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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2006
    Posts
    1,123

    Default Rattlesnakes are out! In PA anyhow.

    Rode in the Tuscarora Mountains yesterday, absolutely beautiful weather. Sunny and mid 70s. We were heading down a logging type trail when the lead horse spooked and shied off to the right, tossing her rider up on her neck. She got her stopped and slid off about 20 feet further down the trail and that's when we heard the telltale buzzing noise! Luckily, it was coming from about a third of the way up the bank on the left. It was about a 4 foot yellow phase rattlesnake that hasn't shed yet. Camouflaged perfectly in the leaves. The next horse passed by a little nervously but brave (about 10 feet from snake)...third horse, me, my gelding just beebopped right by (again, 10 feet away) while it was rattling rattling rattling...the last horse needed to be pushed past. Then we got off and took a few pictures ;-) Watch your step!
    http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b2...ps9670f11a.jpg
    Kerri



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 6, 2000
    Location
    lexington, virginia
    Posts
    359

    Default

    Okay I want your horse, or his clone.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2004
    Location
    Pottstown, PA (East Coventry)
    Posts
    3,011

    Default

    I was riding with lawndart last year and my horse is leading. The trail isn't real wide and has lots of ferns right up to the edges. I heard this noise I thought was a little stream down amoung the ferns to my left. Next thing I hear behind me is "Go Nikki GO!!!". Send into a quick trot and off we go. Oops not water- rattlesnake. There are no rattlesnakes in my area of PA so I had never heard one before and apparently neither had Finnegan.

    In some ways I was kinda bummed I didn't get to safely see it from a distance and only heard it. OP at least got a neat picture.

    We got to see bear tracks on that trip too. None of those where I normally ride either.
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2006
    Posts
    1,123

    Default

    Jody- my horse is the biggest dork, but he's so good ;-)
    SonnysMom- you need to ride in South Central PA! We've got bear, rattlesnakes,copperheads, eagles,foxes,coyotes,porcupines, deer, turkey, and that's all just in my backyard lol- just about everything you can imagine (and some you don't want to!)
    Kerri



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2007
    Location
    Rising Sun, MD
    Posts
    3,484

    Default

    LOL! I'm guessing Gem didn't even notice it- if any horse was going to get bit by a snake for being oblivious it would so be him
    “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2006
    Posts
    1,123

    Default

    He had his head turned towards the noise but I think he was wondering if someone was shaking grain in a can lol
    Kerri


    2 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2010
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    109

    Default

    Lovely snake, glad everyone was safe! Glad there was room to pass, and interesting that the horses were nervous that far from the snake. That first horse had quite a reaction! I haven't had my horse even notice the rattlesnakes, though I wish he would! Maybe my horse is just dumb (a complete option) or used to it. We do encounter quite a few every year.

    This year we encountered the first one (description here) in the beginning of April, trotting along single-track, cliff below, hillside above, heard that telltale buzz from the rocks just above the trail, just asked for a big trot out of there! Makes my heart race for sure!

    I think you have a different type of rattlesnake than we do out here in the Sierras. (Timber Rattlesnake, which has the awesome scientific name of Crotalus horridus, we have Pacific Rattlesnake (not an fun names of Crotalus oreganus). Both are scary!
    "Do your best, and leave the rest, twill all come right, some day or night" -Black Beauty

    http://trails-and-trials-with-major.blogspot.com/



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2006
    Posts
    1,123

    Default

    The first horse was probably only about 5-6 feet away from the snake and they are pissy right now, looking for their first big meal of the year. It rattled and I think it was the sudden noise that upset that horse, the second- a younger Arab was a bit nervous cuz the snake kept rattling...my horse associates rattling with food lol and the last horse, the rider was very nervous by then and it transferred. One ride that I wasn't on last year, a rattlesnake somehow ended up on top of the brush and sort of slithered chest level right by them....THAT would have freaked me out lol. This one was a few weeks earlier than we were expecting but when I went on the forestry website they had just posted about seeing a ton of them. Tis the season ;-)
    Kerri



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 5, 2012
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    348

    Default

    Did you know that even in winter, if the temperature is high and the ground is not frozen (yes I've lived in PA), that snakes come out of hibernation and look for food? The cooler the weather, the more sluggish they are.

    Isn't there a snake expert on Coth? She, 2jakes I think, can give you information on snake behavior.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 6, 2012
    Location
    Moved South from North Pole
    Posts
    703

    Default

    When it floods, or rains a lot, snakes come out of hiding. You should see Louisiana after storms. Snakes swimming for high ground.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2006
    Posts
    1,123

    Default

    Ewwww, snakes swimming or snakes in trees really bother me!!!
    Tidy- yep, they can be out at odd times of the year but it was awfully early for us to see a rattlesnake on that trail. We ride there all year round and are generally not too worried from about December till May. We do moonlight rides there ;-) Here's the Facebook page of the forest, the day they posted the pic of their rattler is the day we saw ours. It's a great place to ride.
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tusca...781514?fref=ts
    Kerri



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2004
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,385

    Default

    Yikes!

    I was trail riding in Wyoming once on a led trail ride while on vacation and we were going up a dirt road near some rocks when I heard a noise and I was like what the heck is that? Then I saw a very small rattle snake, first and only one in the wild that I have ever seen. Horse wasn't even phased by it and passed really close to it.

    I'm glad that I have not seen a rattle snake on any of my trail rides here in NH
    Missouri Fox Trotters-To ride one is to own one

    Standardbreds, so much more then a harness racing horse.



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