Academy News

               Universal School of Horse Dentistry, Inc.

P.O. Box 999, 242 E. 1st Ave.

Glenns Ferry, Idaho 83623

         April 30, 2010


Greetings from Glenns Ferry!!!

It’s once again time to touch base with all of you, to inform you of upcoming classes and update you on any changes.   We are now on Facebook, so please visit the website link for more information about the school, such as cases, class dates, photos and updates. 

In attendance for the November 2009 Class were 11 Anatomy, 13 PG-1, four PG-2, and 15 PG-3 and PG-4 students.  In attendance for advanced continuing education were 14 certified technicians.  Bernie Fletcher taught Anatomy with Nick Stuckman, John Fortkamp and Stephenie Carpenter.  Two-week and advanced instructors were Wil Croncich, Ben Koertje, Doug Jergens, Nick Moore and Troy Walck.  We celebrated the end of class at the Wet Lab immediately following class pictures and presentation of certificates with Cocktails and Hors d’Oeuvres.  Everyone had a chance to visit and reflect on the time spent here during the two-week session.


Prior to February 2010 Class, in addition to regular last minute preparation, we had to come up with a classroom for our first and second time students.  We are no longer leasing the classroom at the old World Wide Building, so we transformed the lounge in the front of the office to a classroom and held anatomy at the wet lab.   It worked out fine and class went very well.   We were fortunate to have nice winter weather, so no problems for horse owners getting their horses here as scheduled.  Four students were in attendance for Anatomy Class, instructed by Bernie Fletcher, Nick Moore, Nick Stuckman and Stephenie Carpenter.   Eight attended PG-1, six PG-2, ten PG-3, and two students certified.  Sixteen certified technicians returned for continuing education.  Nick Moore and Troy Walck were first and second week instructors and Wil Croncich was our advanced instructor. 

End of session was celebrated on Thursday night after a full day’s work in the Wet Lab, with tacos, chips and all the trimmings, followed by the movie Hangover.  Good times and lots of laughs!

Many interesting advanced cases were presented during both classes, and in February, Nick Stuckman, Stephenie, Nick Moore, Jodi Miller, Kristy Chronister, Bernie, John and others managed to make time for skull boiling before and after classes!  Thanks to all who attended, instructed, lectured, helped in the stalls, and provided owner education.  The Saddle Tramps 4-H Club, consisting of about 20 members, visited in February, and 25 students from College of Southern Idaho’s Equine Science Class were here for their annual field trip.  They all enjoy observing in the wet lab and we always welcome the opportunity to educate on the importance of equine dentistry.

Congratulations to our newly Certified Equine Dental students!

November 2009

Toby Jones – Bobbi Kapler – John Mares – Josh Senn – Melissa Shurr

  February 2010 

Tyler Dees DVM – Lynsey Miller

Please see the attached featuring our certified students!


Stockholders met on February 15th and Board of Directors the 16th.  Newly elected and reelected directors are Wil Croncich, Bernie Fletcher, John Fortkamp, Ben Koertje, Nick Moore, Nick Stuckman and Troy Walck.   Among the topics discussed was the possibility of converting the corporation to a non-profit status.  The school has already been functioning in that capacity, by putting any profit right back into the school, such as the digital radiology and endoscopic equipment we purchased over the last couple of years.   This is a research facility as well as a teaching institution, and we are excited about the prospect of purchasing more equipment in the future that will be of great benefit to all involved, students, instructors, the industry, and of course, the horse.    



Our intent for changing titles for certified students was to get away from referring to ourselves as dentists, thus  practitioners or technicians.  However, let’s revert to using CEqD or ACEqD as we did in the past, and it will simply stand for Certified in Equine Dentistry or Advance Certified in Equine Dentistry.   Hope this hasn’t caused anyone too much trouble.  Sorry for the confusion! 

Upcoming Class

Please consider returning for continuing education at any time; no matter what your level of expertise, we have a place for you.  We are offering our two-week Equine Dental classes three times a year, February, July and November.   Our next class is scheduled for July.  Equine Head Anatomy may be offered just once a year in the future, probably in July, but it will depend on enrollment.

                                    Three-Day Anatomy                  July 14 – 16, 2010

                                    Two-Week Dental                     July 19 – 30, 2010

                                    One-Week Advanced                 July 26 – 30, 2010

Field Trips

It’s not too late to register for the Memorial Day Weekend field trip!

Bishop, California – May 31 through June 4, 2010

Come early and celebrate Bishop Mule Days, May 26th through the weekend.

If you can’t make it this spring, please consider the fall trip!!!

Mammoth Lakes, California – September 13 through 17, 2010

Tuition is $600.00. 

Please call the office to enroll!  For questions other than enrollment,

contact Ben Koertje 925/250-8272 or Darrin Baker 209/743-6042.

We are sorry to leave you on a very sad note.  We regret to inform you that our friend Rob Glasgow from Nevada was killed in an accident earlier this year.  He attended Anatomy class in 2008 and PG-1 in February 2009 and was working toward first level certification.   Our condolences go to all of you who were acquainted with Rob. 

