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JANUARY 1, 2023

SAFETY RULES & CODE OF CONDUCT
STELLA VISTA VERDE RANCH

STELLA VISTA VERDE RANCH

SAFETY RULES & CODE OF CONDUCT

Contents

Contents........................................................................................................................................ 1

General Visitor Rules .................................................................................................................. 2

WILDLIFE CODE OF CONDUCT ................................................................................................... 5

FIREARM Safety Rules ................................................................................................................ 6

Swimming Pool...............................................................................................................................11

Archery Code of Conduct.........................................................................................................12

Cycling Code of Conduct ..........................................................................................................12

Universal Horseback Riding Rules..........................................................................................15

Axe Throwing Code of Conduct ..............................................................................................20

ATV/UTV - Safety Guidelines and Acknowledgement........................................................22

Grill Safety ..................................................................................................................................25


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For the safety and enjoyment of all visitors, and to protect the ecological health of this important natural land, all visitors are expected to abide by the following rules:

General Visitor Rules

Please report safety hazards or suspicious activities to the Ranch staff. In case of emergency, visitors should call 911, and then call the Ranch at 713-444-7436 - also send a text message. Main address is: 5079 County Road 251, Hondo, TX 78861.

Weather may alter programming which is subject to change without notice. On bad weather days, our staff is available after 8:00 a.m. to discuss rain accommodations or possible rescheduling events. For the benefit of other visitors and wildlife, please always maintain respectful noise levels. Amplified noise, music, or sound is not allowed. An exception has been granted to OTK for specific events. Disorderly conduct, including excessive noise, is strictly prohibited. Failure to comply can result in removal from the property.

We recommend that for safety, guests wear closed toe shoes. Sandals/flip flops are not recommended. Mosquito/bug repellent and sunscreen is recommended.

We appreciate your respect for the land and other guests.

We are not responsible for visitors’ allergies. If allergies (mild or severe) are an issue, please consult with you doctor. We cannot guarantee that anything on the ranch has not met with potential allergens. Due to the Ranch’s sensitive ecology, pets, except for service and working animals, are prohibited from the property. Pets can disturb wildlife, impede enjoyment of the Ranch by other visitors, spread diseases to wildlife, or leave stools that can create serious sanitation problems or contain seeds from non-native plants. Visitors with service and working animals must collect and dispose of stools in proper receptacles. Please notify Ranch staff if you plan to bring a service animal to your event. Littering is strictly prohibited. Help keep the Ranch clean! Please dispose of litter in proper receptacles. Except for water or sports bottles, food and drink are not permitted on trails. Glass containers are not allowed. Leave No Trace!


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Moving Around

Please stay on maintained trails to avoid detrimental impacts to the local ecology, as well as individual safety. Off-trail activity is prohibited. Some trails are closed or re-routed to minimize detrimental impacts and to protect sensitive habitats, i.e. some areas may be closed during bird-nesting season. Nature hiking trails are intended for walking. Trail users are asked to be polite and courteous to other visitors. Trail users should walk on the right side of the trail. Trail users should give an audible warning before passing others and follow all signs.

Access gates open upon exiting. PLEASE be cautious as the gate opens TOWARDS you and will let one car through at a time. We are not responsible for damage to your car while on the property.

Special Activities

Limited PRIMITIVE camping is currently available at the Ranch. Please contact Stella Vista Verde management. Camping represents a potential threat to natural areas because of the accompanying threat of fire and increased impact on vegetation. For this reason, camping is limited to organizations and educational groups.

We encourage all campers to use Leave No Trace ethics. Tent camping is allowed in designated areas only. For the safety and security of overnight camping guests, staff are required to be always on-site. Campfires are only allowed in designated areas. Firewood is not provided and may not be collected on site. Campers must extinguish all fires before leaving. Please remove waste and refuse when you leave.

UTV/ATV operation is prohibited by Ranch guests without explicit prior approval.

  • Safety is number 1 - please consider your actions before you act. In doubt, please contact ranch personnel.
  • Noise curfew on the ranch grounds is 12:00AM.
  • Absolutely no drugs on the ranch property.
  • Absolutely no smoking in rooms
  • Foul language is discouraged


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  • Be polite and courteous to other ranch guests and staff
  • Please do not be disruptive to other guest activities
  • NO BARE FEET, - please take caution
  • Inviting friends or family to the Ranch must have prior Ranch approval
  • Personal vehicles must be cleared for use
  • Guests are customers
  • There is no excuse for animal neglect or abuse:
  1. Do not strike or throw stones at animals
  2. Do not chase wildlife or cattle
  3. Do not poach
  • Sexual harassment or intimidation shall not be tolerated in any form or manner
  • Each guest is responsible for items on site - if damaged, guests will be required to replace value
  • Please inform rancher management if you wish to wander outside the main town
  • UTV vehicles must have a Stella Vista Verde employee accompaniment
  • Please stay on the main roads and vehicle tracks when using bikes
  • No diving in pool, No running around edge of pool
  • No use of pool after midnight
  • No firearms on ranch without prior approval
  • No use of personal firearms without prior approval


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WILDLIFE CODE OF CONDUCT

Do not touch or remove any object of biological interest, including eggs, bones, or artifacts.

