Unit of competency details

RGRPSH204A - Prepare to drive jog work (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes RGRH205A - Perform basic riding or driving tasksNew unit replaces part of RGRH205A. 23/Sep/2008
Is superseded by and equivalent to RGRPSH204 - Prepare to drive jog workUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Minor changes to performance criteria for clarity. 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 
The content being displayed has been produced by a third party, while all attempts have been made to make this content as accessible as possible it cannot be guaranteed. If you are encountering issues following the content on this page please consider downloading the content in its original form

Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency specifies the outcomes required to achieve driving skills that prepare drivers for the specific requirements of controlling horses in trackwork, using a well-educated horse with a docile temperament. It includes protecting the welfare of people and horses.

The term well-educated horse' refers to an animal that has undergone sufficient training to ensure that it behaves in a safe, tractable and manageable way when being handled, even by inexperienced personnel. All references to driving skills and directions in this unit relate to beginner driver speed not trackwork speeds.

To undertake this unit the candidate will be able to apply safe horse handling skills and workplace OHS standards.

This unit of competency operates in workplace environments of racing stables, paddocks, yards, 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 novice harness drivers to attain jog work driving skills with a range of well-educated horses.

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 


Perform basic driving tasks

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



Identify trackwork requirements.

1. Industry jargon relating to exercising harness horses is interpreted.

2. Trackwork speeds and distances are measured  .

3. Trackwork instructions are verified.

4. Reasons for modifying trackworkinstructions are reviewed.

Complete warm-up and cool-down procedures.

5. Pre-drive safety checks  are completed.

6. Warm-up and cool-down exercises are performed.

7. Post -exercise activities  for horse and gear are performed.

Control horses before, during and after exercise.

8. Sulky is mounted safely  .

9. Horses are exercised according to supervisor's instructions  .

10. Gaits of horse are recognised on and off the horse.

11. Sulky is dismounted safely.

12. Strategies  for controlling nervous or excited horses are practised.

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • applying aids to control speed and direction of horse at walk and jog
  • adjusting driving methods according to responses of different horses
  • applying safe handling and work practices when dealing with horses
  • applying safe driving skills
  • communicating with employer, supervisor, co-workers and public venue employees using assertive communication techniques to gather, interpret and relay information related to preparing to drive jog work
  • completing duties in accordance with safe operating procedures and nominated time frame
  • controlling speed and direction of harness horses
  • following instructions
  • identifying and correctly using different items of driving apparel
  • identifying and correctly using different items of gear and assessing their condition in terms of safe use and need for repair
  • identifying gait at which a horse is working
  • identifying and following venue rules
  • 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
  • using numeracy skills to measure distance and time.

Required knowledge 

  • aids to control speed and direction of a horse
  • industry terminology related to driving horses at trackwork
  • communication procedures within stable and wider racing industry
  • common horse behaviour, social traits and vices
  • purpose of using 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.

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 practising basic jog work driving tasks
  • demonstration of control of quiet harness horses in basic trackwork driving manoeuvres at beginner driver speed not trackwork speeds
  • implementation of procedures and timely techniques to complete basic trackwork driving tasks safely, effectively and efficiently
  • working with others to undertake and complete basic driving tasks that meet required outcomes.

Evidence should be collected over a period of time using a range of well-educated harness horses of different ages and sexes 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 Harness 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 well-educated harness horses
  • materials and equipment relevant to assessing candidate's ability to practise basic driving skills
  • safe handling and controlled driving areas, such as racing stables, and training 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 and firsthand testimonial evidence of candidate's application of practical tasks
  • simulation exercises conducted in a State Principal Harness 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.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended.

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 prepare to drive jog work. Workplaces include harness stables and racecourses, training tracks and public areas.

Trackwork measurements  may include:

  • distances:
  • estimating distance when watching horses in action or in video
  • estimating distance while driving
  • measuring distances
  • pacing out distances
  • using distance markers
  • speed:
  • counting manually
  • estimating speed by watching horses in action or on video
  • estimating speed while driving
  • using a stopwatch to measure time.

Trackwork instructions  may include:

  • directions to maintain or change position when working with other horses
  • gear to be used
  • length of time, distance and speed horses are to be worked
  • type of warm-up or cool-down exercise
  • work speed and distance over particular track sections.

Modifying trackwork instructions  may include:

  • reducing or stopping trackwork due to:
  • gear failure
  • horse or driver injury
  • impact of weather conditions on horse health
  • track incident or potential hazard
  • track official directions
  • unsafe track conditions.

Safety checks  may include :

  • fit and condition of horse tack and equipment
  • fit and condition of personal protective equipment
  • review of horse condition and behaviour
  • review of weather conditions
  • verification that exercise area is free of hazards.

Post -exercise activities  may include:

  • checking gear for damage or wear
  • checking horses for injury
  • cleaning gear and returning it to storage area
  • completing stable records for exercise and horse health or injury status
  • hosing and grooming horses
  • reporting injuries or damaged gear to supervisor.

Safely  mounting and dismounting sulky may include:

  • ensuring area is clear of hazards and obstacles prior to mounting or dismounting
  • mounting:
  • practising with assistant releasing horse from tie-up once driver is mounted
  • practising with assistant holding horse's head while driver mounts
  • practising mounting while driver controls horse in confined area
  • practising mounting while driver controls horse in open area
  • dismounting:
  • practising dismounting while assistant holds horse
  • practising dismounting while driver controls horse in confined area
  • practising dismounting while driver controls horse in open area.

Supervisor's instructions  may include:

  • all driving skills and directions will relate to beginner driver speed not trackwork speeds
  • cantering horses at controlled speed in controlled area
  • driving horse in pace or trot:
  • alone:
  • controlling position of horse on track, close to marker poles or set distance off markers
  • maintaining nominated controlled speed
  • working with others:
  • changing position on track relative to other horses
  • maintaining position relative to other horses throughout exercise at controlled speed
  • moving back behind other horses at controlled speed
  • overtaking other horses at controlled speed.

Strategies  may include:

  • complying with road rules and track rules
  • planning ahead to avoid potential hazards, such as:
  • avoiding driving too close to obstacles or other horses
  • being aware of location of track or exercise area entrance and exit points
  • maintaining control when horses get their tails over reins
  • making suitable corrections to maintain control when horses:
  • bolt
  • buck
  • jump shadows
  • kick
  • pig root
  • stumble
  • shy
  • negotiating public roads and traffic
  • paying attention to location and behaviours of other drivers and horses
  • slowing down in good time
  • watching for unusual obstacles or hazards, damaged equipment or other distractions
  • watching out for track staff, members of the public and other animals
  • using assertive rein pressure to encourage horse to follow directions
  • using corrective aids, such as:
  • bits
  • boots
  • burrs
  • ear plugs
  • head checks
  • hopples
  • martingales
  • using rein pressure to control speed and direction
  • using voice to calm or reassure horse.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit Sector 

Harness racing code

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

Functional Area

Functional Area 

Racing performance services