Kirstin Becker, Veterinarian, Equine Chiropractor Kirstin Becker graduated in veterinary medicine in 1996 from the Tierärztliche Hochschule in Hannover, Germany. She worked in research at the Equine Clinic of the Hannover University for two years. Kirstin worked in different equine and small animal veterinary practices. Dr. Becker earned her clinical competency certification in animal chiropractic from the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association in 2002, and finished the advanced program in 2006. Since 2002 she has been practicing exclusively chiropractic, osteopathy and acupuncture for animals. She also successfully completed postgraduate programs in physiotherapy and osteopathy for animals. Kirstin has a special interest in postural rehabilitation, equine saddle fit, foot biomechanics, trimming and shoeing. She has written a book on hoof protection, as well as several lay articles on the equine hoof. Kirstin has been lecturing at conferences in the USA, England, Switzerland, Denmark and Germany on assorted topics including Chiropractic, horse’s feet, posture abnormalities, equine and canine back pathologies and saddle fit. She’s also an instructor for the IAVC (International Academy of Veterinary Chiropractic) in Germany and England and she lectures in the Advanced/CE Courses at Options for Animals, USA.
Stuart Muir, NZCEF, CJF, APF Stuart Muir is one of the Resident Farrier's in the Podiatry Department at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. Stuart's shoeing experience spans across 20 years and numerous countries. Stuart started his Farriers Apprenticeship in New Zealand and in 2001 he gained his New Zealand Certificate in Farriery. Stuart's New Zealand clientele was focused on racehorse and sport-horse disciplines and this eventually led him to working on some of New Zealand top horses. In 2010 Stuart won a Scholarship from the New Zealand Equine Research Foundation. This allowed Stuart to visit the USA for the purpose of furthering his education and visiting Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital for the first time. Stuart took up the Resident Farrier position at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in May of 2012 working under the guidance of Dr Scott Morrison. This has given Stuart the opportunity to work on numerous cases within the hospital and the greater USA. Stuart his looking forward to sharing some of his experiences at the 2017 Equine Lameness Prevention Organization Conference.
Paige Poss Paige has been fortunate to have horses for her entire life. Her love of horses led to a degree in Animal Science at North Carolina State University. She then went on to work as a research technician for leading scientists in the fields of biochemistry, toxicology, physiology, and nutrition. In 1999, Paige's journey into hoof care began with a laminitic horse. This lame horse led to a new career as a hoof care professional. Trimming hooves sparked her intellectual and scientific curiosity and evolved into a full-blown fascination with hoof and horse anatomy. As an anatomist and photographer, Paige has dissected hundreds of lower legs and documented her work. Her passions lie in creating images that teach and give others the chance to explore hoof mechanics in a supportive, creative and encouraging format.
Gene Ovnicek, GPF-RMF, ELPO-CLS Gene Ovnicek is nationally and internationally recognized as a farrier, clinician and researcher. A pioneer in the study of wild horse hoof form and function, Gene has combined his 50 years of farrier experience with the information from other scientific research as a foundation for treating and preventing equine lameness. Gene has been involved in research projects with Dr. Robert Bowker of Michigan State University and Dr. Barbara Page of the Equine Wellness Foundation, and currently works with the research studies conducted by the Equine Lameness Prevention Organization. His ever evolving Natural Balance® information packed presentations have been featured at some of the most prestigious farrier and veterinarian conferences in the world. In addition to the research projects, teaching and his position with Equine Digit Support System, Inc., Gene still operates a complete farrier practice ranging from performance horses to lameness management and consultation. Gene