1. Never feed the wildlife

2. Animals always have the right of way

3. Never disturb or harass the wildlife

4. Do not litter

5. Never pick, cut, or destroy vegetation


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FIREARM Safety Rules

1.ALWAYS KEEP THE MUZZLE POINTED IN A SAFE DIRECTION

This is the most basic safety rule. If everyone handled a firearm so carefully that the muzzle never pointed at something they didn’t intend to shoot, there would be virtually no firearms accidents. It’s as simple as that, and it’s up to you.

Never point your gun at anything you do not intend to shoot. This is particularly important when loading or unloading a firearm. In the event of an accidental discharge, no injury can occur if the muzzle is pointing in a safe direction.

A safe direction means a direction in which a bullet cannot possibly strike anyone, considering possible ricochets and the fact that bullets can penetrate walls and ceilings. The safe direction may be “up” on some occasions or “down” on others, but never at anyone or anything not intended as a target. Even when “dry firing” with an unloaded gun, you should never point the gun at an unsafe target.

Make it a habit to know exactly where the muzzle of your gun is pointing at all times and be sure that you are in control of the direction in which the muzzle is pointing, even if you fall or stumble. This is your responsibility, and only you can control it.

2. FIREARMS SHOULD BE UNLOADED WHEN NOT IN USE

Firearms should be loaded only when you are in the field or on the target range or shooting area, ready to shoot. When not in use, firearms and ammunition should be secured in a safe place, separate from each other. It is your responsibility to prevent children and unauthorized adults from gaining access to firearms or ammunition.

Unload your gun as soon as you’re finished. A loaded gun has no place in or near a car, truck, or building. Unload your gun immediately when you have finished shooting, well before you bring it into a car, camp, or home.

Whenever you handle a firearm or hand it to someone, always open the action immediately, and visually check the chamber, receiver, and magazine to be certain they do not contain any ammunition. Always keep actions open when not


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in use. Never assume a gun is unloaded — check for yourself! This is considered a mark of an experienced gun handler!

Never cross a fence, climb a tree, or perform any awkward action with a loaded gun. While in the field, there will be times when common sense and the basic rules of firearms safety will require you to unload your gun for maximum safety. Never pull or push a loaded firearm toward yourself or another person. There is never any excuse to carry a loaded gun in a scabbard, a holster not being worn or a gun case. When in doubt, unload your gun!

3. DON’T RELY ON YOUR GUN’S “SAFETY”

Treat every gun as though it can fire at any time. The “safety” on any gun is a mechanical device which, like any such device, can become inoperable at the worst possible time. Besides, by mistake, the safety may be “off” when you think it is “on.” The safety serves as a supplement to proper gun handling but cannot possibly serve as a substitute for common sense. You should never handle a gun carelessly and assume that the gun won’t fire just because the “safety is on.”

Never touch the trigger on a firearm until you intend to shoot. Keep your fingers away from the trigger while loading or unloading. Never pull the trigger on any firearm with the safety on the “safe” position or anywhere in between “safe” and “fire.” It is possible that the gun can fire at any time, or even later when you release the safety, without you ever touching the trigger again.

Never place the safety in between positions, since half-safe is unsafe. Keep the safety “on” until you are ready to fire.

Regardless of the position of the safety, any blow or jar strong enough to actuate the firing mechanism of a gun can cause it to fire. This can happen even if the trigger is not touched, such as when a gun is dropped. Never rest a loaded gun against any object because there is always the possibility that it will be jarred or slide from its position and fall with sufficient force to discharge. The only time you can be absolutely certain that a gun cannot fire is when the action is open and it is completely empty. Again, never rely on your gun’s safety. You and the safe gun handling procedures you have learned are your gun’s primary safeties.


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4. BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET AND WHAT’S BEYOND IT

No one can call a shot back. Once a gun fires, you have given up all control over where the shot will go or what it will strike. Don’t shoot unless you know exactly what your shot is going to strike. Be sure that your bullet will not injure anyone or anything beyond your target. Firing at a movement or a noise without being certain of what you are shooting at constitutes disregard for the safety of others. No target is so important that you cannot take the time before you pull the trigger to be certain of your target and where your shot will stop.

