Unit of competency details

ACMEQU209 - Provide non-riding exercise to horses (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 29/Nov/2017


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 050105 Animal Husbandry  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 050105 Animal Husbandry  14/Feb/2018 
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Unit Of competency

Modification History



Release 1

This version released with ACM Animal Care and Management Training Package Version 1.0.


This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge that are required to prepare horses for exercise, use mechanical exercise equipment, swim horses and perform post-exercise procedures. It covers knowledge of potential risks when working with and around horses, and the application of industry guidelines and procedures to ensure the welfare and safety of the individual and the horse.

The unit applies to individuals who have limited experience handling horses. They undertake defined routine activities under supervision with limited responsibility for their own work, in environments including stables, paddocks, yards, tracks, exercise arenas and public areas.

No licensing or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication, except for the racing industry, where requirements vary between states and territories. Users working in the racing industry are advised to contact the relevant Principal Racing Authority for advice on current requirements.

Work health and safety and animal welfare legislation relevant to interacting with horses applies to workers in this industry. Requirements vary between industry sectors and state/territory jurisdictions. Users are advised to check with the relevant authority for specific requirements.

NOTE: The terms 'occupational health and safety' (OHS) and 'work health and safety' (WHS) generally have the same meaning in the workplace. In jurisdictions where the national model WHS legislation has not been implemented, RTOs must contextualise the unit of competency by referring to current OHS legislative requirements.

Pre-requisite Unit

Prerequisite unit of competency for this unit is:

  • ACMEQU202 Handle horses safely.

Note the following chain of prerequisites that also applies to this unit.

Unit of competency 

Prerequisite requirement 

ACMEQU202 Handle horses safely

ACMEQU205 Apply knowledge of horse behaviour

Unit Sector

Equine (EQU)

Elements and Performance Criteria


Performance Criteria 

Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

1. Prepare horses for exercise

1.1 Confirm with supervisor which horses to exercise, types of exercise routines and timeframes

1.2 Confirm with supervisor work health and safety (WHS) requirements and safety risks and potential hazards related to the operation of exercise equipment

1.3 Select appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and ensure correct fit for relevant activity

1.4 Identify, select and check relevant working gear for horse

1.5 Handle horses safely according to specific activity and location

1.6 Fit horses with required gear and prepare for exercise

1.7 Identify and verbally report hazards in the work environment to supervisor

2. Load and unload experienced horses from mechanical exercise equipment

2.1 Locate the start and stop switches and emergency stop buttons for equipment

2.2 Practise emergency stop procedures

2.3 Operate equipment without a horse to ensure equipment is working correctly

2.4 Adjust the speed of equipment according to supervisor instructions

2.5 Identify emergency exit points for handler

2.6 Employ safe loading and unloading procedures

2.7 Operate equipment and monitor and report horses displaying signs of distress or injury during exercise

2.8 Complete daily cleaning and maintenance procedures for mechanical exercise equipment

3. Swim suitably educated horses under supervision

3.1 Identify and discuss with supervisor potential safety risks and emergency procedures prior to preparing horse for swimming

3.2 Operate emergency flotation devices and rescue equipment for handler and horse

3.3 Fit horse with required gear for swimming, and fit PPE

3.4 Lead horse into and out of water safely according to supervisor instructions

3.5 Conduct swimming exercise according to instructions, and monitor and report horses displaying signs of distress or injury

4. Perform post-exercise procedures

4.1 Remove gear from horse and check horse for signs of injury

4.2 Follow stable procedures for post-work or exercise care of horses, including cooling down, hosing, ice application and grooming

4.3 Report irregularities with horses and gear to supervisor using industry-standard terminology

5. Maintain working gear

5.1 Clean, check and maintain working gear according to stable routine

5.2 Report signs of worn or damaged gear to supervisor

Foundation Skills

This section describes those language, literacy, numeracy and employment skills that are essential for performance in this unit of competency but are not explicit in the performance criteria.