Ovnicek and the Natural Balance® information have been published in the American Farrier’s Journal (AFJ), Anvil Magazine, TrailBlazer magazine, Horse Illustrated, Western Horseman, the European Farrier’s Journal, EQUUS and several associated press articles. He has published and co-published chapters in major hoof care text books such as “Adams Lameness in Horses”, “Diagnosis and Management of Lameness in the Horse”, “The Veterinary Clinics of North America”, the “Natural Balance Hoof Care” Education Set, as well as several self published works and video projects. As a clinician, Gene has been invited to share this information with a wide range of groups and activities including:
1994 & 2003 Bluegrass Laminitis Symposium
1995 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention
1997 Guild of Professional Farriers Convention
1998 Colorado Veterinary Medical Association Conference
1999 Wyoming Veterinary Medical Association Conference
Annual Colorado State University C.E. Courses for Veterinarians and Farriers
Annual University of California at Davis C.E. Courses for Veterinarians and Farriers
1998 Heumphreus Memorial Conference at University of California at Davis
Regular TFP Sponsored Farrier/Vet Conferences in England
1998 & 2002 Ashbrook Farrier/Vet Conference in the UK
1999 - 11th Congress for Farriers & Vets of France
1999 – Various Sponsored Farrier/Vet Conferences in Australia
Steve Foxworth, CNBBT, CNBF, CLS, CE, CI Steve Foxworth has been a farrier in northern Colorado for 12 years. He became a Certified Natural Balance Farrier (CNBF) in 2006, and went on to earn his Certified Lameness Specialist certification (CLS) in April of 2007. In 2010, he became one of the first farriers to become a Certified Examiner (CE) and Certified Instructor (CI) for the Equine Lameness Prevention Organization. Steve works closely with farrier Gene Ovnicek on a regular basis, and continues his education by attending and teaching clinics. In addition to instructing, Steve is involved with ongoing research to help further the understanding of the equine foot. The latest research project includes recognizing hoof distortions, and accurately locating the distal phalanx and center of articulation through the widest part of the foot. Through his travels in the US and Europe as an E.L.P.O. educator, Steve has broadened his experience with, and exposure to, more difficult horses. In turn, he is asked to work on horses with multiple lameness issues, fractures, ringbone, soft tissue injuries, and extreme founder, just to name a few. And, by using the guidelines set forth by the E.L.P.O., he has found success in most cases. In 2008 the senior vet at the Denver Zoo sought out Steve for help with a lame zebra after learning of his credentials. That case has since led to Steve becoming the regular farrier for the Denver Zoo and working with the majority of their hoofed animals. In 2013 Steve also became a consulting farrier for the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and has developed a trimming protocol for Giraffes at the zoo. This has also opened the door for more research and educational opportunities involving the E.L.P.O. as well. In 2014 Steve Presented the Hoof Mapping research project conducted on exotic animals at the Denver Zoo to the AAZV (American Association of Zoo Vets) conference and again in 2015 at the AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) Conference. The E.L.P.O. (Equine Lameness Prevention Organization) is committed to research, education, certification, information and professionalism in which Steve has become instrumental in since being elected to the Board of Directors. He continues to push for these ideals, and is committed to passing this information and passion on through his two year apprenticeship program. His apprentices are expected to earn their certification, and go on to be productive members of the E.L.P.O. The future is bright and exciting for the profession of farriery, and Steve Foxworth is committed to being a driving force in its journey. In 2012, Steve became the President of the E.L.P.O. and continues to help guide and maintain focus for the organization. Steve received an Outstanding Presentation Award for “Using a Grading Scale to Better Recognize Hoof Capsule Distortions” at the 2016 International Hoof Care Summit.
