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PHCP Member Spotlight – Cayce Brockwell

PHCP intermediate student practitioner, Cayce Brockwell, owner of Dare to be Different Long Ear Hoof Care, is a donkey hoof care specialist serving donkeys and mules in Central New York.

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started in hoof care?

My story starts with a little donkey named Doris. My family raised Morgans and I had been around them most of my childhood. As an adult, I had a horse that needed a companion. Someone recommended a neighbor who had mini donkeys. I had never seen one before other than a zoo. Cutest thing ever. I had no idea at the time that she was morbidly obese (she was so cute!) but I did know that her feet were neglected. That’s when my world completely changed. When my farrier came out, I was appalled and frightened by Doris’ reaction to hoof care and his reaction to her. I couldn’t understand it. I could pick her feet and never had an issue. Just like the horses. What I witnessed was a wake up call. That was my first lesson in donkey behavior opposed to horses. Shortly after, while I was researching, watching videos on YouTube, looking for another farrier and having very little luck, my equine dentist mentioned a Pete Ramey clinic. I had no idea who Pete Ramey was but I attended the clinic. I understood a fraction of what Pete was saying and doing but he gave me hope and the idea that maybe I could do this myself. The horse I had at the time has since been replaced with 7 other miniature donkeys. Doris, Dolly, Dorothy, Dani, Dawn, Daphne, Darla and Mandy (I had to give up on the D names). Three were born at my home (all surprises) and all of their mamas were in rough shape when they came. I only wanted two donkeys but somehow I ended up with 8 donkeys! I found PHCP with the intent of learning enough to trim my own donkeys and maybe a neighbor’s in exchange for hay. I now have my own practice, Dare to Be Different Long Ear Hoof Care. It’s my side hustle because I do have a full time job with a pension, but I love it. I love helping donkeys and helping owners understand donkeys and their needs. I try to teach in a way that is easily understood and easily accomplished. Small changes make huge improvements. My main focus with the donkeys is handling, environment and diet because it all trickles down to the foot. I love making new donkey friends!

What is your favorite thing about being part of PHCP?

I love the hoof nerd hive mind! Between all of us, I think we know every answer to every question. I love the comraderie and knowing someone has your back. The classes, webinars, clinics, conferences are wonderful and perfect for someone like me, who already has a million responsibilities. I like that I can go at my own pace and I never feel like I’m alone with my struggles.

What are your interests besides all things hooves?

I’m a concert junkie. I travel to at least three big concerts a year. I’m seeing the Rolling Stones this year! It might be my last chance! I like to craft paper with my cricut. I’m an avid reader. I stick with mainly fantasy and horror (I’ve read all of Stephen King’s books, some multiple times). I like to travel to new places. New Orleans is currently on my list. It’s going to happen someday! Spending time with my sons and my husband. He is super supportive in all of my crazy endeavors. Now that my sons are grown (in their 20s) we have the most inappropriate candid conversations that are usually hysterical. Getting hugs from my donkeys! Have you ever had a donkey hug? Nothing better!

Tell us something people may not know about you?

I am lucky enough to have the same best friend for 30 years and she is the polar opposite of me.