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To get longer life from your horseshoeing tools, you don’t have to be an expert tool craftsman says Dan Bradley. The farrier from Lucerne, Miss., — who is such an expert craftsman — says extending tool life is largely a matter of paying attention to small details and following manufacturer’s suggestions.
“A lot of it is just common sense,” says Bradley. “You just need to do good general maintenance. You don’t even have to do it every day.”
On the other hand, you do have to be aware of how your tools are functioning.
“Because we work in a dirty environment, it’s easy to neglect our tools — to let riveted tools get rusty and kind of bound up,” he says. “You need to watch out for that and take care of it before it gets to be too big a problem.”
Bradley points out that rust and buildup eventually will hamper a tool’s ability to do its job — a loss of efficiency that means the same for your shoeing.
“We work hard. After we’ve been working all day long, we get tired and it’s harder to do the work,” he says. “Tools are the same way.”
When Bradley conducts clinics on tool maintenance, he likes to share some figures he’s developed.
“These are based on shoeing 5 horses a day, 5 days a week, for 50 weeks a year,” he says. “That’s 20 feet a day, 100 a…