Be aware that even a 22 short bullet can travel over 1 1/4 miles and a high velocity cartridge, such as a 30-06, can send its bullet more than 3 miles. Shotgun pellets can travel 500 yards, and shotgun slugs have a range of over half a mile.

You should keep in mind how far a bullet will travel if it misses your intended target or ricochets in another direction.

5. USE CORRECT AMMUNITION

You must assume the serious responsibility of using only the correct ammunition for your firearm. Read and heed all warnings, including those that appear in the gun’s instruction manual and on the ammunition boxes.

Using improper or incorrect ammunition can destroy a gun and cause serious personal injury. It only takes one cartridge of improper caliber or gauge to wreck your gun, and only a second to check each one as you load it. Be absolutely certain that the ammunition you are using matches the specifications that are contained within the gun’s instruction manual and the manufacturer’s markings on the firearm.

Firearms are designed, manufactured and proof tested to standards based upon those of factory loaded ammunition. Handloaded or reloaded ammunition deviating from pressures generated by factory loads or from component recommendations specified in reputable handloading manuals can be dangerous and can cause severe damage to guns and serious injury to the shooter. Do not use improper reloads or ammunition made of unknown components.

Ammunition that has become very wet or has been submerged in water should be discarded in a safe manner. Do not spray oil or solvents on ammunition or


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place ammunition in excessively lubricated firearms. Poor ignition, unsatisfactory performance or damage to your firearm and harm to yourself or others could result from using such ammunition.

Form the habit of examining every cartridge you put into your gun. Never use damaged or substandard ammunition — the money you save is not worth the risk of possible injury or a ruined gun.

6. IF YOUR GUN FAILS TO FIRE WHEN THE TRIGGER IS PULLED, HANDLE WITH CARE!

Occasionally, a cartridge may not fire when the trigger is pulled. If this occurs, keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Keep your face away from the breech. Then, carefully open the action, unload the firearm, and dispose of the cartridge in a safe way.

Any time there is a cartridge in the chamber, your gun is loaded and ready to fire even if you’ve tried to shoot and it did not go off. It could go off at any time, so you must always remember Rule #1 and watch that muzzle!

Discharging firearms in poorly ventilated areas, cleaning firearms or handling ammunition may result in exposure to lead and other substances known to cause birth defects, reproductive harm, and other serious physical injury. Always have adequate ventilation. Wash hands thoroughly after exposure.

7. ALWAYS WEAR EYE AND EAR PROTECTION WHEN SHOOTING

All shooters should wear protective shooting glasses and some form of hearing protectors while shooting. Exposure to shooting noise can damage hearing, and adequate vision protection is essential. Shooting glasses guard against twigs, falling shot, clay target chips and the rare, ruptured case or firearm malfunction. Wearing eye protection when disassembling and cleaning any gun will also help prevent the possibility of springs, spring tension parts, solvents, or other agents from contacting your eyes. There is a wide variety of eye and ear protectors available. No target shooter, plinker or hunter should ever be without them.

Most rules of shooting safety are intended to protect you and others around you, but this rule is for your protection alone. Furthermore, having your hearing and eyes protected will make your shooting easier and will help improve your enjoyment of the shooting sports.

8. BE SURE THE BARREL IS CLEAR OF OBSTRUCTIONS BEFORE SHOOTING


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Before you load your firearm, open the action and be certain that no ammunition is in the chamber or magazine. Be sure the barrel is clear of any obstruction. Even a small bit of mud, snow, excess lubricating oil or grease in the bore can cause dangerously increased pressures, causing the barrel to bulge or even burst on firing, which can cause injury to the shooter and bystanders. Make it a habit to clean the bore and check for obstructions with a cleaning rod immediately before you shoot it. If the noise or recoil on firing seems weak or doesn’t seem quite “right,” cease firing immediately and be sure to check that no obstruction or projectile has become lodged in the barrel.

Placing a smaller gauge or caliber cartridge into a gun (such as a 20-gauge shell in a 12-gauge shotgun) can result in the smaller cartridge falling into the barrel and acting as a bore obstruction when a cartridge of proper size is fired. This can cause a burst barrel or worse. This is really a case where “haste makes waste.” You can easily avoid this type of accident by paying close attention to each cartridge you insert into your firearm.

9. DON’T ALTER OR MODIFY YOUR GUN, AND HAVE GUNS SERVICED REGULARLY

Firearms are complicated mechanisms that are designed by experts to function properly in their original condition. Any alteration or change made to a firearm after manufacture can make the gun dangerous and will usually void any factory warranties. Do not jeopardize your safety or the safety of others by altering the trigger, safety or other mechanism of any firearm or allowing unqualified persons to repair or modify a gun. You’ll usually ruin an expensive gun. Don’t do it!

