A Gloucester native now travels throughout the state shoeing horses.
Zach Harris started Higher Ground Shoeing Service in 2009. He runs the business full-time and works alone. Based in Chatham, near Danville, he goes where the horses are to offer his services.
As a farrier, Harris said he makes all types of horseshoes. Many are made of aluminum, he said, and some are custom-made.
A horse’s foot must be flat before a shoe is nailed on, Harris said, and the farrier checks the whole foot to make sure there are no health problems or signs of lameness.
To get a horse to be more cooperative while being shoed, Harris said, he often will trim the feet of young horses even if they do not need to be shod, so they can become accustomed to having their feet handled. Harris generally either shoes the two front feet only or all four; horses ridden on asphalt usually require four shoes at once, he said, while he might only replace the two front shoes for show horses.
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