Often, when Zach tells people he is a blacksmith they assume that he shoe's horses. Historically, the blacksmith was also the farrier of the town. But as automobiles replaced horses, the art of blacksmithing became a separate skill from the synonymous farrier.
A farrier must have an understanding of the blacksmith trade in order to shape and mold horse shoes and to make nails other tools like tongs to hold the shoes and shape them in the forge. But in addition, a farrier must be trained in hoof care, like shaping the hoof, fitting shoes for a horse's particular needs and being able to recognize disease or injury.
Often, in newly settled towns where there was no doctors or veterinarian available, the blacksmith would have the most experience in animal anatomy. Many times he was called upon for all sort of animal ailments like treating injuries and assisting with difficult births. And even one step further, he was sometimes called to assist in delivering human babies.
The Term Blacksmith refers to a craftsman who works with metal in a forge. Historically the blacksmith worked with wrought iron, but today, more commonly works with "mild" steel or carbon steel. The prefix "Black" refers to the dark scale that flakes on the surface of the steel when it is heated. The work of the blacksmith is usually a more rudemental art. Shaping larger pieces like tools or horseshoes as opposed to fine work like jewelry.
A Whitesmith is someone who might work with a more malleable metal like tin or pewter. It can also refer to a blacksmith who works his products to finer finish through detailed filling, polishing and buffing, thus leaving the metal in a shiny or "white" finish.