Your gun is a mechanical device that will not last forever and is subject to wear. As such, it requires periodic inspection, adjustment, and service. Check with the manufacturer of your firearm for recommended servicing.

10. LEARN THE MECHANICAL AND HANDLING CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FIREARM YOU ARE USING

Not all firearms are the same. The method of carrying and handling firearms varies in accordance with the mechanical characteristics of each gun. Since guns can be so different, never handle any firearm without first having thoroughly familiarized yourself with the firearm you are using, the safe gun handling rules for loading, unloading, carrying and handling that firearm, and the rules of safe gun handling in general.


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For example, many handgun manufacturers recommend that their handguns always be carried with the hammer down on an empty chamber. This is particularly true for older single-action revolvers, but applies equally to some double-action revolvers or semiautomatic pistols. You should always read and refer to the instruction manual you received with your gun, or if you have misplaced the manual, simply contact the manufacturer for a free copy.

Having a gun in your possession is a full-time job. You cannot guess; you cannot forget. You must know how to use, handle, and store your firearm safely. Do not use any firearm without having a complete understanding of its characteristics and safe use. There is no such thing as a foolproof gun.

Hunting and target shooting are among the safest of all sports. This list is intended to help you make them even safer by emphasizing the basics of safe gun handling and storage and by reminding you that you are the key to firearms safety.

You can help meet this responsibility by enrolling in hunter safety or shooting safety courses. You must constantly stress safety when handling firearms, especially to children and non-shooters. Beginners must be closely supervised when handling firearms with which they may not be acquainted. Don’t be timid when it comes to gun safety. If you observe anyone violating any safety precautions, you have an obligation to insist on safer handling practices, such as those on this site.

Follow the safety procedures outlined here, develop safe shooting habits, and remember, firearms safety is up to you.

Swimming Pool Rules

  • No Horseplay or running around the pool area
  • No diving in the shallow end
  • Shower or rinse off before entering the pool to remove excess dirt
  • If you are not a strong swimmer, you must wear a flotation device
  • Do not use the restroom in the pool (Trust us, it happens!)
  • Children in diapers must use swim diapers. (This will save your filter!)
  • Only approved pool toys may be used


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  •  No hair barrettes, pins, etc.
  • Never play with emergency flotation devices
  • No swimming without adult supervision

No food or beverages by or in the pool. It can be nice to have a drink in your pool, but if you have guests, they may not be as careful or understand the dangers. A ham sandwich can wreak havoc on a swimming pump! Some alcoholic beverages, when mixed with pool chemicals, can cause burns. We will let you imagine what happens when a glass gets broken in or around the pool... that is a safety hazard for everyone!

No pets allowed. Certain types of pools should not have dogs/pets in them. While it is adorable for your pup to jump in the pool and fetch a ball, its nails can easily tear a liner, not to mention the hair that can clog up the filter. Instead of encouraging them to be in the pool, kick it poolside on a blanket with them! If your pup insists on swimming, purchase a plastic kiddie pool and put it beside the pool for your furry pal to lounge in.

Archery Code of Conduct

1. I will always display the conduct expected of me as an athlete and a representative of the Central Texas Archery and conduct myself in a manner that will not in any way bring disrespect, discredit, or dishonor to either myself, my teammates, Central Texas Archery, my country or organizer of an event in which I participate.

2. I will conform to all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations, and any rules, regulations, and codes that may be established for events, programs, and activities in which I participate, including those of the USA Archery, the Federation Internationale de Tir a I’Arc (“FITA”), the United States Olympic Committee (“USOC”), and any organizer of an event in which I participate.

3. I will act in a sportsmanlike manner consistent with the spirit of fair play and responsible conduct.

4. I will maintain a level of fitness and competitive readiness which will permit my performance to be at the maximum of my ability.


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5. I will refrain from conduct detracting from my ability or that of my teammates to attain peak performance.

6. I will respect the property of others whether personal or public.

7. I will respect members of my team, other teams, spectators and officials, and engage in no form of verbal, physical or sexual harassment or abuse.

8. I realize that if I choose to take actions other than those described herein, I will be subject to disciplinary action and that the consequences of my actions could possibly affect my opportunities as an athlete and Central Texas Archery membership in the future. In addition to the foregoing, but not by way of limitation, the following could result in disciplinary proceedings:

A. Transporting, possession, or unauthorized use of alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, any IOC or FITA banned medication or substances, or any substances or procedures in violation of the USADA Protocol.

B. Any physical damage to facilities, equipment, furnishings, or loss of items in a room where I am lodged, which will be paid for by those individuals assigned to the room in which the damage or loss occurs, including destruction of property (including that caused by horseplay, fighting, or willful misconduct etc.).

