Unit of competency details

SISOEQO408A - Determine nutritional requirements for horses (Release 2)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SISOEQU014 - Determine nutritional requirements for sport or recreational horsesNot equivalent • Title changed to reflect industry applicability • Significant additions to knowledge evidence. 18/Dec/2017
Supersedes and is equivalent to SROEQO008A - Determine nutritional requirements for horsesE Updated and equivalent to SROEQO008A Determine nutritional requirements for horses 06/Jun/2011

ReleaseRelease date
2 (this release) 28/Nov/2011
(View details for release 1) 07/Jun/2011


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  18/Nov/2011 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to assess the nutritional requirements of horses in sporting and recreational programs, formulate rations and monitor feeding regimes.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to those working as horse riding guides or instructors. This may include those working for private horse riding companies or group leaders in school outdoor education programs. It may also apply to those with coaching responsibilities in equestrian dressage or jumping at a regional or State or Territory level.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

No licensing, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.



Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements and Performance Criteria



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.

1. Identify nutritional requirements of horses.

1.1. Identify and assess nutritional requirements for individual horses in consultation with appropriate personnel  according to nutritional principles  and individual horse's need .

1.2. Select feed on the basis of quality, nutritional and economic value to meet the nutritional requirements of specific horses according to organisational policies and procedures .

1.3. Prepare individual food rations  for the range of horses in care according to nutritional principles and organisational policies and procedures.

1.4. Monitor food rations and confirm they are appropriate to horse's nutritional requirements.

1.5. Provide paddocked horses with standing and supplementary feed  according to their needs and relevant legislation  and organisational policies and procedures.

2. Assess food additives and supplements for horses.

2.1. Identify criteria  for the selection of food additives and supplements according to relevant legislation and organisational policies and procedures.

2.2. Assess supplements and food additives according to criteria related to the needs of the horse and its workloads, relevant legislation and organisational policies and procedures.

3. Establish and monitor individual feeding regimes.

3.1. Identify individual feeding regimes  according to horse's needs.

3.2. Feed horses at appropriate times and monitor individual feeding regimes.

3.3. Document individual horse's eating behaviour, food intake and work level according to organisational policies and procedures.

3.4. Adjust feeding regime as required.

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • problem-solving skills to:
  • select and formulate rations to meet individual horse's nutritional requirements
  • assess the effects of additives and supplements on the performance of horses
  • adjust feeding regimes in response to changing horse behaviour and needs
  • planning and organising skills to:
  • prepare individual rations based on nutritional requirements
  • feed horses within required time frames
  • monitor feeding regimes and make appropriate modifications
  • communication skills to liaise with relevant personnel to determine nutritional requirements of horses and appropriate feed, additives and supplements.
  • literacy skills to maintain and monitor feed records and follow instructions to prepare feed rations
  • numeracy skills to identify and correctly prepare and weigh up feed components and supplements.

Required knowledge 

  • common horse behaviour, social traits and vices to enable feeding regimes to be implemented effectively
  • signs of changes in horse eating behaviour to enable problems to be identified and addressed
  • horse digestive system such as mouth and teeth, stomach, small and large intestines to enable identification and correction of feeding problems
  • feed sources and the role of energy, protein, fibre, minerals and vitamins in food rations to enable feed to meet horse's nutritional requirements
  • feed additives and supplements and their composition to enable potential effects to be monitored
  • nutritional principles and requirements with respect to horse's age, needs while spelling, training and working to ensure appropriate composition of feed
  • poisonous plants and their effects on grazing horses and the nutritional values of standing feed.

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.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • applies knowledge of factors affecting the nutritional requirements of different horses in the work environment, including the effects of additives and supplements, to prepare and provide balanced diets and food for horses demonstrating an understanding of quality, type and value of feed and needs of individual horses
  • completes tasks within nominated time frames and applies safe work practices when determining nutritional requirements of horses
  • applies effective contingency management techniques to make adjustments to feeding regimes in response to changing conditions, such as signs of problem eating displayed by individual horses
  • documents and maintains feed records and adjusts in response to changing requirements.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure carrying out and monitoring feeding regimes individual horses on multiple occasions to demonstrate competency and consistency of performance.

Assessment must also ensure access to:

  • a commercial or private horse riding establishment with a variety of horses in various stages of preparation including paddocked horses
  • information about the properties of additives and supplements
  • appropriate feed, additives and supplements and feeding equipment
  • organisational policies and procedures in relation to feeding horses
  • appropriate personnel.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • observation of interaction with horses during assessment of nutritional needs, and implementation and monitoring of feeding regime
  • oral and or written questioning to assess knowledge of factors affecting the nutritional requirements of a range of horses
  • portfolio of feeding records
  • third-party reports from a supervisor detailing performance.

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

  • RTE2121A Provide daily care for horses.

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, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Appropriate personnel  may include:

  • employers
  • supervisors.

Nutritional principles  may include:

  • nutrients:
  • protein
  • fat
  • trace elements
  • fibre
  • minerals
  • energy
  • grain and roughage balance.

Individual needs of horses  may include:

  • work requirements
  • individual taste
  • behaviour
  • condition
  • age
  • environment
  • workload
  • stage of training.

Food rations  may include:

  • local varieties or species of grass or pasture, hays and fodders
  • pre-packaged food or bulk base food.

Organisational policies and procedures  may include:

  • use of standing feed
  • horse welfare
  • selection of feed products
  • use of additives and supplements
  • documentation requirements.

Supplementary feed  may include:

  • vitamins
  • oils
  • calcium
  • electrolytes
  • potassium citrate
  • iron
  • hoof hardener
  • molasses
  • mineral salt lick
  • herbal remedies.

Relevant legislation  may include:

  • occupational health and safety
  • permits and permission for access
  • environmental regulations.

Criteria  may include:

  • quality
  • nutritional value
  • economic value
  • active ingredients
  • price
  • nutritional needs for specific horses.

Individual feeding regimes  may include:

  • size
  • time and frequency
  • age effects
  • gender effects
  • level of work
  • individual taste
  • location of work and feeding
  • normal habitat
  • metabolism.
  • time of year and available natural feeds

Unit Sector(s)

Outdoor Recreation

Competency Field

Equestrian activities