Darrin, I'm 20ish minuets south of Eugene
Ha ha, I had almost the same exact experience with a couple of wild turkeys a few weeks ago. There were two of them with 5 chicks tagging behind them and they were ready to eat Cinny alive!!I cant say I have an out of the ordinary animals in my area. I live in PA (not that there isn't wildlife in PA) but where I am, I sometimes see a deer.
I do have a story about my OTTB. We were out for a hack and we turned a corn and what do you know! A horse eating Canadian goose was right there! Well my horse stopped dead in his tracks. I was going to just run over the thing, but it must have had a nest near by. It spread its wings, and came right for us, squaking the whole time. Needless to say, we went a different way home!
I horse will smell a cougar or mountain lion before you can see them....listen to your horse.
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Rattle snakes are hard to see, but you can hear them if you are too close. A friend of mine horse was snake bit on a trail in AZ, the cure for the bite killed the horse, it was very sad. Rattle snakes give you lots of warning, Just have to keep your ears open. I run up on bear all the time, we don't have anything bigger than a bob cat here as far as cat predators go, we have moose but in 10 years haven't encountered one yet. In the back country, packing a weapon is a good plan, ya never know what lurks behind the bushes. We have active wolf packs.WELL yesterday out on trail we were attacked by a horse-eating BRANCH!!!!!!! It grazed my mare's belly as we walked by and she acted like a gun went off on her butt, lurched forward and bucked hahaha!! Luckily I'm always on guard so I stayed on her back even in my launching-pad of an English saddle
We saw deer of course as always (they are all OVER the place here in northeast Ohio), and we occassionally see coyotes but they just look like mangey little dogs to me and always run away tail tucked. My horse who has been fox hunting with 25 hounds doesn't regard them as any kind of threat, she's actually more nervous around the deer because they look like some strange version of her and usually wait until you get 4 feet away and then BOLT which always scares her half to death!
I have heard that black bears are slowly coming back to the area from PA, but I have yet to see one and I don't think anyone's sighted one for a looooooong time anyway. Bobcats are around but I've only ever seen 1 in my entire life so they're also pretty rare.
Supposedly we have rattle snakes, but I've never seen one! Deer jumping out in front of us and scaring the wits out of my horse are always my main concern!