C. Any act considered to be an offense under federal, state, or local laws; or a violation of the applicable rules, regulations, or codes of the USA Archery, FITA, the USOC, USADA or the organizer of an event in which I participate.

9. Misconduct(i.e., inappropriate horseplay, theft, fighting, etc.)

Cycling Code of Conduct

As a Stella Vista Verde cycling (SVVC) participant, I promise to practice good behavior and conduct myself in a respectable manner at all rides and events where I am representing SVVC at any time that I am at an event as a member, guest, ride leader, volunteer, board member, donor, or other participant.

We assume these commitments to our Code of Conduct:

  • I will conduct myself in a respectful manner, exhibit good conduct, and be a positive role model.


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  • I will treat people with dignity, respect, and compassion to foster a trusting environment free of harassment, intimidation, and discrimination.
  • I will communicate concerns that arise with SVVC participants, if appropriate, as they arise in order to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for all.
  • I will promote inclusion by encouraging all, regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, marital status, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
  • I will not harass, bully, threaten, alienate, discriminate, or make disparaging remarks to/against any person, and I will not harass or alienate others through my attire, verbal comments, or unwelcome attention.
  • I will refrain from non-consensual physical contact, sexual advances, obscene language or gestures, and other unwanted behavior.
  • I will display respect and courtesy for club volunteers, program participants, and property and I will follow the rules of the road and vehicle codes.
  • I will abide by all relevant traffic regulations whether on individual or group rides, respect rules of the road, and maintain safe riding habits.
  • I will display respect for cyclists on all types of bicycles, including e-bikes, as well as first-time riders, physically challenged riders, and riders who are not perceived to be wearing or riding high-end gear.
  • I will not consume alcohol beyond the legal limits, or other substances at SVVC events and will not report to or ride in these events while inebriated or impaired under the influence of illegal, prescription or recreational drugs.


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Universal Horseback Riding Rules

There are a number of horse-riding rules that you should follow in all riding scenarios- whether trail ride, horse show, or breed demo. Here are the top 5 universal horse-riding rules:

  1. Always wear a helmet. A fall from a horse can result in a serious head injury, and a helmet can help to prevent or reduce the severity of such an injury.
  2. Leave at least one horse length between you and the horse in front of you. This prevents the other horses from spooking and gives you room to react if anything unexpected happens. It also helps stop horses from trying to kick each other when they get too close together.
  3. If you are moving slower than the other horses, move to the inside of the riding area. As an example, if you are in an arena, move towards the middle of the arena. This allows more room for the horses that are moving at a faster pace to stretch out.
  4. If you are going to pass another horse that is going in the opposite direction to you, move to the right. You always want the other horse to be on your left side. This works like the road rules for cars. You know you shouldn’t bump into each other because you are both in the “right lane”.
  5. If you are overtaking someone moving slower than you, let them know. When you overtake someone, you should overtake on the left-hand side. As you are approaching them, make sure you let them know your intention by calling out ‘on your left’ so that they can prepare properly. This may mean they stop moving entirely if their horse is nervous or just making sure they stay in their ‘lane’ to prevent any collisions.
  6. If someone’s horse spooks or the rider comes off, stay calm and bring your horse to a halt. If your horse also starts panicking or misbehaving, it will make the situation worse and increase the chances of a serious injury. By giving your horse the halt or “whoa” cue you’ve trained them, and also keeping yourself relaxed you are telling your horse everything is ok.

The above are the top 5 horse riding rules that you should follow in all riding scenarios regardless of where you are riding or what level rider you are. By following these simple rules for when you are in the saddle, you can help prevent any accidents or injuries from happening.


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The 14 *Essential* Safety Rules to Follow Around Horses

Be especially careful when entering a pasture or paddock containing many horses (they can inadvertently jostle or step on you, or even kick).

Also, do not take grain or other food into a group of horses—this just entices them to crowd around you and could incite a “food fight,” with you caught in the middle.

Do not coil the end of the lead rope around your hand, where the loops could tighten; instead, fold it back and forth and grasp the middle of the folds.

To avoid being pulled over and dragged, never wrap a lead rope or any other line attached to a horse around any part of your body.

Do not allow the horse you are leading to touch noses with an unfamiliar horse, as this can lead the “strangers” to suddenly bite or strike at one another. (This applies when you are mounted as well.)

Tie only to a safe, solid object, using a quick-release knot or breakaway string. Keep your fingers out of the loops as you tie the knot. Tie only with a halter and lead, never with bridle reins.

1. Approaching, catching. Always speak to a horse to alert him to your presence before walking near; this avoids provoking his startle reflex. Approach from the side, to avoid his “blind” spots (directly in front of and behind him). Touch him first on the neck or shoulder, with a firm but gentle stroking motion.

