Trackwork Riding Course Information

There are three accredited courses:

  • Course in Trackwork Riding for Slow Work comprises of 6 core units. If you are already working as a stable hand you will have completed the first two units (BSBWHS201 and RGRPSH201), requiring 4 to be completed. The units in this qualification form the basis of the other courses 
  • Course in Trackwork Riding for Fast Work comprises of 7 units.
  • Course in Trackwork Riding for Jump Outs comprises of 8 units.

Accredited course structure

For each of the units there are performance criteria which is effectively what you need to be able to do and then there is what you need to know, the Knowledge criteria.  The following table summarises the requirements for you to be accredited at the different levels.

   Performance Criteria Knowledge  
RGRPSH306 - Develop basic trackwork riding skills
  • Follow trainer or foreman instructions relating to safety and trackwork requirements
  • developed skills riding slow trackwork, including:
    • maintained balance riding two-point and bridging reins using an exercise saddle
    • rode alongside others – maintaining pace and a straight line
    • counted time and identified different paces
    • followed track rules and riding etiquette
    • correctly used appropriate items of racing industry-approved horse gear and personal protective equipment.
  • Comply with trackwork rules, protocols and safety requirements
  • trackwork riding techniques, etiquette and fitness requirements
  • types, purpose and compliance requirements of racing industry-approved gear and equipment
  • common thoroughbred horse behaviour, body language and social traits, including known characteristics of individual horses being ridden
  • rules of racing related to riding trackwork, track policies and regulations – understanding that each track has different requirements, including:
    • track distance markers, gaps, exits
    • rules relating to entry and exit track and where horses are able to work at different paces
    • track etiquette
  • time counting and pace estimation techniques
  • racing industry procedures and expectations relevant to basic trackwork riding, including:
    • communication procedures within stable and wider racing industry
    • animal welfare principles and compliance requirements
    • safety requirements for when interacting with horses
    • basic industry terminology
    • trackwork licensing requirements.
RGRPSH205 - Perform basic riding skills in the racing industry
  • On at least three occasions, and with a minimum of two different well-educated, compliant and manageable horses of different ages and temperaments, the individual has:
    • carried out pre-ride requirements, including:
    • clarified instructions
    • carried out a basic safety check
    • organised, checked and fitted racing-approved personal protective equipment and horse gear according to instructions
    • caught and prepared the horse for riding
    • performed riding skills safely and effectively according to supervisor instructions and safe riding practices, including:
    • safely mounted and dismounted the horse
    • correctly held and adjusted reins
    • adjusted girth and stirrup length while mounted
    • used aids to control movement, speed and direction of horse
    • maintained balance while performing rising trot on the correct diagonal
    • maintained a balanced forward seat in two-point and three-point riding position at canter, identifying correct lead on both reins
    • took up a bridge rein, demonstrating shortening and lengthening of the rein while trotting
    • rode alone and in company of others
    • rode and controlled the horse safely in the following gaits: 
    • trotted the horse for a minimum of 800 metres or two minutes
    • cantered the horse in a two-point position bridging the reins for a minimum of 800 metres or for two minutes, carrying a whip
    • performed post-riding procedures on horse and equipment and released the horse safely.

