Unit of competency details

RGRPSH205A - Perform basic riding tasks (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes RGRH205A - Perform basic riding or driving tasksNew unit replaces part of RGRH205A. 23/Sep/2008
Is superseded by RGRPSH205 - Perform basic riding skills in the racing industryUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Merging of two units. Prerequisite added. 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 achieve basic riding skills using a well-educated horse with a docile temperament and includes protecting the welfare of people and horses and providing post-exercise care of 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 and ridden, even by inexperienced personnel.

To undertake this unit the candidate will be able to apply safe horse handling skills and workplace OHS standards. It is recommended that RGRPSH201A Handle horses be delivered in conjunction with or before this unit of competency.

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 riders to attain basic riding 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 

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



Protect the safety and welfare of people and horses.

1. Appropriate personal protective equipment is selected, worn, stored and maintained.

2. Fit, wear and suitability of gear are checked.

3. Safety instructions, including venue -specific  requirements, are followed.

4. Potential hazards  are identified and risks minimised.

Provide pre-exercise care of horses.

5. Horses are caught and secured following safe handling procedures.

6. Pre-exercise grooming is carried out.

Apply basic riding skills.

7. Horse is warmed up  according to instructions.

8. Horse is saddled with designated gear  .

9. Horse is mounted in accordance with supervisor's instructions.

10. Aids  are identified and used to control movement , speed and direction  of a horse at walk, trot and canter.

11. Basic riding instructions are followed.

12. Balanced riding position is maintained in English style saddle.

13. Horse is dismounted in accordance with supervisor's instructions.

14. Goals to improve riding skills are discussed and demonstrated with supervisor.

Provide post-exercise care of horses.

15. Gear is removed and horse is warmed down as required.

16. Post-exercise grooming is carried out.

17. Horse is released following safe procedures.

18. Equipment is cleaned and checked for wear and breakage  .

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 a horse at walk, trot and canter
  • applying safe handling and work practices when dealing with horses
  • applying safe basic riding skills
  • communicating with employer, supervisor, co-workers and public venue employees using assertive communication techniques to gather, interpret and relay information related to performing basic riding tasks
  • completing duties in accordance with safe operating procedures and nominated time frame
  • fitting gear
  • following instructions
  • grooming horses pre and post-exercise
  • identifying and correctly using different items of riding 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
  • retrieving reins
  • riding horses singly or in company in a controlled and supervised environment
  • saddling horses
  • stopping and changing direction of horse.

Required knowledge 

  • aids to control speed and direction of a horse
  • basic industry terminology related to riding horses
  • 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 performing basic riding tasks
  • demonstration of control of a quiet thoroughbred horse in basic riding manoeuvres in a controlled area
  • implementation of procedures and timely techniques to complete basic riding tasks safely, effectively and efficiently
  • working with others to undertake and complete basic riding tasks that meet required outcomes.

Evidence should be collected over a period of time using a range of well-educated thoroughbred 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 or simulated environment that provides access to the required resources. 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 thoroughbred horses
  • materials and equipment relevant to assessing candidate's ability to perform basic riding skills
  • safe handling and controlled riding 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.

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, for example:

  • RGRCMN201A Follow OHS procedures and observe environmental work practices
  • RGRPSH201A Handle horses.

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 perform basic riding tasks. Workplaces include thoroughbred stables and racecourses, training tracks and public areas.

Safety and welfare  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
  • adhering to rules of training arena and public venues
  • being aware of relevant road safety rules as they apply to horses being led or ridden singly and in company
  • considering variables that influence behaviour of horses, such as:
  • fences and equipment
  • other persons or animals
  • vehicles
  • wind and noise
  • contributing to development of risk control measures
  • following safe operating procedures
  • identifying and reporting hazards or unsafe work practices
  • identifying emergency situations, for example:
  • gear breakage
  • horse bolting
  • horse fall
  • horse getting loose
  • lack of control of horse
  • understanding horse behaviour traits as they relate to practising riding tasks, for example:
  • senses
  • social behaviour
  • fight or flight response
  • understanding risks associated with handling horses, including:
  • bites
  • horse injury
  • personal injury
  • trampling
  • using approved gear for horses
  • using approved riding aids
  • wearing personal protective equipment, including approved Australian Standard helmet, clothing and footwear.