Oral communication

  • Use active listening and questioning to clarify and confirm supervisor instructions
  • Use industry-standard terminology to describe and report horse non-riding exercise activities

Navigate the world of work

  • Follow workplace procedures, including work health and safety and animal welfare requirements, relating to own role and work area
  • Demonstrate a duty of care to self and others when working with horses

Get the work done

  • Assemble gear and tack for task and follow clear, sequenced instructions to provide non-riding exercise to horses

Unit Mapping Information

Code and title current version 

Code and title previous version 


Equivalence status 

ACMEQU209 Provide non-riding exercises to horse

Not applicable

New unit

No equivalent unit


Companion Volumes, including Implementation Guides, are available at VETNet: - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=b75f4b23-54c9-4cc9-a5db-d3502d154103


Assessment requirements

Modification History



Release 1

This version released with ACM Animal Care and Management Training Package Version 1.0.

Performance Evidence

An individual demonstrating competency in this unit must satisfy all of the elements and performance criteria of this unit.

There must be evidence that the individual handled and provided non-riding exercise, under supervision, to two different well-educated, calm, consistent and obedient horses. Evidence must show that each horse has been exercised on at least two different occasions during which the individual has:

  • carried out basic risk assessments when working with horses in exercise working environments, involving identifying hazards and controlling risks within own role and control
  • monitored basic horse behaviour before, during and after exercise and reporting signs of illness or injury to supervisor
  • followed safe work practices for the operation of exercise equipment
  • communicated effectively with supervisor, including raising issues of concern related to operation of exercise equipment and conduct of exercise programs
  • selected, fitted and cared for tack and equipment for non-riding exercise tasks
  • correctly fitted personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • performed pre-exercise routines according to workplace procedures
  • carred out post-exercise care of horses, including cooling down via hand walking, hosing, ice application and grooming techniques
  • cleaned exercise equipment according to workplace instructions and manufacturer instructions.

The following points can be covered as part of, or in addition to, the above-mentioned occasions:

  • loading and unloading at least one horse safely onto mechanical exercise equipment at least twice
  • leading at least one horse into and out of water for swimming exercise at least twice.

Knowledge Evidence

An individual must be able to demonstrate the knowledge required to perform the tasks outlined in the elements and performance criteria of this unit. This includes knowledge of:

  • workplace procedures for providing non-riding exercise to horses, including pre-exercise, during exercise and post-exercise procedures
  • workplace communication procedures related to conducting non-riding horse exercise programs
  • common horse behaviour and social traits related to exercise routines and fitness
  • general signs of horse injury and fatigue related to exercise programs, and what needs to be reported to a supervisor
  • signs and symptoms of illness and injury related to exercise routines
  • safe horse handling techniques and zones in and around exercise equipment
  • types and purpose of working gear required for mechanical exercise equipment and for swimming horses
  • requirements for checking and maintaining working gear and exercise equipment
  • purpose of PPE, and how to correctly fit PPE, for non-riding exercise programs
  • types of exercise routines, and timeframes for horses at various stages of fitness, on mechanical exercise equipment and during swimming
  • likely injuries that may be sustained by horses and handlers during exercise routines.

Assessment Conditions

Assessment of skills must take place under the following conditions:

  • physical conditions:
  • a workplace or an environment that accurately represents workplace conditions
  • resources, equipment and materials:
  • mechanical exercise equipment and swimming area for exercise program
  • supervisor
  • various well-educated, calm, consistent and obedient horses assessed as suitable for the experience and skill of the individual
  • appropriate tack for individual, horse and non-riding exercise activities
  • PPE for the individual that is applicable to activities and correctly fitted.

Training and assessment strategies must show evidence of the use of guidance provided in the Companion Volume: User Guide: Safety in Equine Training.

Assessors of this unit must satisfy the requirements for assessors in applicable vocational education and training legislation, frameworks and/or standards.


Companion Volumes, including Implementation Guides, are available at VETNet: - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=b75f4b23-54c9-4cc9-a5db-d3502d154103