Darrin, that's interesting, because I've only run across a few horses that didn't know what the heck he was doing around a rattler-- I'm interested in finding out if that's a learned behavior now, because I always thought they just knew!
Just my observation but would definitely say it's learned. Part of the state I'm in, finding a rattler is rare (there are a few). We go ride in central and eastern part of the state where we run across rattlers. Horses don't even flick an ear in their direction as the snake coils up and cranks up the rattles. Actually caught me by surprise the first time because I too was expecting them to shy out of the way.
We were riding in the western part of ND and had a rattler strike out between one of the horse's front and back legs. We were told that even if the horse had been bit that it wouldn't likely be fatal because of their size. It would just make them really sick. Also being bit by a young one is worse than an adult one because the young ones produce a stronger venom Posted via Mobile Device
Do you mean rattlesnakes like these? Terrified of em! When we bought our new farm we had them EVERYWHERE! These we killed in the barn. The blonde female had a nest in the corner and the dark ones are the males coming to court her. I was in the barn WITH MY DAUGHTER feeding the new barn kittens (How they survived a week in there with them I'll never know!?!) and looked over and there she was! Snatched my kid out and hollered "HONEY GRAB YER GUN!!!" After we shot the female the males started swarming the barn to protect her and we picked em off! Threat to the livestock we say around here! Killed two more out in the pasture later, and hopefully will never encounter many more. Had a good friend who's kids horse got bit and they all but lost him. He only weighs 500 lbs. Still and used to weigh 1,000. It was a terrible ordeal, but he made it through. He was bit while grazing. The only "good" thing about rattlers is that they at least give a warning. Some of our copperheads around here were around 4-6 ft. Long and they are moody and bite for spite. I use a shovel on them!
You go girl!!! Hubby is not a fan of snakes. They don't particularly bother me except the venomous ones...saw a colt that was snake bit on the leg. Ugh...nasty wound that I hope my horses never have to go through.
One of my clients lost a horse to a rattlesnake bite. It bit the horse on the neck and it died right away. I suspect that it hit the jugular vein or the carotid. The horse died before they could call me. Most horses do fine if they are bitten since they are so big. I rode up on a snake that raised up and rattled at my horse. She did a 180 degree turn and galloped uncontrollably for a mile. Pretty wild little ride.....