Venue -specific requirements  may include:

  • rules of training arena
  • rules and regulations of training tracks
  • relevant rules of racing.

Potential hazards  may include:

  • distracting events or behaviours caused by people with no horse sense
  • distracting events or situations due to natural causes, such as wind
  • rider or horse falls
  • rider illness due to weather conditions or other reasons
  • gear failure
  • hazards of:
  • riding alone
  • riding horses with bad habits
  • riding inexperienced horses
  • riding too close to other horses
  • horse's behaviour and possible reactions, such as:
  • horse's ability to learn and remember routines and locations, such as:
  • areas where previous incidents have occurred
  • home stables
  • track entry or exit points
  • horse's natural instinct to:
  • rear, bite or kick if it feels threatened, excited or in pain
  • run if frightened
  • want to stay with other horses
  • horse's lack of reasoning ability to rely on rider signals alone to discriminate between safe and unsafe stimuli
  • horse's response to loud or unusual noise or other stimuli, including machinery and other animals
  • horse injury.

Pre -exercise care  may include:

  • checking disposition of horse
  • grooming to instructions, including:
  • brushing mane and tidying tail
  • checking legs for injury or swelling and removing mud or dirt
  • ensuring head, girth and saddle regions are free from mud and sweat
  • picking out hooves and checking shoes
  • moving safely and calmly around the horse
  • positioning horses in tie-up or in stable or yard for saddling
  • removing bandages or poultices
  • selecting gear, checking for wear or damage and fitting as directed.

Basic riding skills  will include:

  • fitting gear for comfort and safety
  • riding horses singly or in company
  • retrieving reins
  • saddling horses
  • stopping and changing direction
  • understanding and correctly using aids
  • warming up horses as instructed.

Horses  are warmed up and warmed down by:

  • riding horse at a walk or trot
  • walking in hand
  • walking on treadmill or horse walker.

Designated gear  may include:

  • bridles, including leather or plastic with snaffle bits or ring bits
  • breastplates
  • protective boots
  • rings or running martingales
  • saddles, including general purpose, stock saddle or similar with appropriate irons
  • saddlecloths and necessary packing.

Aids  may include:

  • natural aids, including:
  • hands
  • legs
  • seat or weight
  • voice
  • artificial aids that require experience and moderation when used, including:
  • whips
  • crops
  • spurs
  • martingales
  • bits and auxiliary reins.

Controlling movement , speed and direction of horse  may include:

  • at walk, trot and canter
  • backing
  • collecting
  • correctly using aids
  • halting
  • in an enclosed arena and safe riding areas
  • singly and in company.

Basic riding instructions  may include:

  • changing diagonals
  • circles
  • figure eights
  • leg changes
  • serpentines
  • straight tracks.

Post -exercise care  may include:

  • ensuring animal welfare principles are followed
  • checking horses for injury and soreness
  • grooming horses
  • inspecting gear and equipment for wear and breakage
  • warming down horses following stable procedures.

Post -exercise grooming  may include:

  • brushing
  • cleaning hooves
  • hosing
  • rolling
  • scraping
  • sheath cleaning
  • towelling.

Signs of gear wear and breakage  may include:

  • cracked leather or PVC
  • frayed reins, girth or surcingles
  • gear slippage
  • perished rubber or plastic
  • rubbed hair or skin
  • rusted buckles and bits
  • split or cracked points
  • worn bit joints, padding or stitching.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit Sector 

Thoroughbred racing code

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

Functional Area

Functional Area 

Racing performance services