Sincerely, Staff of Academy of Equine Dentistry


Kathleen Stickney and Elana Gridley 


Phone: 208/366-2315

Fax: 208/366-2340

Newly Certified Articles


November 2009

Toby Jones CEqD –  I got involved with horses about 10 years ago when I met my girlfriend.   I soon realized horses came first so I thought if you can’t beat them, join them. At the time I had been working as a chef in a fine dinning restaurant, but some time later I decided I needed a change.   After a chance meeting with an Idaho trained dentist, I knew what I wanted to do, so with many emails to and from Kathy, I signed up for the November course.

When I arrived in Idaho, I was made to feel very welcome which made learning a lot easier. I attended the following February and May classes with the intent to certify in November. 
But this was only made possible because John Fortkamp agreed to take me as his apprentice for three weeks before the November course.   I don’t think this would have happened if I hadn’t played a bit of golf and agreed to make the odd bets with him! He will love me for writing this!  But seriously, he was a great teacher and I recommend spending some time with him.  

I thank the people who have supported and funded me over the last two years; everybody at the Academy, my long suffering girlfriend Miranda, my parents, Martin, Kelvin, Miles and finally John for his patience.                                                              – Winchester, Hants, UK                                  

Bobbi Kapler CEqD – I have been involved with horses since childhood and always dreamed of a career that involved them. In August of 2006, Dr. Neil Willard DVM of Mesa Animal Clinic in Girard, Kansas, made that a reality by providing the amazing opportunity for me to attend the Academy of Equine Dentistry in Glenns Ferry, Idaho. I proudly received my certification in November of 2009. I would like to thank Dr. Willard for this life changing experience. It is so satisfying to aid in the overall comfort and performance of the equine species. I would also like to thank everyone, past and present, involved with the Academy. The high standards set there make me proud to be a part of it. I also want to thank Roger Kelsey CeqD for the countless hours he spent and the endless amounts of patience he had while working with me, especially on all those “easy” Kansas cases. Special thanks to Chris Edmonds CEqD who also spent a few days in Kansas as well. I’ve seen the two of you do amazing things on advanced cases and know I am a better dental tech because of it. Linda Sequin CEqD, thanks to you for my time spent in Texas and for allowing me to have you on speed dial for any reason! Also to my amazing family, certification was so much sweeter because of your support. Thanks again to everyone and happy trails!                                                                                                                      –Franklin,Kansas,USA 


John Mares CEqD – I grew up in the Los Angeles area and worked as an Aerospace Development Engineer for 12 years.  In 1987, I began studying Animal Science and Equine Reproduction at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.  At night, I worked on a large Thoroughbred farm (Cardiff Stud Farms) foaling out mares, providing farm security and administering meds.  After four years of foaling out mares, I moved to Northern California.  There, I worked 10 years as an Electro-mechanical Development Engineer before deciding to pursue Equine Dentistry.  The engineering spirit is still with me, and I was encouraged to market my LED “JEMLITE”.  I am considering a few other new products to try to work out in the near future.

It has been an upward battle gaining a client base, but things are slowly picking up.  In my spare time, I ride my Quarter horse on the trails. My many thanks go out to Ben Koertje, Darrin Baker, and all the numerous stall leaders and fellow students who have helped me gain the invaluable experience and techniques that I needed for certification. Thank you very much!                                                                                                                                                                           – Milpitas, California, USA



Joshua Senn CEqD – I was born and raised in Missouri and have been around horses my whole life. I have always wanted to do anything that involved helping horses, but had never had the opportunity to do so.  Through my adventures in roping, I met John Fortkamp.  While consuming a few beverages, he convinced me to sell everything and haul with him to see if it was something I was interested in. I went to class shortly thereafter and have been addicted ever since, because with every horse you see, you help them, along with helping the clients understand why we do what we do. I wanted to achieve certification to further help or PROMOTE and SUPPORT the industry of equine dental practitioners and to see it thrive. It has been an awesome experience.   Thank you everyone at the school, and special thanks to Luke Vanderkooy and his wife for allowing me to spend so much time hauling with them. Last but not least, thank you very much John F. for helping me find a passion helping horses.                                                                                                                                                 – St. Peters, Missouri, USA


