Trainer Application Information
We welcome applications from all trainers who adhere to our guiding principles as laid down on our World Bitless Association Website.
You must agree to our Mission Statement and the Aims and Objectives of the WBA. We expect all trainers/behaviourists to support the free choice of riders to choose bitless or bitted bridles and for bitted bridles to have the option of being noseband free, for fairness and equality for all bitless riders in equestrian events.
For competition lobbying, we will only recognise those modern bitless bridles that are most likely to comply with the standards in the rule books of the various associations that come under the FEI.
You may be accepted as either an *Associate Trainer or an *Endorsed Trainer.
Endorsed trainers will by and large have academic qualifications in behavioural science, a proven track record in training of horses and a fully functioning training platform which may also have distance learning facilities. Endorsed trainers are likely to have published articles in academic journals or the popular horse riding magazines. Endorsed trainers will be using reward-based training (positive reinforcement and shaping) for much of their work with horses while adhering to the principles of LIMA (least invasive minimally aversive methods of training and tack used). They will also have a sound knowledge of equine behaviour based on the equine ethogram. They are likely to hold a degree–level qualification in animal behaviour.
Associate trainers will have a proven track record in horse training and will be developing their training methods to ensure the minimal use of aversive stimuli. Associate trainers are encouraged to develop their training to adhere to the guiding principles of LIMA. Associate trainers will already have a reasonable working knowledge of learning theory principles, the equine ethogram and equine behaviour. They may be studying for academic behaviour qualifications in animal behaviour. Associate trainers must demonstrate high standards of delivery to a variety of clients and levels of horses. Associate trainers will already be adhering to a higher standard of husbandry and management of the horses in their care than is usually found within equestrianism. Associate trainers will have a broad understanding of how different types of tack function and their effects when used on horses in terms of how aversive they might be, so as to avoid pain and the threat of pressure or pain at all times. Associate trainers should have a website which describes their training programmes and methods in some detail; they will be working as a professional in their home country and may be offering internet-based training platforms for distance learning
We will be introducing a mentoring opportunity in 2019 for those trainers in associate level who wish to become an Endorsed Trainer, to help with their continuing professional development and education. We will encourage and support all trainers in achieving their goals and to facilitate new opportunities when they arise for training opportunities for both levels.
We welcome those riders/trainers who wish to change to a more objective, compassionate way of working with horses, as well as those who are already ‘there’ in this regard. We will encourage our Endorsed Trainers to help other trainers develop their methods so that they are inline with our principles.