This unit of competency supports stablehands, strappers, trainers and others authorised to handle horses.
Competencies attained in this unit apply to the harness and thoroughbred codes of the industry. Consequently when performance criteria are applied they will relate to the harness or thoroughbred code and statements of attainment will reflect this distinction.
This unit can be contextualised for other industries while also maintaining the integrity of the unit.
Elements and Performance Criteria
1. Features used to identify horses are evaluated.
2. Horses are identified using industry standards .
Safely approach, catch and lead horses.
3. Behaviour and level of education of horses are identified and considered prior to handling.
4. Risks associated with catching and leading horses are evaluated.
5. Appropriate gear for catching and leading horses is correctly identified and applied.
6. Horses are approached and caught .
7. Effective leading techniques are demonstrated.
Control horses in training and competition environments.
8. Risks associated with handling horses in public areas are evaluated.
9. Safe leading, holding and controlling techniques are applied to horses.
10. Safe leading and handling techniques in confined spaces are demonstrated.
applying safe handling and work practices when dealing with horses
catching, leading and handling a range of horses in a variety of environments
communicating with employer, supervisor, co-workers and others using assertive communication techniques to gather and relay information related to horse handling activities
completing duties in accordance with safe operating procedures and nominated time frame
evaluating risks associated with catching and handling horses
identifying and correctly using different items of handling gear
identifying features of horses using industry standards
identifying horse behaviour, social traits and vices
leading and handling horses in enclosed spaces
reading and interpreting workplace documentation, including relevant rules of racing
relating to people from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and with varying physical and mental abilities.
basic industry terminology related to handling horses
basic understanding of applicable federal, state or territory legislation and regulations, and national standards and codes of practice relevant to full range of processes relating to own work role and responsibilities
communication procedures within stable and wider racing industry
common horse behaviour, social traits and vices
purpose of using different items of handling gear and appropriate personal protective equipment
racing industry animal welfare requirements
racing industry safety requirements, including safe operating procedures
relevant rules of racing
relevant road safety rules
reporting requirements in relation to handling horses safely.
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.
Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit
The evidence required to demonstrate competency 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 and include evidence of the following:
knowledge of the requirements, procedures and instructions that are to apply when handling horses
implementation of procedures and timely techniques for the safe, effective and efficient handling of horses
working with others to undertake and complete horse handling procedures that meet required outcomes.
Evidence should be collected over a period of time using a range of racehorses of different ages and sexes, and at different stages of preparation in racing stable and track environments.
Context of and specific resources for assessment
Competency must be assessed in a racing workplace that provides access to the required resources or simulated environment approved by the relevant State Principal Racing Authority. Assessment is to occur under standard and authorised work practices, safety requirements and environmental constraints. It is to comply with relevant regulatory requirements or Australian Standards requirements.
Assessment of the practical components of this unit will be by observation of relevant skills.
The following resources must be available:
a variety of harness or thoroughbred horses
materials and equipment relevant to assessing candidate's ability to handle horses safely
safe handling areas, such as racing stables and racetracks
work instructions and related documentation.
Method of assessment
Assessment methods must satisfy the endorsed Assessment Guidelines of the Racing Training Package.
The suggested strategies for the assessment of this unit are:
written and/or oral assessment of candidate's required knowledge
observed, documented and firsthand testimonial evidence of candidate's application of practical tasks
simulation exercises conducted in a State Principal Racing Authority approved simulated environment.
Evidence is required to be demonstrated over a period of time, therefore where performance is not directly observed any evidence should be authenticated by supervisors or other appropriate persons.
This unit may be assessed in a holistic way with other units of competency relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role, for example:
RGRCMN201A Follow OHS procedures and observe environmental work practices.
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 socioeconomic 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 in the performance criteria is detailed below.
The range statement provides details of how this competency can be used in the workplaces of the racing industry to handle horses. Workplaces include harness and thoroughbred stables and racecourses, training tracks and public areas.
Features of a horse include:
Industry standards are:
standards that are used by the regulatory racing body to classify and register horses.
Identification of behaviour and level of education of horses involves:
assessment of behaviour patterns prior to handling
communication traits of horses, including:
non-verbal (mouth and face)
education level required for safe handling and controlling
identifying good behaviour and bad behaviour traits and vices
understanding senses of a horse, including:
Horse behaviour problems may include:
pushing or barging
Risks associated with catching and leading horses may include:
Controlling risks associated with catching and handling horses includes:
adhering to responsibilities under OHS legislation and workplace practices
adhering to responsibilities under national and state codes of practice; federal, state and territory legislation; and local government regulations covering animal welfare
adhering to rules of training tracks and public venues
awareness of relevant road safety rules
considering variables that influence behaviour of horses, such as:
fences and equipment
other persons or animals
wind and noise
contributing to development of risk control measures
holding horses for veterinary, farriery and other treatments
identifying and reporting unsafe work practices
identifying emergency situations
reporting defective gear, including:
cracked leather or PVC
rusted bits, buckles and clips
understanding individual horse behaviour
using gear or equipment that is approved by the regulatory racing body to be worn by horses when being handled in stables, public places and on training tracks
wearing approved personal protective equipment.
Gear may include:
double clip leads
head pieces and bits
single clip leads
Horses may be approached and caught by:
checking soundness of gear before approaching
positioning gear in advance of handling
talking to the horse
encouraging horse to face handler
approaching horse from near side
taking extra care with horses in groups
using and fitting appropriate and approved gear.
Leading techniques may include:
applying appropriate pressure should horse rear
allowing some slack in the lead
leading person to person when approaching another horse moving in opposite direction
leading into and out of yards
leading through gates or stable doors, which are open or shut
never leading and carrying something at the same time
never leading two horses at one time
never wrapping lead around any part of handler's body
never letting horse turn its tail to handler
talking to the horse
using both hands on the lead
using leads of suitable length
walking at near side shoulder.
Public areas include:
bridges and roads
shared yards and paddocks
Holding and controlling techniques may be required:
when holding and controlling horses under supervision for veterinarian, farrier or for treatment requirements, by:
placing horse against a wall or suitable fence
using bits, twitches and blindfolds
using non-mechanical aids, such as:
covering an eye
raising a leg
Confined spaces include:
floats and horse trucks
treadmills and other walkers.
Harness and thoroughbred racing codes
This unit contains employability skills.
Refer to Unit Descriptor