Unit of competency details

ACMPHR201 - Ride performance horses for exercise in an arena (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 covers the skills and knowledge required to exercise educated performance horses under saddle in a suitable arena. It includes preparing the horse for exercise, carrying out a prescribed exercise session, cooling the horse down following exercise, and addressing potential risks associated with working with and around horses.

The unit applies to individuals who work in performance horse industry sectors and have experience riding horses. They undertake defined routine activities under supervision and take responsibility for their own work. They may be required to exercise and take responsibility for highly valuable animals within their area of work.

No occupational licensing or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

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

The prerequisite unit of competency for this unit is:

  • ACMEQU206 Perform basic horse riding skills at walk, trot and canter.

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

Unit of competency 

Prerequisite requirement 

ACMEQU206 Perform basic horse riding skills at walk, trot and canter

ACMEQU202 Handle horses safely

ACMEQU202 Handle horses safely

ACMEQU205 Apply knowledge of horse behaviour

Unit Sector

Performance Horse (PHR)

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 for ride and consider safety of others

1.1 Confirm and clarify work program for selected horse with supervisor

1.2 Identify hazards and safety risks and make adjustments to work program in line with workplace procedures

1.3 Select and maintain suitable personal protective equipment (PPE)

1.4 Identify and implement safety requirements for riders, horses and others in the general vicinity, including general rules, regulations and venue-specific requirements

1.5 Identify individual horse behaviour and take into consideration when undertaking work program

2. Warm up a horse using ridden exercises

2.1 Prepare horse for riding according to supervisor instructions

2.2 Mount horse in a safe, balanced and controlled manner, using accepted industry procedures

2.3 Maintain correct riding position

2.4 Warm up horse according to discipline requirements and supervisor instructions

3. Exercise a horse in the arena

3.1 Ride horse in an appropriate outline, rhythm and tempo

3.2 Maintain horse balance and control

3.3 Conduct upward and downward transitions according to work program

3.4 Apply aids correctly, and use artificial aids in line with workplace practices

3.5 Maintain an effective upright and forward seat in all gaits

3.6 Maintain control of horse being ridden in all gaits

3.7 Implement safe practices for riding in groups

3.8 Safely dismount horse according to supervisor instructions and safe work practices

4. Care for horse after work

4.1 Assess and apply the cooling down needs of the horse

4.2 Undertake the removal, cleaning and inspection of working gear before storage

4.3 Report work performance according to workplace procedures

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.




  • Interpret textual information in work instructions, work program and workplace forms for riding performance horses for exercise

Navigate the world of work

  • Recognise and follow workplace requirements, including work health and safety and animal welfare, associated with own role and area of responsibility
  • Take responsibility for safe horse handling and riding, relating to self and others, during exercise in an arena

Interact with others

  • Follow accepted practices and protocols for reporting performance to supervisor using accurate industry terminology

Get the work done

  • Follow clearly defined instructions, taking responsibility for routine decisions
  • Assess and control risks within limit of responsibility at all stages when riding performance horses in an arena

Unit Mapping Information

Code and title current version 

Code and title previous version 


Equivalence status 

ACMPRH201 Ride performance horses for exercise in an arena

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 must satisfy all of the elements and performance criteria of this unit.

There must be evidence that the individual has warmed up, exercised, controlled and cared for at least two compliant and manageable horses educated for exercise in an arena. Skills must be demonstrated while riding independently and also with other horses and riders in the immediate vicinity. The individual must demonstrate the following points for each ride:

  • carrying out pre-work tasks including:
  • identifying the horse and program requirements
  • identifying hazards and assessing and controlling risks within limits of control and responsibility
  • locating and using personal protective equipment (PPE) and other items of riding apparel and/or gear required for the program
  • warming up horse according to the horse’s needs, supervisor’s directions and safe work practices
  • completing program tasks in an arena using industry-accepted riding techniques and safe practices for:
  • safe horse handling and riding
  • mounting and dismounting independently
  • maintaining an independent seat
  • giving clear natural aids
  • using a range of movements to exercise the whole body of the horse
  • maintaining horse outline according to its ability and work program
  • carrying out post-work tasks, including:
  • cooling down horse according to the horse’s needs
  • assessing working gear and tack for signs of wear
  • cleaning and storing working gear and tack
  • reporting performance information following work.

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:

  • safety provisions for horse and rider
  • basic techniques for risk assessment and minimisation relevant to riding performance horses
  • stable routines for preparing horse/s for work
  • types and use of gear for exercising horses
  • types and purpose of personal protective equipment
  • riding techniques:
  • mounting and dismounting techniques
  • features of the independent seat and effective riding
  • working a horse in an outline
  • transitions
  • types and use of natural and artificial aids
  • types of riding styles
  • definition of balance, bend, flexion, impulsion and straightness as it applies to a horse worked on the flat
  • types of horse gaits and indicators of horse lameness
  • basic behaviour characteristics of horses:
  • normal or typical horse behaviour
  • unsuitable riding horse behaviour
  • discipline requirements
  • indicators of education level of individual horses
  • horse exercise warm up and cool down routines and post-exercise care
  • signs of horse fatigue, normal horse movement and exercise-related abnormalities
  • basic principles of animal welfare
  • basic industry terminology related to riding horses
  • workplace procedures for reporting and recordkeeping.

Assessment Conditions

Assessment of skills must take place under the following conditions:

  • physical conditions:
  • a workplace or an environment with a suitable arena for exercising performance horses that accurately represents workplace conditions
  • resources, equipment and materials:
  • live, compliant and manageable horses educated for relevant activity and assessed as suitable for the experience and skill of the individual
  • PPE, including riding boots and helmet for riding that complies with Australian standards (or equivalent compliant helmet)
  • appropriate tack for individual, horse and activity
  • reporting forms or a supervisor to communicate with
  • specifications:
  • work instructions/procedures for exercising performance horse.

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.

The following specific assessor requirements apply to this unit. The assessor must:

  • hold a current, recognised qualification for instructing or coaching horse riding and handling skills (refer to User Guide for details).


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