Frequently Asked Questions

 

Who Is Bitless Inc?
Bitless Inc was formed by a group of passionate bitless riders and drivers, all of whom have worked profressionally in the equine industry.  The founding committee have competed in their chosen sports and have experienced discrimination for being bitless.  This inspired an idea to unite bitless riders and drivers around the country, and, by gathering numbers, help bring about change in the general equestrian community. 

Where Will I Be Able To Use My Membership?
Anywhere!  With flexible public liability and personal injury insurance, you are covered for all of your Bitless Inc activities, and events.  You must abide by our Code of Conduct, and General Safety Guidelines regardless of what activity you partake in, whether that activity is part of another organisation's event or not. Bitless Inc needs to be notified in advance of activities and events being run under Bitless Inc, that you want insurance coverage for.  Some organisations may offer discounts or extra benefits for members, and some Clubs already welcome Bitless Inc Members (Club fees are additional).  We are working to see Bitless Inc Members welcomed at more and more events around the country, and the more members we have, the easier that will be.
 
So Will I Now Be Able To Compete Anywhere Bitless?
No, Bitless Inc has no control over other organisations and their rules.  Any organisation can permit Bitless Inc Members to participate in open events, but it is up to the event organisers to do so (and it is up to you to prompt them!).  Any club that asks you to join another association for the insurance cover, cannot prevent you from using Bitless Inc as that association cover, as long as you provide them with the information they request, such as Insurance Certificate of Currency (available on our Documents page) and Proof of Membership, and notify us in advance that you will be using your Bitless Inc membership for that event.
 
However, by providing you with insurance that is equal to, or better than, any other equestrian association in Australia, you can now approach any club that you are a member of, and ask to be permitted to participate bitless using your Bitless Inc Membership (which shifts the liability).    It is up to the event organisers whether they grant permission to you, but with more people asking, more members behind us to campaign for change, it will become easier to do so over time.  As many organisations claim that insurance and liability are the main reasons they do not permit bitless competitors, that excuse has now been eliminated by the formation of Bitles Inc, and you becoming a Member.  More information on this can be found in our Members Forum.

What Are The Different Memberships?
We offer several different classes of Membership:

Enthusiast is the most common, permits you to participate in equestrian activities with full insurance cover, and suits most members needs, as it allows you to get on with what you love doing, and not be concerned with association politics.

Fanatic is for those who are passionate about advocating for bitless competitors, and want to be more involved with the operations of Bitless Inc, contribute to campaign planning, and be involved in decision making of the association, Fanatic Members are eligible to join the committee and have voting rights.
 
Mini is for under 16's and over 80's.  Mini Membership includes Public Liability insurance, but not Personal Injury Insurance
 
Advocate is for those who want to be a part of Bitless Inc, but do not intend to participate in local events. No insurance cover is included, but you can still enter the Annual Online Show and participate in the High Point Awards.

Guest Membership is available to permit non members to participate in an Affiliate club event for one event only.  Guest Members are covered by Public Liability insurance only, for the duration of the event.  There is no limit to how many times a person can be a guest member, but if they do so more than twice, it is cheaper to become an Enthusiast Member.  A Guest may upgrade to Enthusiast Membership within 30 days of first signing up as a Guest and will only need to pay the difference in membership fees.  Only a Bitless Inc Authorised Member may sign up Guests.  To become an Authorsied Member for an upcoming event, see our Documents page for the application form.

For a complete description of our memberships, please visit the Become A Member page.
 
I'm Under 18, Can I Be A Member?
Yes!  As long as you have the permission of a parent or guardian, you can join Bitless Inc as an Enthusiast, Mini or Advocate Member.  A parent or guardian must sign the Application form.  Fanatic Members must be over 18 years of age.  Personal Injury Insurance is only available to Members who are over 16 years of age.  Minors are not treated differently to other Members in any other way.  
 
If Bitless Inc Only Covers Individuals, What Is Guest Membership For?
Guest Membership allows non members to particpate alongside Bitless Inc Members by offering public liability insurance cover for the duration of the event.  Events may be a club competition, a local trail ride with friends, a community parade in which Members are participating, a demonstration at an expo, or anything in between.  Guests must be signed up on the day by an Authorised Bitless Inc Member. To become an Authorised Member for an upcoming event, fill in the application form on our Documents page, at least 2 weeks prior to the event.
 
What Sports are Covered by Bitless Inc?
Bitless Inc covers any equestrian activity you undertake ridden, driven, or on the ground, to pleasure rides, to mounted games, to dressage events.  Showjumping and cross country have reduced Personal Injury Insurance cover, but are still covered.  As Bitless Inc do not control or plan the events, you will need to check with event organisers that any activities you are entering will permit you to participate bitless or bridleless, but it may help to show them your membership card and the Bitless Inc Insurance Certificate of Currency (it can be found on our documents page) to convince some event organisers.
 
