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Ask Jason Harmeson what’s made him a successful shoer and he’ll tell you it’s due to sticking with the basics and not complicating the shoeing process.
Located 40 miles east of San Diego in Alpine, Calif., Harmeson handles a wide variety of shoeing work where the basics come into play daily.
For this issue’s “Shoeing For A Living,” I spent a chilly day in the Laguna mountain range of Southern California with Harmeson. At 4,200 feet above sea level, the wind chill factor was in the teens for part of the morning while the temperature in lower altitude San Diego reached a balmy 65 degrees during the afternoon.
7:15 a.m. I meet Harmeson at a park and ride lot along Interstate 8 some 9 miles east of Alpine. Some clients that he shoes for leave their cars and trucks here while car pooling with fellow workers for the hour-long trip to San Diego.
He tells me that he shoes mainly trail horses, along with a few hunters, jumpers, dressage and draft horses.
7:20 a.m. As we head up through the Laguna mountain range toward the first shoeing appointment, Harmeson explains that he grew up in Ohio and Montana. His folks live in Ohio where his dad, Jim Harmeson, has shod Standardbreds for more than 30 years. The family moved to Montana for a few years where they shod pack horses and draft horses that the family used for logging.
7:31 a.m. While on a Navy tour in San Diego, Harmeson…