Our board members are committed to our transformation of equine husbandry into a more conscious, healthy, compassionate state of being.
Dr Steve Skinner, DVM, Dip. ACVIM-Neurology, SHP
President ESANA, Instructor/Examiner
Inspired by Strasser clinics, Dr. Skinner became a certified Strasser Hoofcare Professional in 2003. He was excited to see, in Dr Strasser’s work, an opportunity to change the paradigm of today’s veterinary thought.
Steve Skinner graduated from Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1971 and carried out his internship at the University of California-Davis in 1972. He became the administrative director of the DLM Emergency Veterinary Clinic in Portland, Oregon, in 1973, where he still is on-call as a consultant, for emergencies in neurology and neurosurgery. He took a residency in Neurology and Neurosurgery at Good Samaritan Hospital and the Oregon Health Sciences Center in Portland. He began his speciality practice at the Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital in 1976 and has been a specialist in private practice in Neurology and Neurosurgery, since that time.
Dr. Skinner is presently working as a member of the Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Beaverton, Oregon.
In addition to his regular veterinary work, he runs his equine rehab clinic from his facility in Portland.
Sabine Kells, SHP
Instructor/Examiner for ESANA
“It all started when my teen-aged quarterhorse mare was diagnosed with ‘navicular syndrome.’ She was sentenced to euthanasia as the only humane, but to me – unacceptable – choice. For two years I searched for answers. My quest ended in Tübingen, Germany, at Dr. Strasser’s Hoof Clinic.”
From there, Sabine trained extensively with Dr. Strasser and continued her quest by translating Dr. Strasser’s seminars and books into English, as well as creating our English course materials. The books began with Shoeing: A Necessary Evil? followed by A Lifetime of Soundness and The Hoofcare Specialist’s Handbook.
Sabine, a Canadian, was the third licensed Strasser Hoofcare Professional in the world to give Strasser seminars and the first instructor in North America for the Strasser Method certification courses. She noted that when Dr. Strasser began giving seminars, the question in North America was “to shoe or not to shoe?” Over a decade later, the question has become “which barefoot method is best?”
Sabine’s goal is “to continue to teach the correct application of Dr. Strasser’s ideas so that owners everywhere can help their horses regain and maintain full health and soundness. I’ve done a variety of things in my life,” she concludes, “from bookkeeping to becoming a commercial pilot, yet my enduring love has always been for writing and of horses.”
An artist and designer by trade, with a deep love for animals, I kept my horse at a local show stable. In 2003, inspired by the need to avert the nerving of a friend’s horse with dread ‘navicular’ syndrome, I went to the ‘Net to see if I could find some answers. He was a jumper, after all, and it made sense that he should be able to feel his feet!
The very same day, I found there was to be a three-day seminar in Ohio with a German vet. It looked like she might have some solutions. I purchased my seminar reservation, jumped in my car and drove east.
Unbelievably, I sat and cried through nearly the whole seminar. Every question, every inconsistency I had ever thought about with the horses in my hunter/jumper habit were being answered. Answered with the whys and, better, with a SOLUTION to the lameness that caused these beautiful, brave animals to “disappear” from the show barns every year.
I started along a new path with my own horses and have been trimming horses throughout the Midwest ever since.
Tracy Raffalae, SHP
Secretary for ESANA
A fulltime mother and wife, in 2003, Tracy joined the largest Strasser Hoofcare class, to date, and became an SHP. She is currently practicing part time in Southern California.