Cavallo Horse & Rider (http://cavallo-inc.com) is proud to work with “The Donkey Farrier,” Megan Hensley, of Fortuna, California. Hensley offers in-person trimming sessions for donkeys and mules as well as online courses teaching about the animals’ health and trimming needs (http://HolisticHooves.com). She offers her expertise about donkeys’ unique hooves as she helps animal owners select and fit Cavallo boots.
“Cavallo has helped many donkeys and mules over the years with their hoof care needs,” says Cavallo president Carole Herder. “We know that their hooves are different from horses and we are glad to have an expert on our team.”
Hensley has used Cavallo boots since 2011. “I am absolutely thrilled to join the Cavallo team and be able to help educate owners of donkeys and mules around the world through the extensive platform that Cavallo has,” she says. “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 and 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.”
A Different Approach
Hensley 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, Hensley deemed herself “The Donkey Farrier” and traveled the state of California to work with donkeys. “I traveled all over, helping donkeys that the owners said no one else could or would trim.”
Differing Donkey Hooves
What makes donkey hooves different? Hensley says that donkeys have more soft tissue and 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.
Hensley is determined to take her specific teaching about donkeys and their hooves to a world-wide audience. She has online classes to teach owners and farriers about kind donkey handling and the specifics of donkey trimming.
“I want to challenge the farrier industry to look at donkeys differently,” she says. “I’d like to see donkey farriers be a niche--just like exotic farriers trim at the zoos or like some farriers are known specifically for helping laminitis.”
Working with Cavallo
Hensley 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. [Boots] can make them feel better.”
Follow Hensley on Facebook for donkey tips and consistent posts: https://www.facebook.com/holistichooves.
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Cavallo President Carole Herder is the author of the #1 International Bestseller, There Are No Horseshoes in Heaven, and the newly released Hoofprints on The Journey. She has been involved in horse health since 1993. Her company, Cavallo Horse & Rider Inc., develops, manufactures, and distributes horse products in 26 countries. Herder designed and developed Cavallo Hoof Boots and Total Comfort System Saddle Pads. She presents training sessions around the world to teach the benefits of keeping horses in a natural state. Herder is an honored recipient of the Royal Bank of Canada Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award. She is a member of the Women’s Presidents Organization, supporting female entrepreneurs in every industry.
Visit https://www.cavallo-inc.com to learn about the full line of Cavallo Hoof Boots. Call (877) 818-0037 from the USA or Canada or call direct, (604) 740-0037.
Cavallo Horse & Rider