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Do horses stay away from snakes?

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  • Do horses stay away from snakes?

    Just even typing this makes me want to let out a bit of a girly scream.

    I found, what I think are several snake holes in one of my pastures. There looks to be 3 or four holes about 2-3 inches each in diameter. Do horses have a 6th sense about them and stay away from them? I'd love to get rid of them, but, I know all of the lectures on "black snakes are our friends, blah, blah blah." I don't even know what kind of snake would live in them, I've never seen one out there. Could it be a snake hole or some other vermin? Please don't beat me up because I'm so afraid of snakes. I will come over and take care of your spiders, mice, rats, heck, I'll even stitch up a gaping bleeding wound, but, I am terrified of snakes. Even in pictures.

    Any advice?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    I think some did not get the memo.

    I believe Bluey had a story or two about horses being bitten by snakes.

    Comment


    • #3
      Here's a website to help you identify the animal that makes holes in pastures.

      http://icwdm.org/inspection/groundholes.asp

      They don't show a photo for the most common hole found in pastures, which is that dug by crayfish. So, if the hole looks like this, http://www.dpughphoto.com/crayfish%2...%202_small.JPG, it is a crayfish.

      The holes in your pasture are unlikely to be a snake holes. While snakes do sometimes go into other animal's holes (to catch and eat them and sometimes to den up in their dens), they don't have feet to dig with.
      Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        No, they are more into the dirt, without an outer lip.

        And Alagirl, you are correct. I did not get the memo about Bluey's snake experience. I did do a search on this and couldn't find what I was looking for. Care to share?

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Sonesta, thanks for the link.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by BellaLuna View Post
            No, they are more into the dirt, without an outer lip.

            And Alagirl, you are correct. I did not get the memo about Bluey's snake experience. I did do a search on this and couldn't find what I was looking for. Care to share?

            LOL, the horses not getting the memo to stay away from snakes.

            not you about Bluey's snake stories.

            Sorry bout that.

            Comment


            • #7
              All of my lifetime horses, except one notable exception, have been afraid of snakes. One time decades ago, a snake was near the barn and my 2 ottbs smelled him and went wild.

              Callie and I came back to her stall after riding to find the resident black snake in her stall. She didn't like that. ANd that snake was once stretched out in her water trough in her paddock. She refused to go near it. Same snake, who was supposed to be eating rats, wiped out the wren babies in their nest in the barn. Rats flourished up in the hay loft.

              Cloudy was always "hanging out" with the black snake and was not afraid of him. I did not want to see what would happen if a rattler appeared. Plus the then barn cat, now housecat, would try to get the snake in paddocks and that black snake would rear up as if to strike.

              So Mr. Blacksnake was dispatched. One boarder was afraid of snake and ran out of the barn everytime the snake was around.

              2Jakes is a snake expert, and she has a thread on coth about snakes. Ask her any snake questions as she is on the venom team at Miami-Dade Fire.

              My mother grew up on a farm in SC. She has always said that only good snake is a dead snake. Due to the high percentage of times we've found snakes in birds' nests eating the eggs or chicks, we dispose of them. 2Jakes and my friend Lucy both have pet snakes, but I'll pass on them as pets.
              Once when I was a kid I got home from church to find my siamese cat's face swollen up like a canteloupe. Presely had "caught" a snake and had 2 bloody fang marks on his nose. Presley survived, but well, with horses and cats and dogs, best to not encourage snakes to hang around. The song bird loss around here is great.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BellaLuna View Post
                No, they are more into the dirt, without an outer lip.

                And Alagirl, you are correct. I did not get the memo about Bluey's snake experience. I did do a search on this and couldn't find what I was looking for. Care to share?
                Some of our crawfish/crayfish/crawdad holes don't have the outer lip, either, but I'm pretty positive that's what they are.

                The website was most useful, though - because we have some I haven't been able to identify, and this will help!
                Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

                Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com

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                • #9
                  We think one of my horses was bitten by a snake and only partially envenomated. Had the vet out to give her shots, put her on antibiotics, etc. It never got as ugly as snake wounds can get, but she has two permanently bald tiny circles where we suspect it hit her. Luckily it was not on soft flesh where fangs could sink in.

