Unit of competency details

RTE2130A - Ride and care for horses and equipment (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 04/Oct/2003

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by AHCLSK212A - Ride horses to carry out stock work09/Jun/2011

Training packages that include this unit


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  20/Aug/2003 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

This competency standard requires a person to safely perform basic horsemanship activities such as riding a horse for the first time and preparing a horse for work using basic methods and procedures.

It requires the application of skills and knowledge to carry out horse handling operations safely and humanely in prepared handling areas, using appropriate equipment and techniques. Competency requires an awareness of animal welfare legislative requirements and organisation workplace safe practices. The work in this standard is likely to be carried out under routine supervision within organisation guidelines.

Application of the Unit

Not applicable.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria

Elements and Performance Criteria 


Performance Criteria 


Prepare to work with horses


Work to be undertaken is interpreted from work program where necessary, and confirmed with management.


Discussions are held with other workers who may be affected by the activities to ensure continued smooth operation of the preparation process.


Equipment suitable for the work to be undertaken is selected, checked, and maintained if necessary.


Suitable personal protective equipment  is selected, used and maintained.


Ride stock horses for the first time


Suitable stock horses are identified and selected  according to a nominated selection criteria.


Unhealthy or unsound horses are identified and reported to foreman or manager.


Selected horses are approached, caught and restrained as instructed.


Gear to manage and control the horse for the required work  is selected and fitted.


OHS  hazards are continually identified when working with horses, risks are assessed and suitable controls implemented.


Horses are handled and restrained  safely and within the organisation's and industry guidelines for animal health and welfare.


Prepare horses for work


OHS hazards are continually identified when working with horses, risks are assessed and suitable controls implemented.


Feeds are mixed and offered in the quality and quantities instructed by the manager.


Horses are groomed  before and after work to ensure their coat condition and health is maintained.


Hoof care and cleaning is completed before working the horses, according to the organisations procedures .


Vices of horses are identified and corrective action is taken to maintain control of the horses.


Horse education is carried out in association with stock working routines.


Educated horses are controlled and worked as an integral part of stock husbandry routines.


Horses are handled safely and within the organisations and industry guidelines for animal health and welfare.


Care for saddlery and equipment


Basic working gear  to suit the individual horse is selected and fitted.


Working gear is cleaned and checked as a part of regular daily routines.


Working gear is maintained or repaired as required to ensure safe horse working conditions.


Working gear and saddlery is stored after use in line with organisation policy.

Required Skills and Knowledge

Not applicable.

Evidence Guide

Competence in basic horsemanship requires evidence of the ability to prepare horses for handling operations using equipment and calm and humane methods to minimise undue stress and risk to horses or handlers. It requires the ability to follow interpret and apply task instructions, riding horses for the first time prior to preparing them for work, shoeing horses and transporting them, monitor and anticipate horse behaviour and recognise and report hazards or movement problems for remedial action. Evidence must also be demonstrated in the employment of safe workplace and positive environmental practices.

The skills and knowledge required must be transferable  to another rural environment. For example, if competence is evident in the drafting and movement of horses, some skills must also be evident in the conduct of handling operations for sheep, beef and dairy cattle.

What specific knowledge is needed to achieve the performance criteria ?

Knowledge and understanding are essential to apply this standard in the workplace, to transfer the skills to other contexts, and to deal with unplanned events. The knowledge requirements for this competency standard are listed below:

horses and horse husbandry

horse riding and handling safety when riding

horse health, behaviour and psychology

anatomy and physiology of the horse

care and maintenance of hooves and the lower limbs

environmental controls and codes of practice applicable to the organisation

the organisation's livestock production and management plans.

sound management practices and processes to minimise noise, odours and debris from the livestock operations

relevant legislation and regulations relating to waste and environment management, animal health and welfare, and employment of staff and contractors

relevant OHS legislation, regulations and codes of practice.

What specific skills are needed to achieve the performance criteria ?

To achieve the performance criteria, appropriate literacy and numeracy levels as well as some complementary skills are required. These include the ability to:

horse handling skills

ride horses

complete basic hoof care procedures

groom horses

care for saddlery and equipment

observe, identify and react appropriately to environmental implications and OHS hazards

measuring quantities required for feed.

What processes should be applied to this competency standard ?

There are a number of processes that are learnt throughout work and life, which are required in all jobs. They are fundamental processes and generally transferable to other work functions. Some of these are covered by the key competencies , although others may be added. The questions below highlight how these processes are applied in this competency standard. Following each question a number in brackets indicates the level to which the key competency needs to be demonstrated where 0 = not required, 1 = perform the process, 2 = perform and administer the process and 3 = perform, administer and design the process.

1. How can communication of ideas and information  () be applied?

When interpreting the specific work that is required, and when dealing with colleagues and clients.

2. How can information be collected , analysed and organised  ()?

When determining the health needs and working requirements of the horse.

3. How are activities planned and organised  ()?

In setting up the regimes for working and training the horses.

4. How can team work  () be applied?

When working alongside others to achieve a common workplace outcome.

5. How can the use of mathematical ideas and techniques  () be applied?

In calculating quantities and volumes of feed and additives.

6. How can problem -solving skills  () be applied?

When dealing with difficult or fractious horses.

7. How can the use of technology  () be applied?

When measuring, communicating and calculating.

Are there other competency standards that could be assessed with this one ?

This competency standard could  be assessed on its own or in combination with other competencies relevant to the job function.

There is essential information about assessing this competency standard for consistent performance  and where and how it may be assessed , in the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package. All users of these competency standards must have access  to the Assessment Guidelines . Further advice may also be sought from the relevant sector booklet .

Range Statement

Range of Variables 

The Range of Variables explains the contexts within which the performance and knowledge requirements of this standard may be assessed. The scope of variables chosen in training and assessment requirements may depend on the work situations available

What personal protective equipment  may be relevant to this standard?

This may include boots, overalls and gloves, protective eyewear, hearing protection and sun protection (sun hat, sunscreen).

By what criteria are horses selected  upon?

On their breed or breed-cross, age, sex, condition, colour and markings, brands or tattoos. They must also be examined for lameness, sore eyes, sore mouth, girth galls, back conditions, mud, caked sweat or vegetable matter, damaged feet or lower limbs, localised or systemic infections.

At what pace may a horse be worked ?

Horses may be worked at a walk, trot, canter or gallop.

What actions could be taken to eliminate or minimise the OHS  risk?

Relevant OHS hazards identification, risk assessment and risk control measures, and safe systems and procedures for:

manual handling

outdoor work, including protection from solar radiation

selection, use and maintenance of relevant personal protective equipment

all working routines for horses must be carried out in line with the provisions of the Workplace Health and Safety Acts and relevant animal codes of welfare.

What are some restraining  devices?

Rearing bit, war bridle, blindfold, twitch, neck skin hold, leg strap, hobbles, and sidelines.

What does grooming  involve?

It involves washing, trimming, pulling of manes and tails, removal of dust, mud, scurf, sweat and tangles, burrs and other vegetable matter.

Equipment such as brushes and combs, clippers, bot knife, scrapers, and soap will be used.

What organisation procedures  may apply to this standard?

Work procedures will be based on sound agricultural principles and practices and may include supervisors oral or written instructions, organisation standard operating procedures, specifications, work notes, waste disposal, recycling and re-use guidelines, and OHS procedures.

What does horse working gear  include?

It includes saddles, breastplates, martingales, bridles, cruppers, saddlebags, headstalls, saddlecloths, feeders, and rugs.

For more information on contexts, environment and variables for training and assessment, refer to the Sector Booklet.

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.

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