Unit of competency details

RGRPSH207A - Perform stable duties (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes RGRH209A - Care for horsesNew unit replaces part of RGRH209A. 23/Sep/2008
Is superseded by and equivalent to RGRPSH207 - Perform racing stable dutiesUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages Change of title and minor changes to performance criteria for clarity and safety 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 clean and maintain the stable environment, identify and report workplace hazards, provide feed and water to horses, groom horses and monitor basic horse health and welfare.

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 stablehands, strappers, leading hands, trainers and others authorised to perform routine stable duties.

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 

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



Perform stable duties and identify potential hazards.

1. Racing stable operations are complied with.

2. Boxes are cleaned and bedding is replaced in accordance with stable routine.

3. Stable environment  and yards are cleaned, swept or raked.

4. Hazards in the workplace  are identified and reported to nominated person.

Provide feed and water to horses.

5. Common feedstuffs are identified.

6. Feed and water  are prepared and provided in accordance with stable routine.

7. Contaminated  feed is identified, removed and reported.

8. Variations to individual eating and drinking patterns are observed and reported.

9. Importance of correct feed preparation and consequences of incorrect use of additives  , such as alkalising agents, are understood.

Groom horses.

10. Horses are positioned and tied up  in preparation for grooming.

11. Horses are groomed  according to instructions.

12. Horses are checked for illness or injury  during grooming and irregularities are reported.

13. Grooming tools are cleaned and maintained.

14. Horses hooves are cleaned and dressed following stable routine.

Monitor basic health and welfare of horses.

15. Characteristics of a healthy horse are identified.

16. Signs of a healthy or unhealthy horse are observed  and reported.

17. Stable hygiene and quarantine practices are followed.

18. Horse's hooves and legs are checked for soreness, inflammation and lameness.

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
  • catching, leading, handling and tying up horses
  • communicating with employer, supervisor, co-workers and others using assertive communication techniques to gather and relay information related to performing stable duties
  • completing duties in accordance with safe operating procedures and nominated time frame
  • evaluating risks associated with working around horses
  • following directions
  • identifying and correctly using different items of grooming gear
  • identifying common horse illnesses or injuries
  • identifying horse behaviour, social traits and vices
  • identifying individual 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
  • written communication skills to complete workplace documentation and reports.

Required knowledge 

  • basic industry terminology related to horse illnesses or injuries, feeding and grooming
  • bedding materials
  • characteristics of healthy horses
  • communication procedures within stable and wider racing industry
  • common horse behaviour, social traits and vices
  • common feedstuffs
  • effective working relationships, including teamwork
  • feed quality
  • grooming equipment
  • horse feeding and drinking patterns
  • purpose of using appropriate personal protective equipment
  • racing industry animal welfare requirements
  • racing industry safety requirements, including safe operating procedures
  • racing stable operations and reporting protocols
  • relevant rules of racing
  • workplace hazards, including chemicals, heavy loads, machinery, equipment, other people and horses.

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 stable duties
  • implementation of procedures and timely techniques for the safe, effective and efficient application of stable duties
  • working with others to undertake and complete stable duties 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 relevant to assessing candidate's ability to perform stable duties
  • safe handling areas, such as racing stables and yards
  • 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.

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 stable duties. Workplaces include harness or thoroughbred stables and racecourses, training tracks and public areas.

Racing stable operations  may include:

  • catching and tying up horses
  • cleaning boxes
  • cleaning drains
  • cleaning waterers, buckets and feedbins
  • cleaning grooming equipment
  • grooming horses
  • following instructions regarding order of operations
  • hosing horses
  • identifying and adapting to changes to routine in morning and afternoon shifts and when horses are racing or trialling
  • moving horses from boxes to saddling bays
  • preparing and providing feed and water
  • picking out hooves
  • replacing bedding
  • rolling horses
  • starting walking machines
  • sweeping feed rooms
  • sweeping or raking yards
  • walking horses pre and post-exercise.

Stable environment  may include:

  • barns
  • boxes
  • courtyards
  • hosing docks
  • round yards
  • saddling bays
  • sand rolls
  • stables
  • walking areas
  • walking machines
  • yards.

Hazards in the workplace  may include:

  • chemicals
  • heavy loads, for example bags of feed
  • horses
  • machinery and equipment
  • other people
  • unsafe work practices.

Feed and water preparation  will include:

  • applying rules of cleanliness and hygiene
  • reading feed preparation lists
  • providing correct mix and quantity of feed to individual horses in line with factors that affect feeding regimes, including:
  • age and gender of horse
  • individual taste
  • level of work and racing status
  • metabolism
  • reporting contaminated feed.

Feed may be contaminated  due to:

  • mould or water damage
  • rodent or other spoilage.

Contaminated feed must be reported  :

  • promptly to nominated stable person to avoid dangers of feeding contaminated feed, including:
  • botulism
  • colic.

Feed additives  may include:

  • bicarbonate of soda
  • common salt
  • Epsom salts
  • electrolytes
  • minerals
  • vitamins.

Consequences of incorrect use of additives  may include:

  • accidental introduction of banned substances through use of additives and combinations of additives
  • some additives alkalise the blood level in performance horses (total carbon dioxide level [TCO2]), with alkalising agents including:
  • bicarbonates
  • lactates and citrates.

Horses may be positioned and tied up  :

  • in a safe area, for example:
  • box
  • free from other horses and equipment, such as wheelbarrows
  • saddling bay
  • yard
  • ensuring immediate tying-up area is free from projections or rough edges which may mark the horse or catch on the head collar
  • using head collar and lead
  • removing bit and bridle if returning from exercise
  • if cross-tied, ensuring chains are encased in rubber
  • if tied to post ring, using baling twine to secure lead
  • using quick release knot.

Horses are groomed  :

  • pre-exercise grooming, depending upon individual stable routine and climate, includes:
  • 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
  • post-exercise grooming, depending upon individual stable routine and climate, includes:
  • rolling horse
  • removing sand
  • hosing, for example:
  • trace high or full body, using care with head
  • scraping horse
  • towelling horse and keeping hindquarters warm
  • checking legs for injury or swelling
  • nostrils and eyes cleansed
  • dock and sheath cleansed
  • body groomed
  • brushing mane and tidying tail
  • mane pulling as required and directed
  • picking out and dressing hooves and checking shoes.

Illness or injury  horses may suffer include:

  • back soreness
  • colic
  • coughs or colds
  • epistaxis
  • exertional rhabdomyolosis (tying up)
  • shin soreness
  • tendon or ligament sprains
  • thrush
  • viruses
  • wounds, such as puncture wounds.

Signs observed  indicating healthy or unhealthy horse may include:

  • bleeding
  • colic
  • discharges
  • favouring legs
  • hot or cold body parts, for example:
  • ears
  • legs
  • inappetence, including fluid intake
  • irregular temperature and respiration rates
  • listlessness
  • sweating
  • swelling.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit Sector 

Harness and thoroughbred racing codes

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

Functional Area

Functional Area 

Racing performance services