UK Registered Charity number 1155018

World Bitless Association to meet with the Federation Equestrian International

Photo – Leilani Dowding & Rosie UK

WBA needs your views and opinions!

In a world-first, the Bitless Equestrian Community will be represented by the World Bitless Association in a meeting with the FEI later this year.
The aims of the WBA are to improve welfare for horses through the promotion of evidence-based, benign, horse-friendly training, by helping to develop opportunities for competent balanced riding and by ensuring equal opportunities are established for all equestrians to compete, whether they choose to ride Bitless or Bitted.
To enable us to take your views forward to the meeting, please complete our short SURVEY.
The World Bitless Association (WBA) has received an invitation by the FEI to attend a meeting in Switzerland later in 2020, after Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, following the recent WBA campaign Why NOT Bitless for XC Eventing.
The FEI indicated that they welcome discussion with the WBA to discuss;-
our common drive to improve equine welfare standards and public perception of horse sport‘ so that we may ‘ have an exchange of views with you on these important topics’ (Catrin Norinder FEI)
The invitation has been warmly accepted by the WBA, as a valuable opportunity to help generate dialogue between the Bitless community and the FEI.
The FEI invitation comes as a direct result of the considerable communication of data and evidence provided by the WBA for the Why NOT Bitless XC campaign in 2019 to try and prevent the banning of Bitless bridles in the cross-country phase of FEI eventing.
Holly Coetzee & Connor UAE
The FEI response regarding the 2019 BAN on XC eventing for Bitless bridles.
We understand from the FEI that discussions around the ban were shaped by the views of members of the FEI Eventing Committee, chaired by David O’Connor which also included the evidence submitted by the WBA.
‘The FEI Eventing committee remained strongly opposed to the use of Bitless bridles in the cross-country phase for risk management reasons. Subsequently, the changes to the 2020 FEI Eventing Rules were approved unanimously by the National Federations at the FEI General Assembly in Moscow (RUS) in November 2019, and no discussion points were raised against the proposed Bitless ban during the dedicated rules session the day before.’ (Catrin Norinder FEI)

Karen Inkster & Connie WBA Global Ambassadors

How the vote went against the Bitless Riders & the part the National Federations played.

WBA was very disappointed to see little support from the National Federations and Stakeholders to support the Why NOT Bitless campaign, despite the evidence submitted to each individual country during the consultation period.
Only two National Federations supported the WBA campaign, they were  The United States Equestrian Federation & The British Equestrian Federation.
The WBA acknowledges and thanks them both for their considered support and statements. However, Equestrian Australia who was the primary instigator of the BAN despite repeated requests by the WBA to supply their ‘data’ and reasons to ban bitless bridles in cross country, failed to respond to any correspondence sent to them.
Supporting statements for the WBA campaign were received by the following organizations and industry experts and submitted to the FEI – We issue our thanks to one and all.
Marina Cerveto Veterinarian & WBA trainer Brazil


To understand the complicated voting structure for the FEI and how you can impact change see here.
WBA believes that the Bitless community is a much-needed asset in the traditional equestrian community and should be viewed as being able to play an exciting and valuable role in shaping the future of horse sport.
WBA welcomes views from the whole of the equestrian community concerning the issues that matter in relation to welfare and equality for bit-free horses and the use of Bitless bridles in all FEI disciplines.
What are your views on abusive riding and training of sport horses and how areas of concern may be radically improved?
Please complete the survey. You may also wish to write to us with your views marked FEI & World Bitless Meeting at or by message or comment on our facebook page

The World Bitless Association is the only global equine welfare charity that represents the Bitless community

  • Fighting for equality for bit-free horses in all competition
  • Working to improve knowledge & raise welfare standards at ground level by the provision of affiliated evidence-based trainers around the world
  • Generating free information and education on ethical alternatives for Bridles & Reward-based training for the benefit of the horse.
  • Taking your opinions & voice straight to the FEI & National Federations

Q. How Smart Are Horses?

We can do better by horses if we choose to understand them – they are speaking to us we urge you to watch this inspiring video How Smart are Horses? produced by a group of American universities and researchers
Video Credit;- Charles Stuart University, Huntington University, Otterbein, Pixabay, Videvo, Envato
Taina Rajala & Kiahan Renard, Netherlands.

Supporting science

The effects of Pressure, Nosebands, Bits & Bridles on Horses

Up to date science and research May 2020. Webinar with Equestrian Canada and Professor Paul McGreevy on the effects of pressure and restrictive tack, in particular the effects of tight nosebands & bits on tongues and breathing.
Professor Paul McGreevy is a riding instructor, veterinarian, and ethologist. He is a Professor of Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare Science at the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Veterinary Science and a founding member of the International Society of Equitation Science ISES.

Mouth Pain in Horses: Physiological Foundations, Behavioural Indices, Welfare Implications, and a Suggested Solution. by Professor David Mellor And 12 questions, we should ask?

Please complete our SURVEY your opinion matters.

Thank You & Please share!

Alejandro Asensio & Lola Spain
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