Ten Tips to become an ARBA Licensed Registrar, Part I
Prestige. Income. Becoming a judge: All of these are reasons why breeders may pursue a rabbit or cavy registrar’s license. But the number one reason to consider becoming a registrar, and the only guaranteed benefit, is the in-depth learning experience you’ll gain in the process of licensing. Even if you never plan to be a judge, the skills you will gain in studying the Standard and working under professionals will help you develop your herd of rabbits to its top potential.
Ten Preparation and Study Tips for ARBA Registrar Applicants
1) Don’t fill out the application until you have the time to pursue a license. It’s not uncommon for breeders to request the application for a registrar’s license from the ARBA months before they actually send in the form. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it does become dangerous when you fill out the application and get your signatures long before you actually apply. A certain number of current adult ARBA members must endorse your application. If you get the signatures months before you send in your application, some of their memberships may have lapsed. It’s also a good idea to have a few extra people sign on the back of your form in case some of them had let their membership expire. It’s usually pretty easy to get the required signatures at a show.
2) Study before you apply! Once you send in your application to the ARBA and it’s approved, you have just two years to complete the licensing process. While this seems like a long time, we have busy lives and it goes fast! So, do not apply for a license until you have done your studying and are ready to test. If you don’t get at least 70% on both the written and oral exams, you have to wait six months to retest.
3) Go to your examining judge’s home. Your exams will be administered by an ARBA licensed judge. You have a chance to request which judge gives you the test, and you’ll usually get the one you ask for. Pick a judge that lives near enough to you that you can go to their home to test. A judge will have more time to spend with you at their home on a free weekend than if they met you before a show. You may get a chance to see their rabbitry and put your hands on some of their animals. Frankly, you may get a much better education from some of the lesser known judges at their home than from a “top ten” judge that has to squeeze you into their schedule at a show. Of course, you should contact the judge and get their agreement before you send in your application.
4) Make sure you have a current Standard of Perfection. The new SOP goes into effect this year! Make sure you get your copy because there were several changes. Also, pay attention to which new breeds or varieties pass their third presentation after the SOP was printed. Their standards are printed in Domestic Rabbits upon becoming official. When you actually apply for a registrar’s license, the ARBA will send you the standards for the breeds and varieties that passed since the last printing.
5) Learn how to clamp tattoo rabbits. As you may know, all rabbits have the registration insignia ® tattooed in their right ear at time of registration. (The registration number may be tattooed instead, but the ® symbol is more common.) When you receive your registrar’s license, you can get this symbol from the ARBA that fits into a tattoo clamp. Even if you intend to use an electric tattoo pen on the bunnies you register, your examining judge will probably have you demonstrate your ability to tattoo bunnies with a clamp.
…That’s all for now! Tips 6 through 10 coming soon!