Okay so I'm riding I come across a snake what now? - Page 5 - The Horse Forum

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post #41 of 50 Old 12-28-2013, 10:24 AM
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I would think that horses are so large that a snake bite (depending on the snake, of course!) wouldn't have much effect?

The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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post #42 of 50 Old 12-28-2013, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Zexious View Post
I would think that horses are so large that a snake bite (depending on the snake, of course!) wouldn't have much effect?
Depends on the snake.

A quarter horse owner I know had a horse die after it was bitten on the face by a rattlesnake and the swelling shut off the airway. Treatment failed.

I've seen others bitten by rattlesnakes have muscle loss in the area of the bite that were essentially unsound for riding after that. And while they were fighting the toxins, it was horrid to watch. Same with people.

Sure, most survive, even people, but it's not something I risk.
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post #43 of 50 Old 12-28-2013, 10:42 AM
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^Haha, I didn't mean to suggest I was going to toss my horse into a pit of snakes. XD

Interesting, though. Thanks for the info!

The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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post #44 of 50 Old 12-28-2013, 10:41 PM
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I would think that horses are so large that a snake bite (depending on the snake, of course!) wouldn't have much effect?
Unfortunately this is not the case. In Australia we do have a lot of venomous snakes, with Brown snakes also being highly aggressive. Each year quite a number of horses fall victim to snake bites. Most often while in the paddock - horses grazing and bumping into a snake and getting bitten on the nose. The airways swell up extremely quickly and usually the horse suffocates to death before its organs are all shut down from the venom.
If you're lucky and get to the horse in time, a vet can administer anti-venom but it can be hit and miss, and often the horse will suffer many side effects many months after the actual bite.

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post #45 of 50 Old 12-28-2013, 11:34 PM
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Just walk over here them here in west texas
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Same here in Arizona. I've seen a few rattlers and a lot of other snakes and never had one bother me.....even the rattlers. My horses have never noticed them.

One time I was outside a medical clinic and there was a rattlesnake right by the sliding glass doors and I thought there was a chance he could wander in if the doors opened so I told the custodian and he came with a box and a broom to catch the snake. The poor snake wanted nothing more than to escape even with the guy was trying to sweep him into the box with the broom. I felt bad after that because the snake wasn't aggressive at all.....he only wanted to get away. So I give rattlesnakes some sympathy after that. Maybe sympathy isn't the right word. But I realize they aren't out there trying to bite people they just want to live their lives in peace like most animals do.

I know if I or my horse steps in the wrong place at the wrong time we could get bitten. But (knock on wood) after living my whole life (almost 40 years) in Arizona I have never had a problem with a rattlesnake. So yeah, I've ridden past a few snakes but my horses haven't even noticed and a snake has never given me any trouble.

I think the biggest risk is for dogs, they seem to stick their nose into everything.
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post #46 of 50 Old 12-29-2013, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Okay so now if my horse did get bitten of course I'd bandage it but should I leave him? He doesn't like to stand still and there is no good spot to tie him.

It really makes you think doesn't it!

If your going to complain about FARMERS make sure You don't TALKwith your MOUTH FULL
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post #47 of 50 Old 12-30-2013, 08:53 AM
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Matter of fact I don't actually know anyone whose horse has been bit by a rattler.
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Then you're lucky. I lost a percheron mare to a snake bite on her jaw a few years ago.

Thankfully, she's the only horse I've lost personally, but I've known quite a few other folks who lost horses. I've lost more dogs and cattle to rattlers and I've had several human friends get bitten. It's ugly.

Clydesdale, do you carry a cell phone? Do you get cell phone service where you ride (I don't most times)? IMHO, that would be your best bet because you wouldn't want to leave the horse by himself, especially if there is nothing to tie him to or he won't stay tied. It would be a bad deal for you to run off and leave him only to come back an hour later and he's gone wandering off somewhere.

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post #48 of 50 Old 01-01-2014, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by smrobs View Post
Then you're lucky. I lost a percheron mare to a snake bite on her jaw a few years ago.

Thankfully, she's the only horse I've lost personally, but I've known quite a few other folks who lost horses. I've lost more dogs and cattle to rattlers and I've had several human friends get bitten. It's ugly.

Clydesdale, do you carry a cell phone? Do you get cell phone service where you ride (I don't most times)? IMHO, that would be your best bet because you wouldn't want to leave the horse by himself, especially if there is nothing to tie him to or he won't stay tied. It would be a bad deal for you to run off and leave him only to come back an hour later and he's gone wandering off somewhere.

No I don't carry a mobile because where we ride is a five minute walk to my house.
But does a walki talki count?

If your going to complain about FARMERS make sure You don't TALKwith your MOUTH FULL
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post #49 of 50 Old 01-03-2014, 02:40 PM
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When I see a snake, I get off the horse and admire it, then tell everyone for days how I met a real snake... I'm in Germany, and snakes are very rare here
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post #50 of 50 Old 01-03-2014, 10:35 PM
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We see snakes all the time in the warmer months. Never had a horse have an issue with them, kings, gophers or rattlers. Most move off the trail when they feel us coming, or they shoot off into the brush for cover. I've only ever had two times when a snake wouldn't move out of the way. Both times they were rattlers.

First time, we were riding on a wider fire road type trail. Rattler was stretched across, sunning himself. We waited for a bit for him to move on and when he didn't, I dismounted (from a seriously safe distance!), and tossed some rocks near him to try and 'encourage' him to move on. Nothing hit him, but dude wasn't moving. He decided to curl up and get in striking position (obviously he felt threatened). Then he went all Cobra on me, raised up and started snaking towards me a foot off the ground. Never seen one do that before. We decided he won, and backtracked to a different trail to get home.

Other time, two rattlers doing the deed in the middle of the trail. Never seen snake mating rituals before and it was kind of fascinating. It went on FOREVER. So long that two other horse groups, a set of mountain bikers and some hikers all surrounded the lovers on both sides of the trail, watching NatGeo in HD. Honestly, it was kinda cool to see.

One thing I have always been taught is to carry two sections of new garden hose, cleaned in ziplock in my saddle bags. Because rattlers around here aren't usually aggressive, a lot of snake bites end up being on the horse's nose while they are grazing or shuffling around in the bushes. The hoses go in their nostrils to keep the airways open when the nose swells up, until you can get steroids in the horse.

I've never done it and never seen it personally, but I've always carried them just in case.
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