Leadership

Naming conventions

7.1 Horse Trail Ride naming conventions

‘Trail Guide – Routine rides’ or ‘Trail Guide – Advanced rides’ is equivalent to ‘Leader’ in Part I – Core standard. (Page 34)

The use of ‘Trail Guide’ refers to ‘Trail Guide – Routine rides’ and ‘Trail Guide – Advanced rides’.

Assistant trail guide: An assistant trail guide is a person competent to interact with horses including handling and riding.

All Trail Guide and Assistant Trail Guide competencies needed for a particular role shall be clearly defined.

 

7.1.1 ‘Assistant trail guide’ role

This role is limited as an assistant trail guide does not have the competence, skills or training to take responsibility for the safety of participants. This role is not an “assistant leader” as described in Part I – Core Standard. (Page 34)

Assistant trail guides shall be:

  • under direct supervision of a trail guide
  • understand the emergency response procedures for the activity.

Assistant trail guides may take the responsibility for:

  • handling horses
  • taking the front position on a ride
  • other appropriate tasks as directed by the Trail Guide(s)
  • assisting with emergency response procedures.

The assistant trail guides role should not include:

  • responsibility for the safety of participants

 

Competencies

This section outlines the competencies that activity leaders should have.

Competencies overview

The Australian AAS refers to units from the Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package for descriptive statements of the knowledge and skills required of activity leaders.

The Training Package units are used for the sole purpose of providing descriptions for the knowledge and skills required. It is not intended to imply or require that acquisition of these units of competency are the only  methods available for gaining  knowledge and skills.

The Training Package units listed can be found by searching for the units on the training.gov.au/Home/Tga website. The code provided with the unit name assists in this search.

 

7.2 Routine Horse Trail Ride competencies

Also refer to competencies section in Part I – Core Standard where appropriate. (Pages 35-36)

The following table outlines the recommended competencies or the equivalent, that a Trail Guide and Assistant Trail Guide should have when leading routine horse trail rides.

 

Assistant Trail Guide   Trail Guide (Leader)
Unit Code (or the equivalent) Unit Code (or the equivalent)
Common units All core standard (Part I) units plus
Operate communications systems and equipment PUAOPE002B Operate communications systems and equipment PUAOPE002B
Plan for minimal environmental impact SISOOPS304A
Routine rides All above units plus All above units plus
Monitor horse health and welfare AHCHBR201A Monitor horse health and welfare AHCHBR201A
Provide daily care for horses AHCHBR203A Provide daily care for horses AHCHBR203A
Handle horses SISOEQO201A Handle horses SISOEQO201A
Demonstrate basic horse riding skills SISOEQO202A Demonstrate basic horse riding skills SISOEQO202A
Ride horses in tracked areas SISOEQO305A Ride horses in tracked areas SISOEQO305A
Load and unload livestock AHCLSK207A
Administer medication to livestock AHCLSK301A
Implement animal health control programs AHCLSK309A
Apply first aid for horses SISOEQO304A
Guide day horse trail rides in tracked areas SISOEQO306A
Supervise horse handling SISOEQO317

 

Assistant trail guides may require in some situations a first aid qualification, to meet the requirement – in the supervision ratios section – of having 2 ‘guides’ with first aid qualifications. Refer Part 1 Core Standard – First aid competencies (page 36) for details of appropriate qualifications.

 

7.3 Advanced Horse Trail Ride competencies

Also refer to competencies section in Part I – Core Standard where appropriate. (Pages 35-36)

The following table outlines the recommended additional competencies or the equivalent, a Trail Guide and Assistant Trail Guide should have when leading advanced horse trail rides.