David John Nicholls: RSS, AWCF, RJF, LSHMC, CNBBT, CNBF, CLS, CE, CI From the age of 7, David Nicholls knew he would one day become a farrier. In 1968 David started his farrier apprenticeship with Howard Cooper FWCF Hons, at his forge in Abinger Hammer, near Dorking, Surrey. Howard had a profound effect on David’s life and future in farriery. At the end of the four years David spent with Howard he took the Registered Shoeing Smith exam and passed it. (This exam has now been replaced by the Dip WCF Diploma of the Worshipful Company of Farriers). Howard taught David how to make shoes and shoe horses in the time honored way that had been handed down through centuries. However, once David had qualified he became disillusioned with the horseshoeing industry and left it for several years to join the London Fire Brigade. In 1978 David decided to leave the London Fire Brigade and head back to where his heart had always been, as a farrier. David worked as a contract farrier for Robert Botting AFCL until 1980 when he left and started work from his own forge. After being on his own for several years, David started training for the next exam in farriery (The Associate of the Worshipful Company of Farriers) which he passed in 1986. This heralded a change in the way he approached farriery. He realized there was a whole new world of work he had not realized was there. Veterinary Surgeons had started to become interested in treating lameness rather than just retiring horses. Treatment was the new buzz word. The late Burney Chapman helped David tremendously and passed on all he knew about laminitis and its management at that time. The most profound change arrived in David’s life when he met with Gene Ovnicek RMF. This man, through his unique understanding of horse’s feet and the way Mother Nature required them to function, changed the way David trimmed and shod horse’s feet forever. David now believes he has a better understanding of the requirements of both bare foot horses and shod horses. He realizes the unnatural environment we keep our domestic horses in and has formulated ways of minimizing the adverse effects of domestication. In 1993, David, Mark Spriggs, Mike Williams and Mark Hobby, started a farrier supply business in West Sussex called Total Foot Protection Ltd. Mark Hobby has since left the business, however David, Mark Spriggs and Mike Williams still continue as owners. Total Foot Protection Ltd. has continued to grow and is still committed to the supplying only the best tools and horseshoeing requisites. All the directors of TFP Ltd are working farriers and have an in depth knowledge of the products they sell. They are able to offer firsthand information to farriers, veterinary surgeons and clients, regarding specialist products. David is now committed to elevating horses to a higher level of soundness that our domestic equines have not previously been privileged to. His in depth knowledge of foot and limb related problems see David heavily involved in the rehabilitation of horses damaged or diseased hooves. David runs a vet and farrier referral centre in Slinfold, West Sussex in the UK, where he plays an important part in supporting vets, farriers and horse owners in the treatment of lameness and foot related problems. David has spoken and demonstrated his special skills at many of the major farrier and veterinary conferences and symposiums around the world and is busy giving clinics to farriers, vets and horse owners, to impart his knowledge to others. In May 2006 and again in May 2007 David achieved the highest honor the industry could bestow on him by passing the Certified Lameness Specialist exam, not once but twice! David runs a successful farriery practice “Natural Balance Hoof Care Ltd” and is the Technical Director of Total Foot Protection Ltd. “The Farriery Practice” is a part of that company and incorporates a group practice of farriers which works within the area around Slinfold. Horses have featured throughout the whole of David’s life. Both he and his wife Trisha enjoy their own equine friends keeping them at their livery yard in the South Downs National Park.
Mike Stine: APF, RJF, LSHMC, CNBBT, CNBF Mike Stine is a professional Journeyman farrier, clinician and educator based in Marshville, North Carolina, USA. Under the company name Equine Dynamics, Mike provides not only farrier services, but loves to share his knowledge and experience with horse enthusiasts everywhere. Having gained almost 30 years of experience as a horseman and in operating his farrier service, Mike has a strong desire to continue learning, while disseminating the knowledge he has obtained. A Journeyman Farrier, Mike is dedicated to helping horse owners improve the lifetime care and performance of their horses. For the last eight years, Mike has been the Official Farrier for the FEI 3-Star event, The Fork Horse Trials. Earlier this month, Mike was at Tryon International Equestrian Center to serve as farrier for the The Fork event, and was able to check out this spectacular facility in the foothills of North Carolina, where the 2018 World Equestrian Games will be held. He was also one of five candidates interviewed for the farrier position at U.C. Davis in 2016. Mike is a member of ELPO, the American Association of Professional Farriers, and is also a BWFA Journeyman Farrier and tester. Along with certification as a Certified Natural Balance Farrier and Certified Natural Balance Trimmer, his other certifications include Proper Balance Movement (PBM) in the field of equine biomechanics from the late Tony Gonzales, and Equine Podiatry from Dr. R.F. Redden in Kentucky. Specializing in equine biomechanics and whole horse evaluation, Mike uses this knowledge to understand, correct and prevent problems with equine movement. Mike often works with veterinarians through referrals for horses in need of comprehensive gait analysis and/or therapeutic shoeing. In the past, Mike has worked with cases from Dr. Richard Mansmann of NC State University, and Dr. Ric Redden of Kentucky. Mike has presented clinics and demonstrations across the U.S. and abroad. In New Zealand and Australia, Mike presented a series of clinics with equine massage therapist and saddle fitter Ray Morris, and hopes to return soon. Other venues where Mike has been a presenter include the Southern Horse Festival, Carolina Classic Horse Expo, and Equitana. Mike has been a guest on “The Horse Show”, Rick Lamb’s syndicated radio show and has appeared on limited access cable television for equine related presentations.
