What is the NSBA? Learn About the Organization for WEC Ocala

BY JAMIE SKUBAL (SWEET)

Many have not heard of the National Snaffle Bit Associate (NSBA) unless they are involved with a breed association that works with them. To those in the Hunter/Jumper community this is something new and innovative.  To me, who rides stock breed hunters and hunter/jumpers, NSBA is something dear to my heart that I am proud to share. 

Lainie DeBoer, Owner and Trainer of Dreamfield stables, is looking forward to the new circuit. “I am attending WEC Ocala 2021. I think it is going to look and feel a lot like any other horse show as far as how it is run. The difference being a state of the art facility and a passionate and involved owner,” she explained. “The NSBA is a governing body with rules and medication guidelines built in, so it will ensure the exhibitor peace of mind there is a level playing field. I have been a member of NSBA for many years and compete at their horse shows. I can assure you that there are some very intelligent horsemen that make the decisions. I think this is healthy for our sport to see new relationships blossom, and opens up a ton of possibilities on many levels, especially for the exhibitors.” Lainie is a member of the AQHA Professional Horseman’s Association, AQHA Specialized judges card holder for over fences, and is the AQHA National director for the state of Minnesota. 

The NSBA was started in 1983 with the mission to promote quality pleasure horses through programs that benefit the horses, and all horse enthusiasts alike. Like many organizations, it holds its own memberships, rules and regulations, along with horse registration. NSBA has eight currently recognized breed associations that foster dual approved classes and horse shows along with the promotion of the NSBA mission. Those associations include: American Buckskin Registry Association, American Paint Horse Association, American Quarter Horse Association, Appaloosa Horse Club, International Buckskin Horse Association, Palomino Horse Breeders of America, Pinto Horse Association, and Pony of the Americas Club, Inc. 

The NSBA Foundation also offers a variety of approved classes that riders with disabilities may participate in under the Equestrians with Disabilities. The classes offer range from showmanship, trail, to equitation and hunter under saddle.  The Equestrians with Disabilities program gives riders independence and support with their equestrian teammates to not only compete but compete on a fair level. NSBA along with supporting a disabilities program for rides also has a program called Heroes On Horses which supports disabled veterans or active duty “wounded warriors.”  The program was created to give a competitive platform for veterans to learn, grow, and compete in their equestrian skill set. 

NSBA horse shows are like most others around the country. There are class lists that will specifically show which classes are NSBA approved or Dual approved through a breed organization. There is a point system for awards and class placings along with approved judge(s). The only difference I have seen would be the equipment checks to confirm the welfare of the horse, and that approved equipment is used. 

In my opinion, the continued expansion into the hunter jumper community is a wonderful step towards a better and more forward thinking association. The NSBA has held both hunter under saddle (flat), over fences, and hunter hack (2-3 fences and a flat) classes for a good number of years now. The expansion on their approved classes and shows continues to show the association growth. 

The National Snaffle Bit Association posted this news release about the changes. “NSBA hunter jumper members will benefit from the association’s recordkeeping of horse and rider earnings and show results, as well as expanded year-end awards for the division, including a Hunter Jumper Horse of the Year award. Expanded rules specific to NSBA hunter jumper competition are currently being finalized, and will be published in the NSBA 2021 Official Handbook.” 

I highly encourage those who are interested in the NSBA to go watch shows and classes, find an NSBA knowledgeable trainer and most importantly learn more about the rule book and organization.  More information can be found at the association’s web page www.nsba.com/hunter-jumper.


Jamie is a horse obsessed girl who is taking on the world with her youngster. Follow along with her on her journey in chasing the world show on Instagram.