2. Leading. Always use a lead rope attached to the horse’s halter, rather than grasping the halter itself, which provides no options if the horse were to startle.

3. Tying. Tie a horse “eye high and no longer than your arm,” meaning the tie knot should be at least as high as the horse’s eye, and the distance from the knot to the halter should be no more than the length of your arm.

4. Grooming. Stand near the shoulder or next to the hindquarters rather than directly in front of or directly behind a horse when grooming his head or brushing or braiding his tail.


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To walk behind a horse, go either (1) close enough to brush against him (where a kick would have no real force), keeping one hand on his rump as you pass around; or (2) far enough away to be well out of kicking range.

Avoid ducking under the tie rope; you might cause the horse to pull back, and you’d be extremely vulnerable to injury if he did.

Be mindful of a horse’s feet while you are working around him, as horses are often careless about where they step. When releasing a horse’s foot after cleaning it, make sure your own foot is not in the hoof’s spot as it returns to the ground.

When tending to a horse’s lower leg or hoof (as in applying a bandage), never kneel or sit on the ground. Remain squatting, so you can jump away in the event he startles.

When blanketing a horse, fasten the chest straps first, then the girth strap, then the hind-leg straps. When you remove the blanket, unfasten straps in the reverse order. This makes it impossible for the blanket to slip down and become entangled with a horse’s hind leg.

Once a horse is in the trailer, close the back door or ramp before you hitch him to the trailer tie. When unloading, untie the horse before opening the back of the trailer, so he does not begin to back out on his own and hit the end of the rope, causing him to panic and pull back.

Keep yourself and your horse safe in the trailer. Nichole Chirico

5. Trailering. Never fight with a reluctant horse to get him into a trailer; seek professional help and retraining, if necessary.

6. Turning loose. When turning out a horse or pony for exercise or returning him

to his paddock or pasture, always turn his head back toward the gate and step through it yourself before slipping the halter off to avoid his heels in case he kicks them up in delight at freedom.

7. Feeding treats. Give carrot or apple chunks from the palm of a flattened hand to avoid being accidentally nipped. Better yet (especially in the case of greedy horses or ponies), put treats in a bucket before offering them.


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Safety in the Saddle

8. Supervision. Until skills are well established, beginners and especially children should ride under supervision. Jumping and working with cattle should be supervised at all times.

9. Safety gear. Essentials include proper footwear (boots or shoes with hard toes and a heel) and, especially for children, a properly fitted helmet that meets current safety standards. [The Safety Equipment Institute (SEI) certifies helmets that meet or exceed the American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM) standard for equestrian headgear. Use only helmets with the ASTM/SEI mark.]

Safety or breakaway stirrups (designed to release the foot easily in the event of a fall) are an added measure, as is a safety vest for anyone involved in cross- country jumping.

Regularly inspect equipment for signs of wear that could cause a rein, stirrup leather, or other essential part to break.

10. Tacking up. A bit that pinches, ruffled hair under the saddle pad, a too-tight back cinch—any of these can cause a horse to act up “unaccountably.” Make sure you and your child always follow basic guidelines for proper bridling and saddling.

11. Preparing a fresh mount. Longeing by an experienced person will “take the edge off” a fresh horse and make it less likely he’ll act up when ridden. (Remember, excess energy can result from overfeeding, lack of exercise, or both.)

12. Mounting. Never mount where there are low overhead clearances or projections.

Follow proper technique (a trainer or instructor can show how) and maintain contact with the reins as you swing aboard.

A child’s horse or pony should stand still for mounting or held by an adult until the child is securely in the saddle.

13. Paying attention. Staying calm, focused, and alert in the saddle is always a key safeguard. Children can have fun but must not become careless.


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14. Trail riding. Novices and children shouldn’t ride out on the trail until a trainer or instructor deems: 1. they are ready 2. teaches them how 3. assures that mounts are trail safe.


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Axe Throwing Code of Conduct

