What is CHA?

CHA is the largest certifying and accrediting body of equine professionals and facilities in North America.
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riding lesson instructor measuring English stirrup length

CHA offers multiple certification tracks that reflect the diversity of and interest in a wide variety of disciplines and related activities.

The certified horsemanship association was born of frustration. During the 1960s, Dan Hemphill—who owned a Vadito, New Mexico, camp—was frustrated by the recurring screening and hiring of professional riding instructors. He and other camp directors believed that many applicants had difficulty in fairly assessing whether they possessed the riding skills, knowledge and experience necessary to properly and safely teach horsemanship.

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Determined that a standardized evaluation format that offered certification would help solve the problem, he brought together a professional, competent group of horsemen to write manuals and developed the first certification program of its kind that was to be known as the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA).

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Today, CHA is the largest certifying and accrediting body of equine professionals and facilities in North America. Since its founding in 1967, more than 30,000 equine professionals and programs have earned certification or site accreditation.

“You can be a member of CHA without being certified by us as an equine professional or accredited by us as an equine facility,” said Christy Landwehr, CHA’s Chief Executive Officer. “As a member, you still receive the deep discounts on our educational horsemanship manuals, DVDs, video streaming service, horsemanship educational webinars, safety posters for your barn and much more.”

CHA offers multiple certification tracks that reflect the diversity of and interest in a wide variety of disciplines and related activities. Certifications include:

  • English/Western Instructor Certification
  • Trail Guide Certification for packing into the wilderness
  • Day Ride Trail Guide Certification
  • Combined English/Western Instructor & Trail Guide Certification up to Level 2 and an Overnight ride
  • Seasonal Equestrian Staff Certification
  • Equine Facility Manager Certification
  • Instructor of Riders with Disabilities
  • College/University
  • Vaulting Coach Certification
  • Driving Instructor/Driver Certification
  • Equine Facility Site Accreditation

CHA certifications are designed to evaluate an individual’s existing knowledge and skill level, not to teach participants how to become an instructor, trail guide, etc. 

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The CHA Skills Workshops, conferences, educational videos, manuals and webinars are the educational pieces to learn how to be an effective riding instructor or equine facility manager. Those who complete one or more of the programs demonstrates to employers and customers that they have proven their skills against respected standards, under independent evaluation.

To learn more about educational offerings or to become a member, visit www.CHA.horse.

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