Training Options

National Certificate in Equine Skills (Level 2)

A programme for people working in racing stables.

Fees Free - NZTR has waived all fees on the New Zealand Certificate in Equine Skills (Level 2) until 31 July 2020.

The course is accredited through the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and can be completed from home or work. NZTR training advisors and tutors will support and guide you through the process.

Duration: 5 months (can be completed in less)

This qualification is compulsory for all newly licensed stablehands but all licensed stablehands are encouraged to apply.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Participate as part of a team in an equine workplace.
  • Care for horses in stables and/or yards under close supervision.
  • Prepare horses for travel, load and unload under close supervision.
  • Care for a group of horses in the paddock or yards.
  • Apply knowledge of health and ill health of horses and procedures to follow in an emergency.
  • Carry out routine minor maintenance of horse paddocks and/or equine facilities under close supervision.
NZTR Training Advisors are ready to take your enrolment.  For more information and to enrol, please contact your local equine specialist as listed below.
Matthew Barnsley
Northern Training & Welfare Advisor
M: 027 807 9068
Bridget Flynn
Central Training & Welfare Advisor
M: 027 571 7048
David Walsh
Southern Training & Welfare Advisor
M: 027 570 0804
Download the brochure here.

National Certificate in Equine (Stable Procedures) (Level 3)

Course Fee: $100

With strands in thoroughbred racing stable assistant and thoroughbred racing track rider

Duration: 17 - 19 months

Suitable for people involved with horses in supervised roles as harness racing stable assistants, thoroughbred racing stable assistants and thoroughbred racing track riders.

At the end of this qualification you will:

  • Have knowledge and skills involved with care of the horse and saddlery
  • Have knowledge of horse health, ill health, anatomy and conformation
  • Be able to prepare for travel, exercise, handling and feeding
  • Have knowledge of bringing a horse back into work and letting down
  • Have knowledge of procedures used for horse exercise and the skills involved with working safely.

National Certificate in Equine (Breeding) (Level 3)

Couse Fee: $280

Duration: 17 - 19 months

Suitable for people with some experience in the equine industry who want to develop the skills and knowledge required to work as stud assistants under supervision.

At the end of this qualification you will:

  • Have the skills to care for paddocked horses
  • Know how to groom a horse, clean stables, analyse horse feed
  • Be able to recognise health and ill health in horses
  • Know how to deal with an emergency situation involving horses
  • Be able to help foal a mare
  • Be able to prepare yearlings for sales and attend sales. 

National Certificate in Equine (Level 4)

Free Fees for approved apprentice jockeys. 

Note: An international licensing fee will apply to overseas applicants.

Duration: 36 months

With strands in thoroughbred jockey and thoroughbred advanced track rider


At the end of this qualification you will:

  • Have the skills to care for a horse, clean and maintain saddlery
  • Be able to identify health, ill health, common ailments and lameness
  • Be able to Prepare for travel, and care for horses in short-term accommodation
  • Know how to prepare for exercise, handling and feeding
  • Know how to bring a horse back into work and letting down
  • Have knowledge of horse anatomy, horse feed analysis, emergency care, and a career in the equine industry
  • Have knowledge of horse gear and procedures used for horse exercise.

Jockey Strand

The Jockey strand recognises the skills to exercise thoroughbred racehorses in an exercise saddle, ride thoroughbred horses in pacework on public training tracks, in barrier practice, at jump outs, in fastwork, at Official Trials to obtain a race day licence, and on race day seek race day rides, attend to horses at the races and handle during swabbing. Holders of the qualification with this strand will also have knowledge of nutritional requirements for a jockey, the racing industry judicial system, thoroughbred racing industry structure and judicial system, racetrack bylaws and problem gambling and drug use in the racing industry.