For all the years I've been trail riding, I've only come across a snake once, a few weeks ago. He was about 2 1/2' long and stretched out in the middle of the trail. I thought he was dead so I walked Bonnie over him then got off to throw him into the bushes thinking that another horse might spook.
I picked up a branch and when I tried to pick him up, I find out that he was very much alive. Fortunately he was nothing more then a black snake but it still startled me when he started slithering around on the trail. We have quite a few copperheads and some rattlers in our area but many more black snakes - which is a good thing.
Several years ago we were out riding and my German Shepherd who was with us at the time was bitten by a Copperhead. She wasn't doing anything besides trotting down the trail behind the horses, so it was somewhat scary. Fortunately she was fine. But a year later, at the same farm, one of our elderly ponies was bitten as well (she recovered also). We have since moved but, again, a few months ago my sister found a copperhead in an empty feed bucket. Needless to say, I steer clear of any and all snakes nowadays...
Living in Florida, there are plenty of snakes and as a result I have encountered many on the trail. I'm just like Allison Finch, I love snakes and would sooner try to catch/examine a snake than run away and certainly would not kill it. In fact I lead a very similar childhood, my main hobby was running around catching any sort of reptile or amphibian I could! I can understand how people are scared of them, but honestly they are not going to bother you and if anything highly prefer to be away from you. Snakes are very much a part of the ecosystem and it makes me sad to hear about people killing them, "just because", even the venomous ones. Posted via Mobile Device
I love snakes. Had pet corn snakes growing up. I was happy enough, though, that my horse would spook at and avoid rattlers, which were plentiful in Colorado. There were other horses at the barn who weren't as clever, including one who got bit on the nose because he wanted to say "hi" to a rattlesnake.
These tales (pardon the pun) make me most appreciative of our cold, now and woozie little garter snakes with no poison. Our winters are too long for poisonous snakes, at least that's the story I'm buying.
To get to the trails on the back of our property, we have to ride over this big, dry rock area....Rattlers galore. I went out there and moved every moveable rock to clear a path....Doesn't mean the snakes won't still lay in the trail, but at least no there are no rocks they can hide under and sneak up on me. Really scared me once, I was riding Rebel on my first trail ride with him, he tripped on a rock and two big as hell snakes slittered right out and darted away. Those ones weren't rattlers as much as old bullsnakes, but if they had been, we'd have been a dead pair!
With all the miles I put on my QH I'd come across many snakes. We didn't ride "trails" but went anywhere we wanted. She never worried about them I've had to pull her up before because she was happilly moving at a quick step right towards a huge Eastern Timber Rattlesnake that was singing it's rattles and trying to move to wherever it thought we might not be going (they don't want to get stepped on by a horse). Same with Cottonmouths or Copperheads. She was just never bothered about snakes, but I was and had to keep an eye out because I knew she would just ride up and stomp on them. She had the same contempt for dogs that came out of their yards to challenge her.
I had my first experience riding a full sized horse and snake encounter at the same time!
I was 7 and riding a beautiful Arabian mare around a pasture. I went along
A ridge above a pond and stretched across the path was a a giant water snake!
The mare only saw it as we were right on top of it and jumped about 10 ft.
Off the ridge, I managed to stay on but the saddle slipped and rolled me under
Her with my boot caught in the stirrup. She dragged me across the rocky pasture
To the gate (about the length of a football field) to where her pasture buddy was
Tied. I made it ok, a few stitches to the head and a severely twisted ankle...
The other day we were checking fence and a 4 ft. Rattler raced across the pasture
And hid in the bushes right next to me. Now I'm ready for em and it met my
Shotgun named "Die Mother ......"!
I also have two 6 ft black snakes that live under my patio steps, and they are
More than welcome here. My dogs have been bit about 20 times by them but
They are worth their weight in gold keeping the baby rattlers out of the yard!
Here is a 3 1/2 ft copperhead I killed in the barn...
Have any of you encountered one of these on the trail?
I was riding with a friend of mine today (long ride, 4hrs+) and on the way out we passed a turtle! It was sooooo cool. And then on the way back there was a big tiger snake, black with yellow stripes. It wasn't entirely unexpected, it's snake season here now and we were riding near a lot of water (tiger snakes eat frogs), but still... scary!
Oh, and I love snakes, long as they're not venomous. Tigers are venomous AND aggressive. Yeahhh.