It’s never easy to pick up a business and start over again in a new location. But when established farrier Randy Chiotti’s wife, Beth Dobkin, was offered a position as provost and vice-president of Saint Mary’s College in Northern California -- that is exactly what he did. After 25 years of establishing a strong clientele in Southern California, they relocated their family and his business, and Randy is now offering his service to Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
An active endurance rider, Randy grew up around horses and always knew he wanted to work with them. After completing his farrier schooling in El Centro, Randy went on to apprentice with Bob McClain for over two years in Crest. That was 25 years ago, and Randy has been enthusiastically gathering experience and sharpening his skills ever since.
“I couldn’t see myself doing anything else,” says Randy. “I like trying to improve a horse’s motion, seeing what I can do to make it better, and helping owners fix problems. Lately, I’ve been handling a lot of quarter cracks. They’re something of a specialty of mine. For instance, one of my long-time clients, Robyn Ranke, had a horse with a quarter crack that no one had been able to fix.”
“Randy saved the day for me and my horse, The Pye,” says Robyn. “One year ago, my horse faltered upon landing after a jump and slammed his hind foot into his front right hoof wall, and a quarter crack resulted. Over the next four months, I consulted with 10 different professionals, five veterinarians and five farriers…no one could give me a definitive solution or direction on how to proceed. Everyone had differing opinions with no one committing to an outcome. Special shoeing was a critical factor in helping The Pye to heal and heal correctly. Randy Chiotti was the only one who gave advice with unwavering confidence. Within two shoeings with Randy, The Pye’s hoof wall was healing without incident. Today, I am jumping him again and the quarter crack is completely healed. My gratitude to Randy and his confidence cannot be put into words.”
Robyn wasn’t the only client who sang Randy’s praises. Dressage rider, Leslie Frader, was impressed not only with Randy’s experience and performance, but with his people skills. She commented that not only were her horses always well shod, but Randy was always on time and pleasant to work with. Which makes sense, as Randy says one of the keys to his success has been his ability to communicate with owners and their horses.
“You have to approach both horses and people with respect,” explains Randy. “I only see each horse once every few weeks, so I try my best to listen to what my clients are telling me. It’s important -- they know their horses, and they can help me get the best results.”
Randy’s solid communication skills have also made him a favorite farrier for many San Diego County veterinarians. Dr. Greg Smith, founder of East County Large Animal Practice, says, “One of things that has always set Randy apart, in my mind, is his ability to follow directions. Not only does he have years of experience, but Randy has a wonderful gift for listening to what we (equine practitioners) have to say, and then implementing it to achieve great results…I would definitely recommend him to anyone looking for a new farrier.”
To contact Randy Chiotti call 925-918-2848.