CHA Site Accreditation

Kentucky Horse Park

About CHA Site Accreditation:

  • CHA has provided a reasonable and accepted 
    Standards for Equestrian Programs Manual.
  • Site Accreditation is a process in which equine programs
    are evaluated on compliance with these CHA Standards.
  • Each Site is visited by two CHA approved Site Visitors who verify compliance with the CHA Standards.
  • Each Site is scored on their compliance with these CHA Standards. 


    • Accreditation is available to all types of equine programs.
    • Accredited sites must be current CHA Program Members.
Photo by Ann Swinker in PA

Why Be Accredited?

  • Because you care about the safety and quality of your equine program.
  • Because your clients, customers and parents care about safety and professionalism.
  • Because it is only a matter of time before government regulations require accreditation or licensing.
  • Accreditation is visible evidence to potential customers/clients that you strive to adhere to industry safety standards.
  • Accredited Sites may use the CHA logo on all advertising, letterheads, displays, etc.
  • The CHA Site Accreditation sign may be displayed to show you care about safety, education and animal welfare.
  • Accreditation is advertised in all CHA publicity materials.
  • Possible insurance discounts.

Site Accreditation Standards

Core standards are divided into three categories, concerning the site or facility, the program operations and the management of the equines at the facility.  In addition, there are standards for the specialty activities of driving, riders with disabilities, trail, and vaulting.

Standards are prioritized as either “mandatory” or “recommended.” Accredited sites must comply with 100% of the mandatory standards and 80% of the recommended standards. Following is a brief synopsis of the standards:

  • SITE: safe grooming and tacking areas, rules posted, arena and trail construction and maintenance, safe and humane areas for animals, emergency plans.
  • PROGRAM: staff qualifications, rider attire policy, program policies and procedures, rider eligibility policy.
  • EQUINE MANAGEMENT:  Herd management practices; horse selection; horse records; equipment fit, care and maintenance; progress reports for horses and riders.

CHA Site Accreditation Process Details

Certified Horsemanship Association Site Accreditation is a process in which equestrian programs and facilities are evaluated on compliance with CHA Standards for Equestrian Programs.  With an increasing awareness of safety and liability issues, both on the part of equine establishments and the consumer, accreditation of programs is an idea whose time has come. We are in an age where expectations of the consumer are more demanding and government regulations are increasing. Programs interested in CHA Site Accreditation demonstrate their dedication to quality in equestrian programs, and we applaud them for their willingness to adhere to the CHA standards.

While the focus of accreditation is on safety practices at the facility, the operation of its program, the management of horses, and in some cases, specific equestrian activities, there is no guarantee that the participant will be free of inherent risks associated with equestrian activities. However, accreditation does indicate to the public that the riding establishment has voluntarily invited comparison of its procedures and practices to standards in this document and has been found to be in compliance with all mandatory standards and at least 80% of recommended standards.

The intent of this information is to familiarize you with CHA’s Site Accreditation Program and help you prepare for a Site Accreditation visit. If you have questions on this program, please contact the CHA at

Wears Valley

Purpose of the CHA Site Accreditation Program

  1. To educate facility owners and program operators in the administration of key aspects of equestrian program operation, particularly those related to participant safety.
  2. To establish guidelines for needed policies, procedures and practices.
  3. To identify safety practices that are considered basic to the wide variety of horse-related activities and facilities.
  4. To ensure that facilities are reasonably safe.
  5. To assist the public in selecting equestrian establishments that meet industry-accepted standards.

Eligibility for Site Accreditation

Equestrian programs, including camps, colleges, schools, private or public boarding or training operations, recreational riding programs, driving programs, vaulting programs, trail ride operations, and outfitters may seek accreditation by CHA. To become a CHA Accredited Facility, a site must complete all of the following requirements:

Site Accreditation Procedures

To start the CHA Site Accreditation Process, print out the Site Accreditation Application Form, complete it, and send it to the CHA office along with the $150 application fee. Once your application and fee have been received, you will receive the following materials:

Once you return your visit confirmation letter with your visit date and names of your Site Visitors, they will receive your paperwork and you will prepare your facility and documentation for the site visit. On the day of the visit, the Site Visitors verify compliance with each standard listed in CHA Standards for Equestrian Programs. Site Visitors do not award or deny accreditation. They simply check-off standards on the Accreditation Score Sheet, write explanations where needed, and send completed forms to the CHA Office. CHA Office will notify the site of the results. Each Accredited Site must maintain annual membership in CHA and submit an annual statement of compliance to maintain CHA Site Accreditation.