Only Some Of My Local Riding Friends Have Joined, What Happens If There Is An Accident?
If an accident is caused by a person who is not a member of Bitless Inc, or any other organisation that provides them with insurance for that activity, then there is no insurance on the incident, and the person responsible is personally liable to pay for any damages to property, animals, and out of pocket medical expenses.  It is in all participant's interests to ensure that everyone you ride or drive with has some level of insurance.   With groups of friends, this is something that really should be discussed, but often isn't.  For event organisers, its a legal Duty of Care, and in the event of a serious incident, there is a risk that the friend who organised the casual ride can be sued for the incident, if no precautions were taken.  Bitless Inc offers an inexpensive way of obtaining top level insurance for everyone's peace of mind.

What Is Not Covered By Bitless Inc?
Bitless Inc does not cover commercial or for profit activities (eg, activities undertaken as an employee of an equestrian business, paid performances where you are an employee or contactor, or to advertise a business.)  Attending an event run by a commercial business (ie, where you have paid an entry fee) IS covered as you are particpating recreationally.  Racing is also excluded.
Bitless Inc only covers bits that appear on the Permitted Bit List. 
Members Only events run by other organisations are not covered by Bitless Inc.
Personal activities are not covered by Bitless Inc. 
 
When Is Training a Personal Activity or A Bitless Inc Activity?
Bitless Inc activities are those we are notified of in advance.  Events, competitions, and organised training days that are run under Bitless Inc are included.  When you are at home, on your own horse, doing training that has not been organised through Bitless Inc, you are not covered, unless you make a public listing of the activity on the Members Forum Calendar.

I Want To Stop Using Bits But Am Not Sure Where To Start?
Bitless Inc is here to help!  Join as a Member, check the Permitted Bit List to ensure the bit you are currently using is covered.  Bitless Inc has a established a Bitless Bridle Bank, that allows Members to loan different styles of Bridles to help them decide which suits their needs, before committing to purchasing one.  Our Members Only Forum is also a useful resource for support, information and advice on transitioning away from bits. 

What Happens If I Use A Bit For Competitions?
Bitless Inc includes coverage for activities using bits on the Permitted Bit List, to aid Members who are compromising for event rules or in the process of transitioning.  If you are entering in a Members Only event with another organisation that you are a member of, then you are covered by the event organiser's insurance, and not Bitless Inc. 

I Ride With No Bridle, Am I Still Covered?
Yes! You are covered, even in competition, provided the event organisers also allow it.

I Train Liberty Horses, Am I Still Covered?
Yes!  Demonstrations that are not for commercial gain, and even liberty competitions such as Horse Agility are all covered.
 
Is My Groom or Helper Covered?
No, Bitless Inc provides cover for individuals only, and we recommend that anyone involved with handling horses at events, join as well.  Guest Membership is available for one off helpers and grooms.  Contact Us prior to the event to sign up any of your helpers or grooms as Guest Members.

Can My Club Join Bitless Inc?
Not as a club, but if all of your club members are also Members of Bitless Inc, your Club no longer needs to secure its own public liability insurance.  Bitless Inc only provides membership to individuals.  The reason behind this is so that Bitless Inc stays out of the running and control of your Club, we are not a governing body, but a supportive one.  Bitless Inc provides the insurance, Code of Conduct and Safety Guidelines, but your club provides the activities, and the specific rules for those events.  Bitless Inc Members still need to join your Club as a member (or Guest), and pay any applicable entry fees to participate.  Guests may be signed up through Bitless Inc for the duration of an event, or for potential members of your club to participate in your club events (conditions apply).

By welcoming Bitless Inc Members your club becomes an Independant Club of Bitless Inc, and we will help to promote your events and activities on our website, members forum and Facebook page, and direct local members looking for a club your way.  For more information, Click Here.
 
You can also start a new Club through Bitless Inc with Hoof Sports.  Bitless Inc Hoof Sports Clubs are an extension of Bitless Inc. Its never been easier to start a new group, without the financial risks new clubs usually face. For more information Click Here.
 
What Coverage Is Provided For Volunteers At Club Events?
Any Members of Bitless Inc between the ages of 16 and 80 are covered while volunteering for non profit Equestrian activities associated with Bitless Inc.  Any volunteer that is not a Bitless Inc member has full Public Liabiltiy cover and limited cover for personal injury while volunteering.  Volunteers may also be covered by the event organisers' insurance, if applicable.  If the event has no connection to Bitless Inc, or Bitless Inc is not notified of the event, then Bitless Inc has no authority to provide cover for any of the volunteers.  
 
How Can My Business Be A Part Of Bitless Inc?
An Affiliate Club or Group is any organisation that provides benefits to Bitless Inc Members. What those benefits might be, if any, are entirely up to you.  We do not ask for any contribution to be made to Bitless Inc, only to Members.  As an ACG, we will promote your business to our members.  Special Offers and Discounts will be advertised in our Members Only Forum.

Members are covered by Bitless Inc insurance for non commercial activities only, so even if you are a member, your business needs its own sufficient insurance cover, particularly for professional indemnity and activities involving horses. 

Bitless Bridle manufacturers are invited to donate bridles to the Bitless Bridle Bank, which will be rented to members for a small maintenance fee.  The Bitless Inc Bridle Bank is available to help members determine what style of bridle suits them, their horse and their chosen sports, and they are then directed back to bridle suppliers to make their purchases.  Contact us for more information on the Bitless Bridle Bank.

Still Have Questions?
 
 
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