  • Respect the game, play fairly, and follow all rules and policies.
  • Demonstrate good sportsmanship before, during, and after games, win or lose.
  • Be responsible for the sportsmanship of teammates and assist in maintaining a respectful environment for all participants.
  • Be courteous to opposing Throwers, teams, officials, spectators, monitors, or facilitators, and treat all Throwers and WATL® officials with respect.
  • Help to maintain and keep all equipment and conditions at the facility in good condition.
  • Obey all facility rules, while respecting all equipment, common areas, playing areas, parking areas, and surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Not to engage in discriminatory behavior based on, but not limited to race, religion, creed, language, gender identity, or sexual identity.
  • Refrain from the use of abusive language or profanity. Including but not limited to: contemptuous, discriminatory or denigratory words, or actions concerning race, language, religion, gender, or sexual orientation
  • Not engage in any behavior which would endanger the health, safety, or well-being of any Thrower, official, staff member, or spectator.
  • Any verbal or non-verbal intimidation, threats of physical violence, trash talk, abusive language, profanity, threats, or general disrespect during any league or tournament towards any presiding Certified Judge, WATL® Official, thrower or spectator will not be tolerated and will result in the immediate removal from the league or tournament.
  • Not use alcoholic beverages at any location unless permitted by the facility/venue.
  • Not allow, use or encourage illegal drugs at any location.
  • Wear/use all required and issued equipment and/or uniforms.
  • Under no circumstances are live targets allowed. No thrower is to throw an axe at a target while there is a person or live object in between or in front of the thrower.

1. Axes

1. Axes may be inspected by an official at any time.

2. Axes that do not adhere to WATL® specifications, including broken axes, may not be used.


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2. Participants are instructed to grip the axe by the handle and only the handle.

1. If an axe breaks or if a Thrower would like to switch axes, they must notify the presiding official and are allowed up to 1 minute to switch axes.

3. Injuries

1. If an injury occurs, resulting in a pause in play, a thrower must be assessed by a judge or onsite medical professional.

1. If the thrower is assessed and able to continue, then the paused game/match may continue.

2. If injured during league, a thrower is deemed to be unable to finish the remaining games, a thrower may make up their games the following league night with no penalty.

3. If an injury occurs in a tournament, and the thrower is deemed unable to compete due to injury, any pending throws will be marked as 0 points and future matches forfeit.

4. Throwing

1. Axes shall never be thrown when a participant is picking up an axe from the target area or when a judge is in the lane. This will result in an immediate disqualification (counted as a loss) for that game.

5. All spectators must be to the side or at least 5ft behind throwers.


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ATV/UTV - Safety Guidelines and Acknowledgement

1. Always maintain awareness and exercise extreme caution when operating an ATV/UTV. Changes in terrain, grade of land and direction along with other obstacles can be challenging for any ATV/UTV operator. Failure to follow safe procedures as described in the owner’s manual can cause a rollover or throw the operator from the ATV/UTV.

2. Never allow any child under 16 years of age to operate this ATV/UTV.

3. Never operate the ATV/UTV on pavement. It is not designed to be used on paved surfaces and may be difficult to control.

4. Never operate an ATV/UTV on a public road, even a non-paved public road. Operating an ATV/UTV on a public road could result in a collision with another vehicle and could violate traffic laws.

5. Never allow more than one person to ride an ATV. A passenger may upset the balance of the ATV and cause a loss of control.

6. Never attempt to operate an ATV/UTV while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

7. Never operate an ATV/UTV without proper safety equipment such as a helmet, eye protection, gloves, and other protective clothing described in the owner’s manual.

8. Never operate an ATV/UTV on unsafe terrain or at excessive speeds. 9. Never perform “tricks” such as wheelies, jumps, or other stunts.

10. Never attempt to operate an ATV/UTV without proper instruction, such as that given at an approved ATV/UTV training course.

11. Always read the owner’s manual carefully and follow the operating procedures, warnings, and all labels in the owner’s manual and on the ATV/UTV.


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Grilling Fire Safety

Stay fire safe this summer! Follow these grilling safety tips.

  • Only use your grill outside. Keep it at least 3 feet from siding, deck rails and eaves.
  • Keep a 3-foot safe zone around your grill. This will keep kids and pets safe.
  • Open your gas grill before lighting.
  • Keep an eye on your grill, fire pit, or patio torches. Don't walk away from them when they are lit
  • Clean your grill after each use. This will remove grease that can start a fire.
  • Place the coals from your grill in a metal can with a lid once they have cooled.

Stay fire safe this summer!

For more information and resources, visit www.usfa.fema.gov.

What You Need to Know

  • When handling raw meat, chicken and other poultry, and seafood
  • Separate it from other food
  • Refrigerate it before grilling
  • Wash your hands before and after handling it
  • Make sure its juices do not touch other food, utensils, and surfaces o Use a food thermometer to ensure it is cooked to a safe internal temperature
  • Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours of cooking

Food poisoning peaks in the summer months when warmer temperatures cause foodborne germs to flourish. Follow these steps for a safe and enjoyable grilling season.

Separate

When shopping, pick up meat, chicken and other poultry, and seafood last, right before checkout. Separate them from other food in your shopping cart and grocery bags. To avoid cross-contamination, put packages of raw meat and poultry into individual plastic bags.

Chill

Keep meat, poultry, and seafood refrigerated until ready to grill. When transporting, keep at 40°F or below in an insulated cooler.

