The Unit is applicable to the equine industry where it may be necessary to determine and relate the structural characteristics of the equine musculoskeletal system to horse movement and communicate findings to others.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 Determine structural characteristics of the equine musculoskeletal system
1.1 Terminology describing the anatomical and physiological features and planes of the body is interpreted
1.2 The operation of the musculoskeletal system in relation to body stability, movement, power and stamina, is determined
1.3 Structure and types of bones and joints are identified, and related to purpose
1.4 Structure and types of soft tissues is determined, as well as the relationship of ligaments and tendons to the musculoskeletal system
2 Locate equine muscles and supporting tissues related to equine locomotion, power and stamina and determine their function
2.1 Deep and superficial muscles of significance to power and locomotion are located
2.2 Muscle actions, origin and insertion points are defined
2.3 Tendons and ligaments of significance to power and locomotion are identified
3 Define changes in the equine musculoskeletal system due to growth and performance
3.1 Changes to bone due to age, exercise, ailments and injury are determined
3.2 Changes to soft tissues as a result of growth, exercise, ailments and injury are determined
3.3 Impact of overtraining and injury on the musculoskeletal system is identified
3.4 Changes to hooves and feet that can occur as a result of growth, exercise, ailments and injury are identified
3.5 Outcomes of findings using anatomical, physiological and industry terminology are communicated to others
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
consult clearly and precisely with other equine service providers, horse owners and others
document and report using appropriate terminology
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 evidence of musculoskeletal changes that have occurred due to age, performance, ailments and injury
identify musculoskeletal features that influence movement, power and stamina
identify origin and insertion points of muscles on horses and models
identify hoof and foot structures and changes that occur due to growth, exercise, ailments and injury
identify prominent bones, structures, muscle groups, ligaments and tendons through palpation
identify sensitive areas on surface anatomy which if handled may result in the horse behaving in a manner dangerous to itself or the handler
interpret and respond appropriately to horse behaviour
locate palpable muscles relevant to locomotion, power and stamina on surface anatomy of live horses
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
read and interpret anatomical references, diagrams and other documents relevant to the musculoskeletal system of horses
use and interpret terminology used to describe the planes of the body and to orientate anatomical features
use safe manual handling techniques and/or equipment
use safe, hygienic and environmentally friendly waste handling and disposal procedures.
Required knowledge includes:
anatomical and physiological terminology used to describe features, actions, location and orientation of the musculoskeletal system
changes in the anatomical structure that have occurred during the evolution of the horse
changes in the anatomical structure that can occur due to age, performance, ailments and injury
conformational characteristics that may impact on musculoskeletal structure stability
demands on modern competition and working horses that may impact on the musculoskeletal system
hoof and foot anatomical features and the impact of growth, exercise, ailments and injuries on structures
pathology and symptomology of common horse ailments and injuries related to the musculoskeletal system of the performance horse
principles of animal welfare
relevant legislation, regulations and codes of practice, including OHS, animal welfare and ethics, veterinary practice and waste disposal
safe work practices
structure, function, actions, names and location of muscles significant to horse performance
structure, shape, function, names and location of bones and joints of the horse
structure, function, name and location of ligaments and tendons significant to horse performance
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:
determine the structural characteristics of equine musculoskeletal system
locate and determine the function of equine muscles and supporting tissues related to locomotion, power and stamina
define the changes in equine musculoskeletal system due to growth, performance, ailment or injury
communicate with others to describe and interpret musculoskeletal structures and features using anatomical, physiological and industry terminology.
The skills and knowledge required to relate musculoskeletal structure to horse movement 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 workplace or in a situation that reproduces normal work conditions.
There must be access to a range of horses and ponies, 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.
Operation of the musculoskeletal system may include:
components of the musculoskeletal system:
cartilage including hoof and foot
functions of the musculoskeletal system:
agonist and antagonist muscle pairs for stability, weight support and range of motion
components of the hematopoietic system
creation of levers to create power
stay apparatus for body stability at rest
storage of energy
storage system for calcium and phosphorus.
Structure and type of bones and joints may include:
structure of joints:
cartilaginous joint, joined by cartilage such as sliding, synchondrosis and symphysis joints
fibrous joint, joined by fibrous connective tissue such as a skull suture
synovial joint, not directly joined such as ball and socket and hinge joints
function of joints:
amphiarthrosis, permits slight mobility, most are cartilaginous joints eg. vertebrae
diarthrosis, permits a variety of movements, all are synovial joints eg. hip, knee
synarthrosis, permits little or no mobility, most are fibrous joints eg. skill sutures
biomechanical function of joints:
simple hoint: 2 articulation surfaces eg. hip joint
compound joint: 3 or more articulation surfaces eg. knee
complex joint: 2 or more articulation surfaces and an articular disc or meniscus eg. stifle
surface features and orientation.
Structure and types of soft tissues may include:
2/3 headed parallel
ligaments and tendons
surface features and orientation.
Changes to bone may include:
accelerated cell replacement
growth plate development
Changes to soft tissue may include:
blood flow increase to muscles
bruising of muscles
Impact of overtraining and injury may include:
cell wall failure
exertional rhabdomyolosis (tying up)
ligament sprain, tear
ossification of tendons and ligaments
tendon strain or tear
arthritic changes to joint surfaces
joint fluid loss
scar tissue development.
Changes to hooves and feet may include:
bruising of soles
concussion related changes:
cracks and splits in hoof wall
hoof wall separation
wearing of hoof faster than rate of tissue replacement.
Others may include:
handlers or attendants
equine allied health care providers
owners or carers
This Unit contains employability skills.
No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this Unit at the time of publication.