Q: Share your single most important piece of advice on maintaining your shoeing tools (hand tools, power tools, etc.).

A: I’m always aware of the temperature and weather conditions. Hot or cold temperatures can affect the charge conditions on cordless tools. Damp conditions can affect electrical components in grinders unless kept dry. Rust can slowly form on horseshoes that are left in the truck too long.

— Brian Hull, Grand Valley, Ontario

A: I spray my metal tools with a fine oil at the end of each day, including my anvil and all nails in open boxes.

— Marty Fowler, Suwanee, Ga.

A: Take the time to keep them clean, sharp and oiled.

— Esco Buff, Ph.D., CF, Webster, N.Y.

Q: Tell us about a tool or device not ordinarily considered a hoof-care tool that you have adapted for use in your business.

A: I use a wire brush meant for welding to clean the bottom of hooves. I do this after picking them, but before paring, nipping or rasping. This lengthens the time between knife and nipper sharpening and also allows me to get several more trims out of a rasp.

I forged the handle ends of my pull-offs into a hoof pick and a small scraper. This new tool speeds up the removal of debris following shoe removal.

— Adam Jorgensen, Willow Creek, Calif.

A: I use a piece of 3/4- by 12-inch square plywood when a level surface is needed to check that hooves are flat to the ground.

— Brian Hull, Grand Valley, Ontario

A: Another barefoot trimmer showed me a tool he modified from a regular hoof knife. He cut the curled tip off and smoothed the new tip to nearly a point.

It can be used as a knife or pick and is a good, all-purpose tool for exploratory work. That tool is always in my apron.

— Pat Wagner, Ranier, Wash.

Q: Tell us about a product that’s made a major difference in your hoof-care business.

A: I use a Chifney bit (anti-rearing bit that puts pressure on the horse’s tongue if it rears) when needed. It helps control hard-to-handle horses.

— Brian Hull, Grand Valley, Ontario

A: I use a small, round magnet on the side of my clinch nail nippers. This way, I catch about 95% or more of my nail points, making cleanup easier. It also keeps the nail points out of hooves and muck buckets. My clients and other farriers have been really impressed by this.

— Mikel Crees, Hamilton, Ohioval.