Thaw & Marinate

Harmful germs can multiply quickly at room temperature. Thaw food safely in the refrigerator, cold water, or microwave. Always marinate food in the refrigerator no matter what kind of marinade you’re using. Never thaw or marinate meat, poultry, or seafood on the counter.

Clean

Wash your hands with soap before and after handling raw meat, poultry, and seafood. Wash work surfaces and utensils with hot, soapy water before and after cooking.

Check Your Grill and Tools


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Use a moist cloth or paper towel to clean the grill surface before cooking. If you use a wire bristle brush, thoroughly inspect the grill’s surface before cooking. Wire bristles from grill cleaning brushes may dislodge and stick into food on the grill.

Don’t Cross-Contaminate

Throw out marinades and sauces that have touched raw meat juices, which can spread germs to cooked foods. Use clean utensils and a clean plate to remove cooked meat from the grill. Do not place cooked meat back on a plate that held raw meat.

Cook

Use a food thermometer to ensure meat is cooked hot enough to kill harmful germs. When smoking, keep temperatures inside the smoker at 225°F to 300°F to keep meat at a safe internal temperature while it cooks.

When grilling, cook to:

  • 145°F—whole cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal (then allow the meat to rest for 3 minutes before carving or eating)
  • 145°F—fish (or cook until the flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork)
  • 160°F—hamburgers and other ground beef
  • 165°F—all poultry and pre-cooked meats, like hot dogs

After grilling, keep food hot:

  • 140°F or warmer—until it’s served 

Refrigerate

Divide leftovers into small portions and place in covered, shallow containers. Put in freezer or fridge within 2 hours of cooking (1 hour if above 90°F outside). It is okay to put small portions of hot food in the refrigerator since they will chill faster.

Grill Safety

With more Americans lighting their grills than ever before, it’s important to remember that a fun barbecue is a safe barbecue. The following safety tips are


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designed to guide you through the grilling process. Remember, anytime you work with fire, there’s a chance of getting burned. So, take precautions. Common sense and planning will prevent injuries.

Read the owner's manual.

Always read the owner's manual before using your grill and follow specific usage, assembly, and safety procedures. Contact the grill manufacturer if you have specific questions. (Be sure to locate your model number and the manufacturer’s consumer inquiry phone number and write them on the front page of your manual.)

Grills are for outside, only.

Barbecue grills are designed for outdoor use, only. Never barbecue in your trailer, tent, house, garage, or any enclosed area because carbon monoxide may accumulate and kill you.

Clean your grill after each use.

Always inspect your grill prior to use to be sure it is in good condition, and not wearing down from exposure. There are a myriad of accessories grill owners can use to clean their grill grates – from metal wire brushes to cleaning blocks. Also, we strongly recommend inspecting grill grates after each cleaning to be sure no bristles stuck to the grates or any food.

Use in well-ventilated area.

Set up your grill in an open area that is away from buildings, overhead combustible surfaces, dry leaves, or brush. Be sure to avoid high traffic areas and always barbecue in a well-ventilated area. Be aware of wind-blown sparks.

Keep grill stable.

When using a barbecue grill, be sure that all parts of the unit are firmly in place and that the grill is stable (can’t be tipped over).

Follow electric codes.

If electrically-operated accessories are used (rotisseries, etc.), be sure they are properly grounded in accordance with local codes. Electrical cords should be placed away from walkways or anywhere people can trip over them.

Use long-handled utensils.


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Use barbecue utensils with long handles (forks, tongs, etc.) to avoid burns and splatters.

Inspect utensils each time.

Before you grill, always inspect each utensil you're about to use to be sure it's in good condition.

Wear safe clothing.

Wear clothing that does not have hanging shirt tails, frills, or apron strings that can catch fire, and use flame-retardant mitts when adjusting hot vents.

Keep fire under control.

To put out flare-ups, either raise the grid that the food is on, spread the coals out evenly, or adjust the controls to lower the temperature. If you must douse the flames with a light spritz of water, first remove the food from the grill.

Be ready to extinguish flames.

Use baking soda to control a grease fire and have a fire extinguisher handy. A bucket of sand or a garden hose should be near if you don’t have a commercial extinguisher.

Consider placing a grill pad or splatter mat beneath your grill.

These naturally heat resistant pads are usually made of lightweight composite cement or plastic and will protect your deck or patio from any grease that misses the drip pan.

Never leave a grill unattended once lit.

Stay away from hot grill.

Don’t allow anyone to conduct activity near the grill when in use or immediately following its use. The grill body remains hot up to an hour after being used.

Don’t move a hot grill.

Never attempt to move a hot grill. It’s easy to stumble or drop it and serious burns could result.


Date Signed: February 20, 2024

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