Melissa Shurr CEqD – As a child I was raised in a small town on the Central Coast of California. Growing up in Los Osos I enjoyed hunting, fishing, and of course training and riding horses.  Our closest neighbor was a large animal veterinarian, with children my age.  I became fascinated by his practice and enjoyed assisting with the procedures he did.  I also had the good fortune to have the great horseman Sam Willis as a close and personal family friend.  My father and Sam would take me out to ride the fence and check cattle from a very young age, and from very early on, horses were all I cared about.  After high school, I majored in Animal Science at Cal Poly State University.  I enjoyed all the animal related classes but was most passionate about the equine classes.  Still unsure of what I’d do with my animal science education and in a bit of a quandary of what to be when I grew up, on the advice of a friend, I took a course in Fire Science.  As it turned out, I enjoyed it!  It seemed like a fix to my problem.  I now had a career path and the horse would just have to be a recreational vehicle for me.  So, I became a Firefighter-EMT and worked for CDF for San Luis Ranger unit and then later San Benito-Monterey before being hired by Sacramento City.  I hated it.  What was once fun and exciting was now mundane; no more fast-paced wild land fires to fight, but instead, an endless supply of medical aids, and in the city! YUK!  It was late 1995 and while on duty, I dropped an extension ladder on myself separating my AC joint, ending my career as a firefighter.  No problem, I had married a fellow firefighter the year before and we both decided it would be a good time to start a family.  We bought some property, built our dream house, barn, etc. and raised our son there.  I boarded horses and trained and tuned horses up on the side.  Around 1999 I found Honey, a great oldie but goodie Quarter pony for my 3-year-old son.  I had seen Honey many years before and told her owners that if they ever wanted to part with her to call me first!  The day Honey was delivered, I saw what I had known as a bright eyed,  round bodied pony just a few years prior was now thin and dull eyed.  I set out to fix her! I called the vet; I fed her everything I had learned was appropriate for an “older” equine.  She improved but only marginally.  I shared my quandary with a friend who was a dressage trainer.  She suggested I call Ben Koertje, an equine dentist, someone who specialized in nothing but horses’ teeth.  I contacted Ben and he arranged for me to haul Honey to a nearby facility where he’d be working for the day.  The day Honey had her teeth done, I was treated to more of an education than I had ever received in school!  Ben explained equine teeth, how they erupt, wear, masticate, develop malocclusions, cause pain and soreness, etc.  He invited me to feel Honey’s teeth both before and after he did the work.  In the weeks and months that followed Honey’s dental work she blossomed into the pony we once knew.  The spark in her eye and the spring in her step returned. Her previously bony skeleton was now covered in flesh and fat, and her hair coat was shiny like that of younger years.  I was convinced!  So began my education in equine dentistry.  During the years to follow, Ben Koertje, Richard Jack, and Aulani Patricio all worked on my horses.

Fast forward to 2003; my husband and I divorced and I again was faced with the decision of what to do for a living.  I decided to look into equine dentistry.  I spoke with a few equine dentists and learned about the Academy of Equine Dentistry in Idaho.  I called the school and found everyone I spoke with to be very knowledgeable and willing to help.  Kathy Stickney recommended I attend a field trip and suggested one coming up in Susanville, California.  I went on that field trip and never looked back.  Since that initial trip, I have been on two more and attended class at the Academy four times.  Always fun, educational and exciting, I learned something new each time I went back, and  I have found a family within the staff and student body that rivals the one I was born with.  I have also been very fortunate to apprentice and become friends with some incredible people, who have not only shared their knowledge with me but given me a much needed kick in the hind pants when needed! I’m sure it’s not necessary to name names here, but I’d like to extend my sincerest gratitude to you all; my friends and what I consider family for sharing with me your homes, your families, and your love of the equine! I would also like to thank my ever- supportive family and boyfriend, whose patience, love and support is nothing short of amazing.  I could not have certified without everyone’s support, and I will forever be grateful!  I look forward to my return to the Academy and can’t wait to see what new techniques and procedures there will be to learn!                                                                                     – Los Osos, California, USA  


February 2010

Tyler Dees DVM, CEqD – I was born and raised in south Alabama.  I had very little interest in veterinary medicine until the final year of my five-year stay at Troy University in Alabama. I played football for four years while at Troy. I was bound for medical school to specialize in pediatric medicine until I was invited to earn some “side” money working at a stockyard for a local vet. This changed my career path immediately to veterinary medicine with an interest in bovine. I was accepted in Auburn University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2000. I had little interest in equine until my final year when I recognized that the money was a whole lot better in the equine world versus the bovine world. At this time I focused my interest in equine medicine. It wasn’t until I received my first job in Okeechobee, Florida, that I was exposed to “good” equine dentistry via Wil Croncich. I took notice of the way that he was helping horses; better than the traditional methods I was taught in school. At that time I started attending the Academy periodically. After eight months in Florida, I started my own ambulatory equine practice in Alabama where I started practicing medicine and some dentistry. Within five years of practice, my veterinary business has evolved to 80% dentistry. Thank you goes out to the instructors and the stall leaders from whom I have gained knowledge and techniques.          – Ramer, Alabama, USA

Lynsey Miller CEqD – I was raised on a farm in Okotoks, Alberta, Canada, where I rode and competed on horses from a young age in activities including 4-H and High School Rodeo.  The year after I graduated from high school, I moved to Alpine, Texas.  I received a college rodeo scholarship and competed for the Sul Ross Rodeo team while attaining a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Animal Science. 

My interest in equine dentistry came from my experience with horses.  Proper dental care improved the health, happiness, and performance of my horses.  The first equine dentistry class I attended was in November of 2007, and I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet all of the knowledgeable and caring people involved in the Academy.  I have made many friends and learned a lot during my visits there. 

I would have been unable to attend equine dentistry school if my parents had not supported my endeavor, and I thank them for giving me this wonderful opportunity.   My work as an equine dental technician has changed my life and allowed me to educate people about dentistry.  I hope to contribute to the industry by sharing my knowledge and spreading the word about the importance of equine dentistry.                                                                                                                                                           -Alberta, Canada