 

Assistant Trail Guide   Trail Guide (Leader)
Unit Code (or the equivalent) Unit Code (or the equivalent)
Advanced rides All units listed for routine horse trail rides plus All units listed for routine horse trail rides plus
Use and maintain a temporary or overnight site SISOOPS202A
Carry out basic hoof care procedures AHCHBR302A
Coordinate and monitor livestock transport AHCLSK320A
Apply navigation skills in an intermediate environment SISONAV302A
Advanced rides – Overnight All units listed for routine horse trail rides and advanced rides plus All units listed for routine horse trail rides and advanced rides plus
Guide overnight horse trail rides in tracked areas SISOEQO410A

 

Recognition of competence

7.4 Horse Trail Ride recognition pathways

The recognition pathways used for ‘Trail Guides’ shall be a recognised Trail Guide training qualification.

The recognition pathways used for ‘Assistant Trail Guides” may be all recognition pathways listed in the Part I – Core Standard – Recognition pathways. (Pages 37)

 

Group size

7.5 Horse Trail Ride group size

Also, refer to considerations for determining group size in Part I – Core Standard sections: Leadership – Group size and Environment – Land owner and/or manager requirements. (Page 42 and Page 29)

The recommend maximum group size should not exceed 20 horses i.e. total horses carrying participants, guides and pack horses not to exceed 20.

 

Activity leader to participant ratios

7.6 Horse Trail Ride recommended supervision ratios

In determining the supervision ratio, consideration shall be given to the:

  • experience, ability, needs and age of the participants
  • considerations listed in section 4.4 – participants living with a disability – and any known special needs
  • experience, ability, history, behaviour and/or idiosyncrasies of the horses
  • nature of the activities and weather conditions
  • terrain
  • the considerations for determining supervision requirements in Part I – Core Standard – Activity Leader to participant ratios. (Page 43-44)

Supervision provided shall allow adequate supervision of all participants and the ability to rapidly, and adequately, respond to emergency situations.

On any trail ride there should be 2 ‘trail guide(s)’ and/or ‘assistant trial guide(s)’ with current first aid qualifications.

There shall not be more that 6 participants per trail guide.

The recommended supervision requirements that should be used on routine and advanced rides are:

Participants Supervision
1-6 1 trail guide & 1 assistant trail guide
7-12 2 trail guides & 1 assistant trail guide
13-17 3 trail guides
participants under age of 10 refer text below

 

It is recommended good practice that the ‘assistant trail guide’ should be used in a role which allows ‘trail guides’ maximum flexibility in supervision of participants. For example, the ‘assistant trail guide’ rides the front horse to set the pace and route advised by the ‘trail guides’, allowing all the ‘trail guides’ freedom to move throughout the group to provide supervision as needed.

Participants younger than 10 years of age, unless competent horse riders and in control of a suitable horse, shall be on a lead rope controlled by a ‘trail guide’. This ‘trail guide’ shall not be counted in the ratios for the purposes of the whole group’s supervision.

Where there are participants involved in advanced horse trail rides who are inexperienced in interacting with horses, the minimum supervision shall be 2 ‘trail guides’.

 

Supervision and management during the activity

7.7 Routine Horse Trail Ride activity instruction

7.7.1 Routine Horse Trail Ride activity instruction

Information provided to participants should include but is not limited to:

  • how to correctly fit and adjust approved helmets
  • the requirement to wear helmets at all time while riding
  • appropriate methods for securing hair and jewellery for personal safety
  • usage of saddle bags provided to carry personal equipment and medications

 

  • risks related to the behaviour of horses, including but not limited to:
    • they are independent, decision-making animals
    • their flight instinct
    • the possible behaviour and/or idiosyncrasies of individual horses

 

  • behaviour requirements for riders, including but not limited to:
    • individual and group responsibilities
    • no shouting, running or throwing things
    • no walking up behind or standing behind horses
    • no standing immediately in front of horses
    • when on foot, to stand near the horse’s shoulder
    • unless participant skill level has been assessed previously as experienced, no mounting without assistance
    • not to chew gum

 

  • agreed methods of communication within the group (g. signals and calls)
  • requirements regarding the order of the ride including:
    • no passing the front guide
    • staying in front of the back guide
    • the distance between horses
    • keeping in a line
    • the speed is to be determined by the ‘trail guide’

 

  • requirements when crossing roads
  • requirements when encountering vehicles
  • requirements when encountering pedestrians
  • following instructions from ‘trail guides’ and ‘assistant trail guides’

 

7.7.2 Advanced Horse Trail Ride activity instruction

In addition to the information in the routine ride section, extra information provided may include but is not limited to:

  • recommendations on the type of food, the amount of food and water required
  • use of a buddy system, if appropriate
  • expected terrain, hazards and emergency procedures.

