Bob Smith goes through a lot of forepunches.

That tends to happen, though, when you have your own farrier school.

“The students in my school have to turn in a series of handmade shoes for evaluation during the program,” says the owner and operator of Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School in Plymouth, Calif. “So, we lose our forepunches often.”

Although you most likely don’t go through as many punches as Smith does, he has a handy idea to rescue the tool from the scrap heap. Rather than throwing it away, Smith suggests using it to make an eye punch.

“If you have a little girl who gets her very first horse,” he says, “make a hoof pick from the horse’s shoe.”

This is where the punch comes in. Heat up the punch (Figure 1) that’s too short to do anything with and punch an eyehole in the middle of the tip (Figure 2).

“You can get the elliptical shape (Figure 3) on the grinder,” Smith says, “so when you make a little horse head hoof pick (Figure 4), it gives a better eye (Figure 5) than just a dot.

“After you give the little girl this hoof pick, she’ll carry it around for 20 years. That’s the greatest thing she’s ever had.”