With 20 years of experience telling stories and writing proposals to help small professional service companies win clients, I wanted to help my friend, Sue, to help expand her herb business and support her non-profit. I wrote ‘Selling Herbs for a Cause’ last year with that in mind. I have great admiration for her focus and dedication to her horses and bringing the powerful work of equine guided education to many people who benefit from it.
Susan Moore didn’t set out to run a company mixing and distributing herbal blends for horses, but a passion for her horses’ health and equine facilitated learning made it a natural step to take. Moore’s daughters love wearing TOMS shoes; in fact, they each go through three or four pairs a year. Founded with the idea of giving a pair of shoes to someone in need each time a pair was sold, TOMS inspired Moore to think differently about selling herbs. She got excited by the idea of sharing the profits to support the animal welfare organizations she cared about. “It fills up my heart to do business for good,” Moore says.
Around 2005, Moore first became interested in herbs to supplement her horse’s diet. Her Paint mare, Promise, always had issues with her feet, as well as fetlock arthritis and ulcers. She’d considered euthanizing Promise if she couldn’t find a way for the mare to be comfortable. Moore had tried everything: gel inserts with pads, previcox, bute, shoes, barefoot, eventually finding her way to herbs. Chamisa Ridge was a company offering herbal blends for horses that sold direct to the consumer. Moore began giving their herb blends to her mares.
Meanwhile, Moore, trained in equine-guided education and as an organizational development coach, founded Empowerment Through Connection, a non-profit offering personal and professional development programs guided by horses. Designed to empower people through their experience of connection with horses, Promise was one of Moore’s horses that worked in the Medicine and Horsemanship program, as well as Empowering Girls of Today, organizational leadership, and mindfulness training.
Early in 2013 Moore learned that Chamisa Ridge, now renamed Chava Naturals, was at risk of closing its doors, and the owners wanted to sell the business. She wondered, “If I buy this company, could I earn enough profit to support the non-profit?” This question eventually led her to acquire Chava Naturals in May 2013. It was an opportunity built around her core values, but at the time, she didn’t have the cash to finance the entire purchase. She did have a tractor, and finally decided to sell her tractor for a down payment toward the purchase of the business. As any farm owner will attest, a tractor does a huge amount of the work. Susan Moore knew she had a lot of hand shoveling ahead!
Chava Naturals and Susan Moore continue to evolve. Today, Susan Moore’s vision is for Chava Naturals to be the TOMS Shoes of the animal world. She continues to offer herbs as a fundraising source to non-profit organizations working on behalf of animal welfare. Chava Naturals’ next adventures include being a vendor of choice for Save A Forgotten Equine (S.A.F.E.) and providing funding for Homeward Pet Adoption Center’s Spay and Neuter Clinics.
Chava Naturals sells herbal blends for horses and dogs, plus a few single herbs according to demand. Formerly Chamisa Ridge Herbal Supplements, Chava Naturals only uses human grade organic herbs or sustainably wild crafted if organic is not available. It is unique in the marketplace because it sells direct to customers. It’s competitors only sell wholesale through distributors. Chava Naturals’ competition supports only one nonprofit, rather than several.
When Moore purchased Chava Naturals, it sold herbs for horses only. But people with horses have dogs, too, and asked for herbs for their dogs. She worked with Suzan Seelye, DVM to develop blends for dogs. Dog herbs come in powdered form for ease of mixing into food. She also developed a dog treat so that the sales could benefit Homeward Pet Adoption Center’s spay and neuter clinics.
Chava Naturals partners with non-profits as a fundraising source. In exchange for promoting Chava Naturals herbs to their supporters, Chava Naturals donates 10 percent of each sale back to the designated organization. Buyers also receive a 10 percent discount on their purchase by using a code specific to each organization.
Susan Moore is the Owner of Chava Naturals, an equine-guided education facilitator, and a trained organizational development coach. Her passion is inspiring others through the messages horses share with us. She founded Empowerment Through Connection in 2012, a sanctuary where horses are the key facilitators in the education programs.
Recipe for health – Susan Moore feeds her horses orchard grass hay along with Chava Naturals herbs, based on their health needs.
photo taken at Empowerment Through Connection of Eve, one of the resident horses