 

7.8 Horse Trail Ride activity management

A ‘trail guide’ should be familiar with the activity location and/or trail network.

Participants should be able to easily identify ‘trail guides’.

The rider and horse combination should be allocated based on the assessed ability of the rider and suitability of the horse.

All trail ride activities should be provided at a level suitable for the abilities of the least experienced rider involved.

 

7.8.1 Routine Horse Trail Ride activity management

Horses should be in a secure hazard-free area and held for inexperienced riders when they mount.

Prior to commencing the ride, a check shall occur to ensure:

  • each participant has a helmet that is correctly fitted
  • the stirrup length and stirrup fit to shoe size is appropriate

A practical assessment of all participant’s riding skills shall be undertake prior to the departure of the ride.

All riders shall demonstrate they can:

  • hold and use the reins to control their horse including to stop and turn it
  • demonstrate correct positioning of their feet in stirrup and apply pressure for forward motion.
  • understand and comply with instructions.

Riding on roads or other traffic areas should be avoided where possible.

Where a routine trail ride does ride on roads, this should be in single file where possible.

Also refer section 5.2 Horse trail rides and traveling on roads or paths.

 

7.8.2 Advanced Horse Trail Ride activity management

Procedures should be used to reduce the potential of participants becoming separated or lost.

An assessment of all participants’ riding skills shall be undertaken prior to departure.

Assessment of participants riding skills may include but is not limited to:

  • the ability of the rider to control their horse when moving away from and towards the group at walk, trot and canter.

Where participants on advanced trail rides are assessed as inexperienced or beginner riders:

  • the suitability of allowing the participant to undertake the activity should be considered
  • the management of the activity should reflect their needs
  • consideration [should] be given to increasing the number of trail guides to ensure participants are appropriately supervised.

Where a participant uses a horse that they have supplied, additional procedures should be taken to reduce the possibility of any unacceptable risks from:

  • dangerous horse behaviours between unsocialized horses
  • the participants horse’s behaviour and/or idiosyncrasies.

Additional procedures to consider may include but are not limited to:

  • not allowing horses that show aggression to other horses to participate or
  • keeping horses that show aggression to other horses separate at all times.

All riders should be made aware of the particular horses that show aggression to other horses.

A reliable means of identifying horses that are inclined to kick out should be used (e.g. ribbon in the horse’s tail).

Inexperienced riders and their horses shall be kept separated from horses that show aggression to other horses at all times.

Also refer section 5.2 Horse trail rides and traveling on roads or paths.

 

7.9 Horse management

7.9.1 Routine Horse Trail Ride horse management

Appropriate management of the health and safety of horses shall include but is not limited to:

  • the horses are fed and watered prior to use
  • the horses are groomed properly including hoof care
  • their equipment fits horse and rider and is suitable for the activity
  • horses are not used if lame or sick
  • each horse’s fitness and condition, is appropriate for ride
  • the rider’s size is appropriate for horse and the expectations of the ride
  • horses are not stressed by rider behaviour
  • horses are not stressed by other horses (g. being bullied)
  • horses are washed down at the end of the ride if they have sweated profusely
  • horses’ water intake is appropriate to avoid colic.

 

7.9.2 Advanced Horse Trail Ride horse management

Appropriate management of the health and safety of horses for advanced rides shall include but is not limited to:

  • as listed in routine horse management section 7.9.1 above
  • monitoring for signs of rubbing equipment and muscular problems
  • the preparations made for any changes in diet to be used before or on the ride to avoid colic and the spread of weeds
  • provided with adequate food and water, rest stops and shelter.

 

 

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