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Follow Megan Hensley AKA “The Donkey Farrier” on Facebook or Instagram and you’ll quickly learn how passionate she is about serving donkeys in a positive and educated light. Her business “Holistic Hooves” takes a wellness approach that you won’t find with many hoof care providers. She is equal parts farrier, educator and welfare advocate. There’s a beautiful intention to Megan that strives to improve lives, both human and equine, through education, inspiration, empowerment and resources.
She first fell in love with mules while working on a trail crew in the Stanislaus National Forrest. With the desire of becoming a packer, she enrolled in the Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School. Although she did not follow her packing dreams, she has created a unique niche working with donkeys since 2007.
We recently met up in person and had so much to talk about!
Her unique perspective about how to approach skeptical equines that have been labeled as “bad for the farrier” is so refreshing. She is light hearted, a self proclaimed “goofball” and her approach to working with donkeys is to get the job done in a way that makes the experience positive and relaxed for both the owner and equine.
Megan has a special way of getting around skeptical equines and I witnessed this myself. Although not a donkey, she trimmed a mustang that had not had his feet attended to in many moons because he was labeled as “difficult and dangerous”. She made friends with him in minutes, took special care to read his body language and trimmed 3 of his four hooves out in our pasture… on a loose line! I was impressed by her ability to allow Chi to have a positive experience while being effective without force. She took the time that was needed, allowed this horse not to feel trapped and I believe he appreciated her way of handling him.
Megan working her magic with Chi
Part of Megan’s call to serving the greater equine community is to bust myths that donkeys are inherently “bad”. She is inspired to help her fellow hoof care colleagues understand donkeys as a species: where they evolved from, why they do what they do, what their nutritional needs are, and how sensitive they can be is all part of what motivates her.
While she was at our ranch, she impressed upon me the important role nutrition plays in the health of hooves, especially for donkeys and hybrids (we own 5 mules). And… before I knew it she had a Cody James rasp in my hands and I was under my mule shaping her hoof with Megan’s inspiring guidance. See the video here…
In just a few short weeks Megan will be presenting at the Donkey Welfare Symposium which will be held at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine September 13-15, 2019. It’s a jammed packed education lineup of donkey experts from all over the globe. Attend for $150.00. The theme for this year is “What Makes a Donkey Happy”. For more info go to:
Her future goals include offering online hoof care and training videos. One series is to focus on getting your donkey confident for the farrier with a focus on hoof and donkey handling. I have to ask, may I take that course too if I have mules?
Clearly Megan enjoys what she does and the long-ears adore her too!
What Megan offers is pretty special. She offers hope. She offers to empower folks to learn how to make informed hoof care decisions. She desires to help people learn how to care for their equines feet themselves. She says “donkeys are sweet” and she’s “excited for people to fall in love with them”.
Thank you Megan Hensley for being you and for being the Donkey Farrier. Long-ears around the world are lucky to have you serving their needs and speaking up for them!
You can reach Megan at: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Facebook you can follow her on her “Donkey Hoof Care” group and of course on her main page “Holistic Hooves”.
Published with StoryChief