Our Aims and Objectives

  • To promote benign evidence-based training that adheres to the principles of LIMA (Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive methods of training and tack use) and learning theory principles, to reduce conflict in the trained horse and improve horse welfare.
  • To end the discrimination against bitless riders in equestrian activities.
  • To ensure bitless riders can take part in all equestrian events (subject to other qualifying rules) using modern, humane bitless bridles, alongside riders whose equines are bitted, and be judged on an equal basis to bitted riders.
  • To improve the welfare of trained/captive domestic equines.*
  • To encourage links across a wide range of equestrian activities by encouraging presentations, discussions, publications and by maintaining contacts with relevant scientific organisations.
  • To offer advice to governments, international bodies, industry and to equine welfare organisations involved behaviour, training, welfare and competition rules.
  • To educate the public on matters relating to ethical horse training and tack, particularly with regard to the use of bits and bitless bridles, so as to further the welfare of equines.
  • To publicise appropriate equine-related events and hold our own events in the pursuit of our stated aims.
  • To provide an international forum in which equestrians can communicate and discuss equitation science and behavioural sciences research. To support scientific work which helps improve horse welfare.
  • To encourage, where appropriate, the assimilation of scientific knowledge so as to further its application in relation to practical problems concerning the way horses are trained, managed, housed and cared for. 
  • To raise funds in pursuit of our aims.

*Captive domestic equines: This phrase means all domesticated equines which are in the control of people regarding their welfare, nutrition housing and management, regardless of how they are kept.  It excludes wild and feral equines.

Initiatives

  • To hold a resource list of endorsed practitioners who adhere to with the principles of (LIMA) and understand learning theory.
  • To make available educational material to assist training and judging of horses.
  • Maintain a worldwide directory of events and shows which are bitless “friendly” for the benefit of those members who wish to access competition alongside bitted bridle users. Offer support, information and training to enable changes in perception, and acceptance of bitless users throughout equestrianism.
  • Present evidence, research, and public opinion to equestrian governing bodies and others, in support of achieving parity between bitted and bitless equestrianism.

Policy Matters

  • WBA acknowledges that, in the same way as rules exist to control the type and use of bits with bitted riders in competition, the same rules will apply to bitless riders. WBA will encourage the use of modern bitless bridles whose use aligns with principles of LIMA. We recognise the need for improvement in sensitive communication.
  • WBA will operate as a registered charity. Any funds raised will be used in the furtherance of the WBA’s aims.
  • WBA will raise popular awareness of bitless riders via initiatives such as the Why Not Bitless: Rosettes for bitless ambassadors and Bitless Heroes projects.
  • WBA will be the association for cohesion within the International bitless community, striving for bitless equestrians to be given equal access at all equestrian events, with improved horse welfare.