The Unit is applicable to the equine industry where it may be necessary to provide dietary advice in conjunction with the provision of health care to horses.In addition to legal and ethical responsibilities, all Units of Competency in the ACM10 Animal Care and Management Training Package have the requirement for animals to be handled gently and calmly. The individual is required to exhibit appropriate care for animals so that stress and discomfort is minimised.
There are no pre-requisite Units for this competency standard.
Elements and Performance Criteria
1 Relate elements of the equine diet to physiological function
1.1 Nutrient elements are classified according to needs of the body
1.2 Structures of the digestive system are located and the nutrient absorption and metabolism process are described
1.3 Features of a well balanced diet are related to horse health condition and workload
1.4 Impact of an unbalanced or deficient diet on horse health is evaluated
2 Evaluate the composition of common horse diets
2.1 Feedstuffs commonly available and fed to horses in Australia are identified
2.2 Methods of feedstuff preparation are evaluated regarding impact on nutrient availability
2.3 Quality of feedstuffs for nutritional and health value is evaluated
3 Identify factors that may affect horse condition relevant to nutritional requirements
3.1 Horses are classified according to condition score
3.2 Horses are classified according to developmental age requirements
3.3 Horses are classified according to breed, activity and housing status
3.4 Options to adjust diet in relation to horse health status are evaluated
3.5 Owner or carer is referred to nutritional or veterinary specialist for specific dietary requirements and ration formulation advice
Required skills include:
analyse and solve problems using available information and resources including recording information and prioritising daily tasks
apply interpersonal skills to work with others and relate to people from a range of cultural, social and religious backgrounds and with a range of physical and mental abilities
communicate effectively with others, including questioning, active listening, asking for clarification and consulting with or seeking advice from other relevant persons
condition score the horse
consult clearly and precisely with other equine health care providers
employ safe and environmentally responsible organisational systems and procedures when working with and handling horses
follow sequenced written instructions; record accurately and legibly information collected; and select and apply procedures to a range of defined tasks
identify elements of a nutritionally balanced diet and relate them to the function of horse body systems, general health and behaviour
maintain the highest standards of hygiene and infection control at all times to reduce the risk of infection and cross-infection; considering zoonotic and exotic disease possibilities (biosecurity)
numeracy skills to estimate, calculate and record routine workplace elements
read and follow required policies and procedures, including OHS, infection control and waste management
solve problems using available information and resources including recording information and prioritising daily tasks
use safe manual handling techniques and equipment
use safe, hygienic and environmentally friendly waste handling and disposal procedures.
Required knowledge includes:
anatomical and physiological structures, features and functions related to dietary needs and the absorption and metabolism of nutrients
anatomical directional terminology
consequences of an unbalanced or deficient diet to horse function, health and behaviour
equine allied health practitioners' codes of conduct
factors affecting availability of nutrients to horses
feedstuffs commonly fed to horses and the general principles of a balanced diet for horses
impact of breed, age, workload and housing on diet
methods used to assess horse condition and general health
nutritional needs for different classes of horses
principles of animal welfare
relevant legislation, regulations and codes of practice, including OHS, animal welfare and ethics, veterinary practice and waste disposal
signs and symptoms of an unbalanced or deficient diet in horses
safe work practices
workplace hygiene standards (biosecurity) including: disinfectants, cleaning agents and techniques, cleaning and appropriate disinfection or sterilisation of equipment, materials and personal protective equipment (PPE).
The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.
Overview of assessment
Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this Unit
The evidence required to demonstrate competence in this Unit must be relevant to workplace operations and satisfy all of the requirements of the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge and the range statement of this Unit. Assessors should ensure that candidates can:
locate the anatomical structures and define the process involved in nutrient absorption and metabolism in horses
classify the range of feedstuffs available in Australia for their nutrient value to horses
identify factors that affect nutrient availability in horse diets
evaluate the impact of an unbalanced or nutrient deficient diet on horse health and behaviour
identify the variation in nutritional demands for various classes of horse
classify horses by condition, health, age and housing status
provide advice to owners or carers on managing dietary principles in relation to equine health conditions and age status of the horse.
The skills and knowledge required to determine nutrition needs in provision of horse health care must be transferable to a range of work environments and contexts and include the ability to deal with unplanned events.
Context of and specific resources for assessment
Assessment for this Unit is to be practical in nature and will be most appropriately assessed in an equine allied health workplace or in a situation that reproduces normal work conditions.
There must be access to a range of horses and anatomical models and the relevant equipment and resources to enable one to demonstrate competence
Method of assessment
To ensure consistency in performance, competency should be demonstrated, to industry standards, on more than two occasions over a period of time in order to cover a variety of circumstances, cases and responsibilities and over a number of assessment activities.
The assessment strategy must include assessment of competency in a work environment. Suggested strategies for this Unit are:
written and oral assessment of candidate’s required knowledge
observed, documented and first-hand testimonial evidence of candidate’s application of practical tasks
simulation exercises that reproduce normal work conditions
This Unit may be assessed in a holistic way with other Units of Competency relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role.
Guidance information for assessment
Assessment methods should reflect workplace demands (e.g. literacy and numeracy demands) and the needs of particular target groups (e.g. people with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, women, people with a language background other than English, youth and people from low socio-economic backgrounds).
The range statement relates to the Unit of Competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.
Nutrient elements may include:
Structures of thedigestive system will include:
mouth and teeth
salivary ducts and glands
small and large intestine
Impact of an unbalanced or deficient diet may include:
health problems related to feeding:
becoming tucked up
developing a dull or rough coat
developing a nervy disposition
exertional rhabdomyolosis (tying up)
manure eating (coprophagy)
poor appetite/eating (anorexia versus dysphagia)
predisposition to inflammatory conditions
vitamin and mineral deficiencies
wood chewing/crib biting
condition of horses:
losing or gaining weight.
Feedstuffs may include:
processed mixes for specific categories of horse
sweet feeds (processed grain mixes)
Methods of feedstuff preparation may include:
adhering to appropriate feeding time requirements
boiling or soaking grains or pellets
changing rations to suit local conditions:
high energy feeds for working, exercising, competing or racing animals
spelling feeds for horses coming into work or being let down
correct fibre/protein ratio for use
damping feeds as required
ensuring prepared feed is given to correct horse only
following relevant competition rules related to feed additives
maintaining enterprise’s safe feed preparation procedures:
cleaning buckets, feed and water containers
following instructions related to feed mixers and grain crushers
using dust masks
using safe lifting and handling techniques
reading and following feed ration lists and directions
recognising spoiled or contaminated feeds
recognising and adding prescribed supplements
using feed weighing scales.
Horse classifications may include:
yearlings to maturity for breed
breed, activity and housing:
various breeds of horses
condition score system:
Options to adjust diet may include:
alter frequency of feeding
alter type of foodstuffs fed
alterations to preparation techniques
awareness of toxic plants in pastures
environment for example: position of feed bins
expert nutritional advice
natural versus domesticated feeding regimes compared
transition time to alternative diet
This Unit contains employability skills.
No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this Unit at the time of publication.