CHA: Tips for Cutting Expenses

The Certified Horsemanship Association provides guidance for tightening your belt during COVID-19.

Here are four ideas for reducing expenses without cutting corners on the care horses need.

Horse professionals are used to operating on thin margins without sacrificing care or customer service. However, there are times when cutting expenses might be necessary. For some, it can be a chore, but can also be an opportunity to get creative in finding ways of trimming costs while still providing the necessities. 

Here are four ideas for reducing expenses without cutting corners on the care horses need.

Negotiate Rates

When bills come due, it’s routine to just pay them. For some, services such as insurance, cell phone, trash removal, etc., discounts and negotiations might be possible. Valerie McCloskey, CHA Director from Rome, New York ,called her insurance agent when her state-issued pandemic restrictions prohibited visitors, slashing her lesson program.

“Most of the cost in our premiums is liability due to lessons,” Valerie says. “I asked that if the current situation goes on for months and I’m not teaching on the farm if that could go down.”

Cell phone carriers and television providers are notorious for undercutting competitors rates to gain a new client. Shop around and compare prices. Saving on several bills can add up.

Making the Most of On-Property Resources

Horses need to eat, and scrimping on hay or feed quality isn’t an option. However, stables with property might be able to rely on grazing to provide the horse’s nutritional needs. Turning horses out on well-maintained pastures not only reduces hay and grain, it also reduces bedding use and the labor required to clean stalls. Some horses might not need as many supplements if they are not working as much.

Delaying Expenses

Routine vet and farrier visits are necessities for keeping healthy horses. However, delaying certain services might be an option. For example, if a horse isn’t competing and is sound, routine trimming might suffice. Similarly, it might be possible to postpone maintenance appointments like chiropractic care or acupuncture when a healthy horse is temporarily not working.

Buy in Bulk

Purchasing large quantities costs more up front, but it can provide significant savings over the long term. Buying in bulk also means room for storage is necessary.

“I try to order hay in larger loads for a better price,” said Amy Obringer, a CHA Regional Director and CHA Certified Riding Instructor from California. “I’m always looking for deals on supplements and medications, and I share vet fees with other barn owners in my area when I can.”

CHA has many educational horsemanship blogs, click here to see them all.

This article was written for CHA by Katie Navarra.

About CHA

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit






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