Unit of competency details

RGRPSH206A - Develop riding skills for flatwork (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Is superseded by RGRPSH205 - Perform basic riding skills in the racing industryUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages.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 develop riding skills for flatwork using well-educated horses. It includes communicating with supervisor and co-workers, assessing hazards, 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.

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 is delivered and assessed before or in conjunction with 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 who have attained basic riding skills to ride horses at flatwork in less controlled conditions 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 riding 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



Prepare to ride.

1. Exercise instructions  are confirmed with supervisor.

2. Designated exercise areas  are confirmed as free from hazards and obstacles  .

3. Gear  selected for flatwork is in good working condition.

4. Horse is prepared for exercise  and gear is checked before mounting.

Ride and control horse with consideration for safety of horse, rider and other horses and riders in the vicinity.

5. Horse is ridden alone and in pairs at varying paces using aids appropriate to its training.

6. Horse is kept under control at walk, trot and canter.

7. When riding in company, horses are ridden within safe zones  .

8. Potential risks  are assessed and appropriate action is taken to reduce impact.

9. Problems are reported and post-exercise care of horses and gear is carried out following stable procedures.

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 working with horses
  • applying safe riding skills
  • assessing hazards and obstacles related to horse exercise areas
  • being aware of relevant road safety rules
  • communicating with employer, supervisor, co-workers and public venue employees using assertive communication techniques to gather, interpret and relay information related to developing flatwork riding skills
  • completing duties in accordance with safe operating procedures and nominated time frame
  • complying with safe zones when riding horses
  • fitting horse gear and riding apparel
  • following instructions
  • identifying and correctly using different items of gear and assessing their condition in terms of safe use
  • identifying gait at which a horse is working
  • identifying and following exercise area rules and regulations
  • maintaining riding etiquette
  • preparing horses for exercise and providing post-exercise care to horses
  • 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
  • riding horses singly and in company
  • working safely with other stable employees.

Required knowledge 

  • aids to control speed and direction of a horse
  • communication procedures within stable and wider racing industry
  • gear and equipment
  • paces of horses
  • purpose of using appropriate personal protective equipment
  • racing industry animal welfare requirements
  • racing industry safety requirements, including safe operating procedures
  • relevant rules of racing
  • riding etiquette
  • road and track rules
  • safe zones for riding.

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 developing riding skills for flatwork
  • demonstration of flatwork riding skills under controlled conditions
  • implementation of procedures and timely techniques to complete riding skills for flatwork safely, effectively and efficiently
  • working with others to undertake and complete flatwork riding skills 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 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 well-educated thoroughbred horses
  • materials and equipment relevant to assessing candidate's ability to perform flatwork 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 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.

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 develop riding skills for flatwork. Workplaces include thoroughbred stables and racecourses, training tracks and public areas.

Exercise instructions  may include:

  • duration of exercise
  • exercise venue
  • instructions received by phone or email
  • pace
  • specific gear or equipment to be used.

Exercise areas  may include:

  • bull rings
  • bush trails
  • designated slow exercise areas at racecourses
  • paddocks
  • private roads at racecourses
  • private tracks
  • rules and regulations of exercise area.

Hazards and obstacles  may include:

  • broken rails, fences or gates
  • creeks and waterholes
  • dusty or eroded tracks
  • horses
  • machinery
  • rabbit holes
  • slippery or muddy surfaces
  • stray animals, including native animals
  • vehicles.

Gear selected  will include:

  • horse gear:
  • approved gear
  • bridles, including leather or plastic with snaffle bits or ring bits
  • breastplates
  • double clip leads
  • protective boots
  • reflector strips if exercised before light
  • rings or running martingales
  • saddles, including exercise pad or general purpose
  • saddlecloths and necessary packing
  • rider gear:
  • approved Australian Standard helmet, clothing and footwear
  • reflector strips if riding before light.

Horse  is prepared for exercise by:

  • grooming
  • requesting assistance from strapper for riding or leading exercise
  • saddling
  • warming up.

Safe zones  will include:

  • distance from other horses:
  • when walking, maintaining two horse lengths
  • when trotting, maintaining four to six lengths
  • when cantering, maintaining 10 to 12 lengths
  • identifying and keeping clear of young or intractable horses
  • techniques for slowing or manoeuvring horses seeking to encroach on space of others
  • width between riders.

Potential risks  may include:

  • gear breakage
  • loose horses
  • rider injury
  • kicks from adjacent horse.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit Sector 

Thoroughbred racing code

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

Functional Area

Functional Area 

Racing performance services