Unit of competency details

RGRPSH202A - Assist with transportation of horses (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to RGRPSH202 - Assist with transportation of horsesUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Changes to elements and performance criteria to reflect job task. 04/Jul/2018

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 24/Sep/2008


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  24/Sep/2008 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency specifies the outcomes required to work under direction and follow instructions to safely prepare horses for road transportation; load and unload horses; monitor horse health, welfare and behaviour during transportation; and conduct post-transport procedures.

To undertake this unit the candidate will have successfully completed or be able to demonstrate safe horse handling skills and follow workplace OHS standards.

This unit of competency operates in work environments of racing stables, racecourses and public areas.

Licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements may apply to this unit. Check with your State Principal Racing Authority for current license or registration requirements.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit of competency supports stablehands, strappers, trainers and others authorised to assist with the transportation of 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.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Refer to Unit Descriptor


Prerequisite units 


Handle horses

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

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



Prepare for loading and unloading.

1. Basic vehicle  and float safety c  heck is conducted and risks are identified.

2. Equipment  required for transporting horses is organised and checked for defects.

3. Horses are checked  and correctly prepared  for transport  ,in accordance with instructions and within nominated time frame.

Load and unload horses.

4. Horses to be transported are safely loaded or unloaded in accordance with instructions.

5. Horses are positioned according to individual horse requirements and transport configurations .

6. Procedures  for dealing with difficult situations in loading and unloading are applied.

7. Difficulties in loading and unloading are referred to supervisor.

Monitor horses during transportation.

8. Common behaviour of horses during transportation is identified.

9. Incidents, equipment defects or procedural problems in transportation are reported.

10. Horse behaviour problems  in transportation are promptly reported.

Conduct post-transport procedures.

11. Horses are inspected and illness or injury  is reported to supervisor.

12. Horses are cared for  according to supervisor's instructions.

13. Vehicle and float are checked and cleaned  .

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • applying safe handling and work practices when dealing with horses
  • checking and cleaning vehicle and float
  • communicating with employer, supervisor, co-workers and others using assertive communication techniques to gather, interpret and relay information related to assisting with transportation of horses
  • completing duties in accordance with safe operating procedures and nominated time frame
  • following instructions
  • identifying horse behaviour problems
  • identifying symptoms and signs of illness and injury
  • identifying and correctly using different items of personal protective equipment
  • identifying and correctly using different items of gear and equipment and assessing condition of same in terms of safe use and need for repair
  • reading and interpreting workplace documentation, including rules of racing
  • relating to people from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and with varying physical and mental abilities
  • reporting problems promptly
  • written communication skills to complete workplace documentation and reports.

Required knowledge 

  • basic industry terminology related to handling horses
  • communication procedures within stable and wider racing industry
  • common horse behaviour, social traits and vices
  • illness and injury to horses
  • purpose of using appropriate personal protective equipment
  • racing industry animal welfare requirements
  • racing industry safety requirements, including safe operating procedures
  • relevant road safety rules.

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.

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 assisting with the transportation of horses
  • implementation of procedures and timely techniques for the safe, effective and efficient transport of horses
  • working with others to undertake and complete transportation 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, including transport vehicles relevant to assessing candidate's ability to assist with transportation of horses
  • 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.

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).

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 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 assist with the transportation of horses. Workplaces include harness and thoroughbred stables and racecourses, training tracks and public areas.

Basic vehicle and float safety check  may include:

  • assessment of risks and hazards to people and horses
  • float:
  • breach chains and dividers
  • brake lights and indicators
  • floor
  • interior lighting
  • ventilation
  • vehicle:
  • brakes
  • jack and wheel brace
  • lights and indicators
  • tow bar and ball
  • tyres.

Equipment for transporting horses  may include:

  • bandages for legs and tails
  • bell boots
  • bits
  • head collars and leads
  • hock protectors
  • hoods
  • knee boots
  • rugs.

Checking and preparing horses for transport  may include:

  • horse is assessed for illness or injury
  • feet are picked out
  • legs and tail are protected
  • rugs and hoods are used as directed
  • shoes are tight.

Transport  may include:

  • air transport
  • floats
  • sea transport
  • trailers
  • trucks.

Horses  may be positioned by:

  • removing rearing bit or other gear before tying up
  • tying up at suitable length and height using a quick release knot.

Horse requirements  may include:

  • horse's temperament
  • horses that scramble or need extra space or height
  • stallions versus geldings, mares or young stock.

Transport configurations  may include:

  • angle loading
  • head to front loading
  • head to rear loading
  • side loading.

Procedures for dealing with difficult situations during loading and unloading  may include:

  • aligning float correctly
  • ensuring interior lighting works
  • ensuring angle of ramp is as low as possible
  • loading older, more experienced horses first
  • placement of individual horses
  • using britching rope
  • using bits for greater control.

Horse behaviour problems  may include:

  • barging
  • fighting with other horses
  • going down in the float
  • kicking
  • pawing.

Indicators of illness or injury  may include:

  • dehydration
  • diarrhoea
  • elevated temperature
  • head, leg or body wounds
  • laminitis symptoms
  • listlessness
  • shifted plates or shoes
  • swelling in limbs
  • travel sickness symptoms.

Caring for horses  may include:

  • 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 and transport of horses
  • checking shoes or plates for shifting
  • considering variables that influence behaviour of horses, such as:
  • fences and equipment
  • other persons or animals
  • vehicles
  • wind and noise
  • cooling down horses according to weather conditions
  • feeding and watering as directed
  • identifying and reporting unsafe work practices
  • identifying emergency situations, for example:
  • gear breakage
  • horse getting loose
  • rugging as appropriate
  • treating illness or injury as directed
  • understanding individual horse behaviour
  • wearing personal protective equipment.

Checking and cleaning vehicle and float  may include:

  • gear and equipment are removed and stored
  • manure is collected and removed to waste area
  • rubber matting is cleaned or removed if wet
  • vehicle and float are locked.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit Sector 

Harness and thoroughbred racing codes

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

Functional Area

Functional Area 

Racing performance services