Unit of competency details

AHCHBR308A - Maintain horses in a healthy state and safe environment (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 17/Jun/2013

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by ACMHBR308 - Maintain horses in a healthy stateUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages Code changed to reflect appropriate industry sector usage Addition of prerequisite requirements 28/Nov/2017

Training packages that include this unit


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  01/Nov/2013 
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Modification History


TP Version 




Initial release

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to maintain horse health and welfare through the application of regular programs.

In order to undertake this unit candidates should be capable of applying work health and safety procedures to the safe handling of horses.

Application of the Unit

This unit of competency is intended to apply to any horse breeding environment and is generally applicable to most horse industry enterprises. It supports stud workers and supervisors, stud managers and others authorised to manage horse health and welfare.

In addition to legal and ethical responsibilities, it is a requirement that horses are handled gently and calmly. The individual is required to exhibit appropriate care for horses so that stress and discomfort is minimised.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.



Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Maintain horse environment

1.1 Housing is arranged to meet the individual needs  of the animal

1.2 The animal environment  maintained in an appropriate manner which takes into consideration animal welfare principles and work health and safety procedures

1.3 Food storage areas and water supply are cleaned and maintained to keep all areas are free of contaminants

1.4 Routine cleaning and maintenance of stables, yards and paddocks is established and monitored to ensure an hygienic environment

2. Monitor and maintain a horse vaccination program

2.1 Vaccination requirements for different horse classes  are identified and understood

2.2 Vaccination program is maintained according to agreed schedule

2.3 Vaccination schedule is documented and appropriate certification records are maintained

3. Implement a horse health maintenance program

3.1 Regular regime of checking animals for signs of illness/injury is carried out

3.2 Causes and symptoms of common illnesses, injuries and parasitic infections  are identified and treatment is provided under supervision

3.3 Internal and external parasites are identified and their impact on horses is assessed

3.4 Communicable diseases are identified and control measures are implemented under direction of appropriate personnel

3.5 Maintenance program/s are established and monitored for internal and external parasite control

4. Implement a hoof care and maintenance program

4.1 Common hoof diseases and injuries are recognised and appropriate treatment or referral to specialist is arranged as required

4.2 Common gait abnormalities are identified and reported and treatment is arranged in accordance with organisational procedures

4.3 Hoof care and shoeing, including corrective measures, are appropriate to horses welfare and training program

4.4 Effective communication with farriers is maintained and all records of work carried out are kept according to organisational requirements

4.5 Regular hoof care routine for horses is implemented

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills include:

  • Verbal communication and interpersonal skills to:
  • liaise with employer, stable staff, horse health specialists and others regarding the health and welfare of the horse, including giving and receiving instructions and discussing treatment options
  • develop and maintain strong reporting relationships
  • support others in handling and providing treatment to horses
  • Written skills to compile and maintain documentation
  • Literacy skills to understand and apply written materials such as organisational procedures and workplace health and safety requirements
  • Planning and organising skills to organise, conduct and maintain a program of regular parasite, health and injury checks
  • Identification and problem solving skills to:
  • apply safe handling and work practices
  • administer medication and treatments
  • assess vital signs and respond to illnesses or injuries in horses
  • comply with animal welfare policies in the care and management of horses
  • recognise signs and symptoms of communicable diseases

Required knowledge includes:

Knowledge of: 

  • horse handling and restraint techniques, common horse behaviour and social traits
  • minimum welfare and/or council requirements and regulations for keeping animals
  • workplace health and safety regulations relating to the use and storage of chemicals and pharmaceuticals
  • vaccination requirements and any regulations established by controlling bodies or government agencies
  • common illnesses and injuries in horses including first aid, types of medication and treatments
  • commonly used health parameters for the animal e.g. temperature, respiration rate, hydration, temperature control, heart rate
  • the application of a range of basic treatments under veterinary supervision
  • symptoms of and procedures for notifiable diseases
  • regulations regarding the use of therapeutic substances
  • principles of hygiene and best practice as they relate to animal care
  • structure of the hoof/foot
  • common hoof/foot disorders such as: thrush, corns, quarter cracks, bruising, and abscess
  • infection transfer
  • required quarantine procedures in case of localised infectious disease

Evidence Guide

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 competency in this unit must be relevant to workplace operations and include demonstration of candidates ability to perform the following:

  • knowledge of the requirements, procedures and instructions that are to apply when managing horse health and welfare
  • implementation of procedures and techniques for the safe, effective and efficient provision of horse health and welfare
  • working with others to implement and complete horse health and welfare procedures that meet required outcomes
  • treat common diseases and recognise common ailments, ill health and injury in horses
  • handle and restrain horses for observation and treatment as required
  • treat horse injury and disease
  • complete horse health and medication records
  • perform preventative actions such as stable hygiene practices and quarantine procedures

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment is to occur under standard and authorised work practices, safety requirements and environmental constraints.

Assessment must include observation of relevant skills.

The following resources must be available:

  • materials and equipment relevant to assessing candidate's ability to manage horse health and welfare
  • safe handling areas, such as stables
  • work instructions and related documentation

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • written and/or oral assessment of candidate's required knowledge
  • observed, documented and first hand testimonial evidence of candidate's application of practical tasks
  • inspection of completed work

Where performance is not directly observed any evidence should be authenticated by supervisors or other appropriate persons.

Range Statement

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.

Needs  may include:

  • environmental
  • physical
  • security
  • emotional

Animal environment  includes:

  • housing
  • shelters
  • paddocks
  • fences

Horse classes  cover:

  • foals and weanlings
  • mares
  • stallions
  • other adult horses
  • previously vaccinated
  • unvaccinated

Common illnesses, injuries and parasitic infections  may include:

  • illnesses:
  • circulatory disorders
  • eye, nose and mouth disorders
  • digestive disorders
  • metabolic disorders
  • musculo-skeletal disorders
  • neurological disorders
  • respiratory disorders
  • skin disorders
  • injuries:
  • bruises
  • falls
  • girth galls
  • joint injuries
  • sprained ligaments or tendons
  • strained muscles
  • tack rubs
  • wounds
  • parasitic infections
  • external - lice, ticks
  • internal - worms

Unit Sector(s)

Horse Breeding

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