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[RC] re: rattlesnakes - Ridecamp Guest

Please Reply to: Nicole z_arabs@xxxxxxxxx or ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
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The main danger with them is not seeing them and
stepping on them.  People are not in their diet--too
big--so they don't really try to "go after" you.  I'm
always worried I'll come upon one on the trail while
riding and my horse step on it, but so far this has
never happened.  Maybe the sound of horses feet causes
them to crawl away? <<

This is my biggest concern with snakes, too.  But, I can tell
you without a doubt that the sound (actually vibration) does NOT
cause snakes to move away, at least not all the time.  I've had
several mid-trail confrontations with snakes that did not think
they needed to move out of my horse's way.  One was actually 
near the end of a tough 50 -- the trail was about 5 feet wide 
with a cliff straigh up on one side & straight down on the
other.  That mojave green rattler not only didn't think my 
horse & I should pass, he coiled up and was defending his 
stance.  I honestly don't know what I would have done (might 
have still been stuck there...) if the rider behind me hadn't 
caught up and she had heard that squirting water on a snake will
make it leave.  She was brave enough to walk up to that snake 
and use her water bottle to drive it away while I held her 
horse.  I owe that completion to her. :)

We have a major ground squirrel problem on our property, and
I've never seen a rattlesnake on the place.  I would almost
welcome them, as long as they limited themselves to the 
squirrels.  We do have the occational gopher snake, but they
don't seem to be making a dent in the squirrels.  My dog is a 
100lb pacifist and thinks the squirrels are yet another 
"livestock" species that he should be "protecting."  I do know
if my dog saw a rattlesnake that he'd be bitten on the face,
and most likely on his tongue as he tried to give it a kiss...

~Nicole


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