Chris Niclas: RJF, LSHMC, CNBBT, CNBF, CLS Originally from New Zealand, Chris Niclas moved to Sequim, located in the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, in 1991. Chris’ desire for having a dog, a tree-fort and a horse came true at the age of 14. His interest in hoof-care and in becoming a farrier followed shortly thereafter, simply out of necessity. Almost 25 years later he still has a passion for the horse and is dedicated to continuing to learn new skills as a professional farrier and teacher. Chris met Gene Ovnicek and Mark Plumlee at an International Hoof-care clinic hosted by Mission Farrier School in 1998. These connections would change the course of this young aspiring farrier’s career. Chris began watching and learning about the research being done on the wild horses; which in turn led to hoof mapping guidelines based on the importance of the widest part of the foot. Chris says this has been an integral part of what has made him the farrier he is today as well as led to the success of his business Chris’ Farrier Service. Chris’ thirst for knowledge didn’t stop there. In 2005, he became a Registered Journeyman Farrier. And always looking for another “tool in his toolbox”, Chris became an EasyCare Dealer in 2007. He began teaching clinics on hoof-care management and fitting boots as another way of providing protection for the equine hoof. In 2011 Chris passed the ELPO exam to become a Certified Natural Balance Farrier. In 2015, he furthered his learning by becoming a Certified Lameness Specialist. Chris is currently working on attaining his Certified Instructor and Examiner certifications with ELPO. Working closely with some of the most reputable veterinarians in his area, Chris’ ability to think outside the box has enabled him to specialize in treating and rehabilitating horses with laminitis, founder, soft tissue injuries, ringbone, coffin bone fractures, hoof wall separations and more. Recently Chris has partnered with Mark Plumlee at Mission Farrier School, teaching advanced Gluing techniques to Mission Farrier School students using Steel, Aluminum and Rubber shoes for both performance and therapeutic applications. He is a gifted teacher and is excited to share some of his experiences.
Daisy Bicking: DEP, APF, CBT, CFGP, CLS, CE, CI Daisy Bicking is a farrier and educator based in Parkesburg, Pennsylvania. Daisy focuses her farrier work on rehabilitation of the equine foot, traveling domestically and abroad to help horses. She also teaches hoof workshops and offers farrier endorsement through the Daisy Haven Farm: School of Integrative Hoofcare. Daisy has won awards and been published for her work with laminitis, including Best Content for her scientific poster on Maggot Debridement Therapy at the 2011 Laminitis Conference. She has presented at Cornell University, The International Hoof-Care Summit, The Laminitis Conference, and the International Lameness Prevention Conference, amongst others. Daisy is also on the Equine Advisory Board for Post University, being an active part of building curriculum, and writes many blogs and articles on hoof care for a variety of publications. When not teaching, speaking or under the horse, Daisy rides her Arabian horse in Endurance, competing in many distance rides throughout the year.