where the economy is just terrible.
                    But, his students did so well on the show circuit this year that I was leaning towards going to hiim. Looks like its back to the drawing board!!

                    Anybody from Michigan have any suggestions on good dressage trainers?


                    • #11
                      You may contact me privately if you would like. I am more than happy to tell you all about my experience with Douglas Puterbaugh. He is probably the most intelligent, patient, and certainly the most gifted trainer I have ever worked with. He ignited the spark for me again, and in the last 3 months I have gained more than I have from years with other trainers. I am not joking either. Skepticism is easily encouraged when others give "no, I don't think so" type answers with extremely vague details. Jealousy can easily come out in these forms. I would never slander another trainer on a public website, but I will gladly stand up and tell you that he is the real deal, he is genuinely knowledgeable and so damn personable and approachable in a sport typically peppered with DQ's and snobby BS. What a refreshing man packed with knowledge and theory and hands-on help. He will help you with everything from the ground up and explain everything while he does so. He looks at everything from the horse's standpoint and believes a horse should work "happy". He never rushes a student, he patiently takes the time necessary to build fundamental basics for effective and harmonious riding. I can sit the largest trot in the world now, gracefully and in control. That was a huge thing for me, and it all happened because of him. I owe him everything.


                      • #12
                        You know what? ... People can change.

                        My initial response to the thread title was a hearty "step away from the door," ... but my last interaction with him during his r program was actually quite good.

                        I'd say go watch him train, watch him ride at a show, and take a lesson with him yourself. Maybe he's grown into some talent that was hereforeto shadowed by attitude.

                        I'd hate someone to judge me as a rider based on my performances 5 years ago.


                        • #13
                          I'm a professional photographer who has worked with Doug Puterbaugh on and off for three years, and I can tell you that among his students he is considered a virtuoso trainer, a gifted rider, and a tireless teacher. They say he's the real deal, one of those rare trainers that can actually make an immediate difference. His students come to his barn bearing gifts as thanks for his efforts on their and their horse's behalf. I have seen this. Even other trainers come to him for training. Unlike some trainers who string their students along, parsing out crumbs of information here and there, Doug gives his students information they can put to use. I've seen him extend his lessons well beyond their allotted time, something he does frequently and for no extra charge, not because he's under any obligation to do so, but because he cares about his students. If you're interested in raising your riding to the next level, this is the guy you want to train with. You want to know how good this guy is? Ask his students. They're the ones who know what they're talking about.


                          • #14
                            If you are located anywhere near Grand Rapids, check out Laurie Moore at Timberlane Farm (www.timberlanefarm.com). She is considered one of the best around here. Good Luck!
                            Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.


                            • #15
                              I grew up in Michigan...If you are looking in the Lansing/Detroit area, I would suggest the following (in no particular order- they are all fantastic!):

                              Judy Kelly at Topline Dressage: http://www.toplinedressage.com/

                              Carole Grant and Tonya Barber: http://www.equistrideinternational.com/index.htm

                              Roz Kinstler- she heads to Florida in the winter, PM me if you want her email
                              Welcome to my dressage world http://www.juliefranzen.blogspot.com/


                              • #16
                                You have a PM.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Velvet View Post
                                  No kidding on the "holy smokes" but mine would be for the "philosophy" section on his web site. Can't even read it with that horrible font--and italicized, no less.
                                  You missed his video!!! It too is on google.
                                  Taking it day by day!


                                  • #18
                                    Also near Lansing: http://www.nottinghamequestriancente...rs/maryal.html

                                    And not sure what level you are looking for: http://winterspringdressage.com/about-sue.html


                                    OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


                                    • #19
                                      It's been my experience that it is very difficult to train a horse, that's why I have found that some professionals can barely keep a horse going that has been trained, let alone move them up the levels. puterbaugh can actually train a horse, he has helped me train two of my own horses in Cali and teach them the F.E.I. Movements and taught me the correct fell for them including piaffe and passage.! I say that the people close to him should consider themselves lucky. Douglas is a very kind and patient teacher to the horses and riders which shows up in the horses happy expressions. That's why it's clear that the people critisizing him on this forum don't know him. You should rather wonder why a lot of people are leaving Cali, last I heard California was the bankrupt state!


                                      • #20
                                        hmmmm, wonder about the vast discrepancy here..................