  • Perform demonstrating knowledge of:
    • communication procedures within supervisor and stable
    • characteristics of horses:
    • basic industry terminology
    • common behaviour, social traits and vices of horses
    • types of responses to cues
    • specific, known characteristics of individual horses to be ridden
    • types of approved horse gear, including:
    • bridles and relevant components of bridle
    • common bits used for racing
    • rings and running martingales
    • breastplates
    • double clip leads
    • saddles, stirrup leathers, stirrup irons, girths and surcingles
    • saddlecloths and packing
    • corrective gear
    • signs of gear wear and breakage and reporting
    • riding techniques relevant to racing industry, including:
    • two-point and three-point, forward seat position
    • bridging the reins
    • racing industry safety and animal welfare requirements, including:
    • safe workplace procedures
    • identifying hazards and risks
    • types and purpose of personal protective equipment
    • relevant road and track safety rules
    • pre-exercise and post-exercise care and grooming
    • basic riding skills, including:
    • riding horses singly or in company
    • retrieving and bridging reins
    • saddling horses
    • stopping and changing direction
    • understanding and correctly using aids
    • warm-up and warm-down procedures for horse
    • controlling horse movement, speed and direction
    • avoiding 'getting on heels' and estimating safe riding distance from other horses at different paces:
    • when walking, maintaining approximately two horse lengths
    • when trotting, maintaining approximately four to six lengths
    • when cantering, maintaining approximately more than six lengths
    • safe zones, including:
    • 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.
RGRPSH307 Exercise horses in pacework
  • Interpreted and implemented trainer’s trackwork instructions, including use of aids
  • exercised at least five different thoroughbred horses, over a distance of approximately 1000 metres, covering a range of paces, including:
    • half pace
    • three-quarter pace
    • even time
    • working gallop
    • used appropriate techniques to control horse safely in pacework, singly and in company
    • reported horse performance to trainer.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge required to perform the including:
  • criteria for accepting rides, including:
    • rider experience
    • horse experience
  • pacework riding techniques, practices and industry terminology, including:
  • common racehorse behaviour traits and responses to cues relevant to pacework
  • counting time at half pace, three-quarter pace, even time and working gallop
  • range and purpose of approved gear and aids, including personal protective equipment
  • trackwork rules, including racing etiquette and safe entry and exit points for relevant tracks relating to work environment
  • racing industry standards and expectations relevant to exercising horses in pacework:
  • communication procedures within stable and wider racing industry
  • basic strategies for effective working relationships and teamwork
  • racing industry animal welfare requirements
  • safety requirements, including safe operating procedures.
RGRPSH404 Ride horses at trackwork
  •  There must be evidence that the individual has ridden thoroughbred horses of different temperaments and experience at trackwork and practice barrier training, on at least five occasions, including for each occasion:
    • interpreted, implemented and reported back on trackwork instructions of trainer
    • prepared for trackwork, including:
    • carried out a risk and hazard safety assessment
    • warmed up and cooled down horses
    • followed racing etiquette and safe track entry and exit procedures 
    • used appropriate techniques to control and ride horses in pacework and fast work singly and in company, including riding to time over set distances of:
    • three-quarter pace from the mile (1600 metres)
    • even time from 800 metres
    • fast pace – 'let it roll from the turn and pushed out to the post' 
    • addressed common barrier problems and reported horse performance.
  • An individual must be able to demonstrate the knowledge required to perform the tasks outlined in the elements and performance criteria of this unit. This includes knowledge of:
    • principles and practices of trackwork riding:
    • industry terminology related to riding horses in pacework and fast work
    • racing industry-approved gear and aids
    • fast work riding techniques
    • rules for tracks, including safe entry and exit points for tracks relevant to rider's work
    • riding etiquette
    • barrier operation
    • different horse paces, including half pace, three-quarter pace, even time, working gallop
    • common racehorse behaviour traits, and characteristics of individual horses, and common barrier problems
    • racing industry safety requirements, including:
    • safe operating procedures and risk assessment and control
    • personal protective equipment and purpose for its use
    • racing industry standards and expectations relevant to riding horses at trackwork:
    • communication procedures within stable and wider racing industry
    • effective working relationships and teamwork
    • racing industry animal welfare requirements
    • relevant rules of racing for pacework and fast work, including riders being drug free.
RGRPSH405 Ride horses in jump outs
  • An individual demonstrating competency in this unit must satisfy all of the elements and performance criteria of this unit. There must be evidence that the individual has safely ridden and jumped thoroughbred horses out of barriers, on at least three occasions, including:
  • prepared to ride in jump outs, including:
  • followed instructions of trainer, barrier attendants and starter
  • evaluated risks and hazards associated with activities
  • warmed up horses
  • rode in jump outs from barrier safely, including:
  • used appropriate strategies to control and settle horses in barriers
  • galloped horses in company
  • cooled down horses after jump outs.
  • An individual must be able to demonstrate the knowledge required to perform the tasks outlined in the elements and performance criteria of this unit. This includes knowledge of:
  • purpose and procedures for jump outs
  • types and purpose of approved gear and personal protective equipment
  • barrier attendant and starter roles and duties
  • common horse behaviour, social traits and vices that relate to horse behaviour around and in barriers
  • track rules and relevant rules of racing
  • racing industry standards and expectations, including:
  • communication procedures within stable and wider racing industry
  • animal welfare requirements
  • workplace health and safety requirements, including safe operating procedures and risk assessment.
VU22858 Work effectively as a trackwork rider
  • Oral communication skills to interact appropriately with co-workers, track staff and officials
  • literacy skills to read and interpret information relevant to: - own work role - local track and national rules of racing - horse health and welfare in racing - workplace expectations - mental health and wellbeing strategies
  • problem solving skills to: - determine appropriate responses to issues of horse health and animal welfare - respond to ethical work issues - identify resources to support effective workplace performance - identify factors that can impact on health and wellbeing and develop strategies to manage own health and wellbeing
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  • Identify and respond to the rights and responsibilities of trackwork riders and respond to workplace expectations the racing industry 
  • Identify factors that can affect mental health and wellbeing and develop strategies to manage own health and wellbeing
  • source of reliable information on workplace practices for trackwork riding including: - employment requirements for trackwork riders - rights and responsibilities of trackwork riders - workplace expectations and behaviours - ethics in the workplace and contribution to integrity in racing - biosecurity including hygiene and quarantine procedures and practices
  • commonly encountered horse health and animal welfare issues
  • appropriate procedures and actions to respond horse health and animal welfare issues within the scope of own role
  • types of strategies that support effective workplace relationships
 

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