There’s a new member of our Cavallo Team and we can’t wait to tell you about “The Donkey Farrier”!
Megan Hensley is known as “The Donkey Farrier”. Based in Fortuna, California, Megan offers in-person trimming sessions for donkeys and mules. She’s also well-known for her online courses, sharing her expertise about donkeys’ and mules’ unique hooves and specific health and trimming needs. Her knowledge and her approachable nature have made her a valued resource in the “long-eared” community. She also helps animal owners select and fit Cavallo Boots!
I know that Cavallo has helped many donkeys and mules over the years with their hoof care needs. We know that their hooves are different from horses and we’re excited to have such an expert on our team.
What Drives Megan?
Megan has used Cavallos since 2011. I asked what it meant to her to be part of Cavallo, and here’s her enthusiastic answer: “I am absolutely thrilled to join the Cavallo team. It will help me to educate owners of donkeys and mules around the world through Cavallo’s extensive platform. A lot of people who have donkeys don’t know how to train them and don’t have resources for how to work with them. Some farriers won’t even go, or they want them tied, or even on the ground or sedated to work with them. I have focused my training and education on all to do with hoof care for donkeys and mules—and teaching people to work with them kindly.”
What drove Megan to become the cutting-edge hoof care practitioner that she is today? We’ll let our friend, Joe Camp, tell you in his own words. Let us take you back to a guest blog he did for us many years ago when he became part of Megan’s “AHA!” moment! READ HERE!
A Fresh, Kinder Approach
Megan began working with donkeys at the start of her trimming career in 2006. After interning with a donkey-focused trimmer, she learned how to work with donkeys without a fight.
“Donkeys are a different species,” Hensely explains. “In the wild, they don’t run like horses do. They turn and face predators. Donkeys won’t tolerate the traditional approaches.”
What makes Hensley’s work different?
“When I go to work with a donkey, I walk in to meet them without my farrier tools,” she says. “Later, with a halter on, I’ll play with them and pick up their feet. They may realize I’m a farrier, but they like me already. We may not even trim on the first visit—so that they will associate me with a good experience.”
In 2018, Megan deemed herself “The Donkey Farrier” and travelled the state of California to work with donkeys. “I drove all over, helping donkeys that the owners said no one else could or would trim.”
Differing Donkey Hooves
What makes donkey hooves different? Megan says that donkeys have more soft tissue and that they have a steeper hoof angle. The donkey’s frog sits farther back and the heel bulbs stick out a bit farther than on a horse.
Megan is determined to take her specific teaching about donkeys and their hooves to a world-wide audience: “I want to challenge the farrier industry to look at donkeys differently,” she says. “I’d like to see donkey farriers become a niche-just like exotic farriers who trim at the zoos or like some farriers are known specifically for helping laminitis.”
Why Megan’s Clients Love Cavallos
Megan says she has seen donkeys and mules feel better instantly when wearing boots. “You know what I love about the Cavallo Hoof Boot?” she asks. “It’s the instant comfort that you can provide for the animal. If your equine has any pain and maybe you don’t even know why yet—you can put these boots on and get some instant pain relief. You can’t say that for metal shoes. Cavallos can make them feel better.”