                  I know my TB isn't afraid of snakes, as we saw several around when I had the horses boarded and he didn't care and I had to steer him away from them.
                  Originally posted by Silverbridge
                  If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

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                  • #10
                    My curious 2 yr. old was following a large water mocassin along the fence line as it was trying to escape my shovel. She definitely had no fear, unfortunately.
                    "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My gelding is hyper-aware of snakes. He will stop dead on the trail about 100 feet away from a snake. I am OK with this, of course! The part that irritates me is that he is also scared of a garden hose. I guess I can't have it both ways!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Mine don't seem to be afraid of snakes.

                        Music had one "living" in her stall. I found a nest of snake eggs under the bedding in the corner of her stall, and I often found a black snake stretched along the sill of her door.

                        When we have come across a black snake on the trail, both Belle and Chief have hesitated momentarily, then carefully stepped over it.
                        Janet

                        chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          While leading my horse down the driveway he stepped on and killed a snake...never saw it !

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sorry, snakes don't dig holes. It's pretty hard to do when you have no legs. And they much prefer to live in among tree stumps, brush piles, under cover boards, etc.

                            If it's a small hole in open pasture area, it is most likely a crayfish.

                            And in my ten years so far working as a biologist, about 95% of people can't identify snakes correctly, even to separate a venemous from a non-venemous snake. If I had a quarter for every time someone said to me, "I know my snakes and THAT is a cottonmouth," while pointing at a harmless watersnake/rat snake/ringneck snake (that lady was really special), well, I wouldn't have to work anymore.

                            Internet stories aside, I would not worry about your holes. And please don't go chopping things up with shovels, they don't really want to be near you either.

                            Thank you!
                            Your friendly neighbourhood biologist
                            Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                            Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                            We Are Flying Solo

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The only time I've seen my horse around a snake, he pummeled the living daylights out of it with his front feet when it tried to cross in front of him on the trail. It was interesting to ride out, that's for sure!

                              Then again, he's generally speaking in "kill all the things" mode. He's tolerant of the hounds at the hunt, dogs that leave him alone and the barn cats, but unfamiliar animals that act in any way that he perceives to be threatening are generally pummeled into the ground with his front feet. He has killed a coyote in that manner and that snake. He's tried to get several idiot neighbor dogs who were biting at us while we were riding on the road. I didn't want to explain that one to the neighbors, so all I let him do was kick with his hind legs (he's far less accurate and deadly that way!) until they went away.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                As I was turning Sophie out yesterday evening Mr P said "There's a black snake in the garden" Sure enough, a 3 footer was sunning himself. We stood there admiring him while Sophie totally ignored him.

                                They do eat eggs....if they could wipe out my sparrow population I would be thrilled
                                I wasn't always a Smurf
                                Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
                                "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                                The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by wildlifer View Post
                                  Sorry, snakes don't dig holes. It's pretty hard to do when you have no legs. And they much prefer to live in among tree stumps, brush piles, under cover boards, etc.


                                  Internet stories aside, I would not worry about your holes. And please don't go chopping things up with shovels, they don't really want to be near you either.

                                  Thank you!
                                  Your friendly neighbourhood biologist
                                  No worries about me chopping up things with shovels, at the sight of any snake, I drop what I am holding and run screaming away. And needing an underwear change. Seriously.

                                  But that's good news for me and the herd that they don't dig holes. I don't know why, but I thought that they could. Never heard of crayfish, will do more investigating for pictures.

                                  Thanks to all for the feedback.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by BellaLuna View Post
                                    No worries about me chopping up things with shovels, at the sight of any snake, I drop what I am holding and run screaming away. And needing an underwear change. Seriously.

                                    Thanks to all for the feedback.
                                    ROFL! Well, I guess that does save the snake! There are many different species of crayfish, some dig holes with chimneys, some with a mud "lip" and some with no edge at all. The burrows can be amazingly deep and complex, I always wonder where all that mud goes! They are definitely non threatening though -- even when I am trying to dig them out for surveys, they cower in the very back and make me dug up 20 yards of ground before I get to the end!
                                    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                                    Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                                    We Are Flying Solo

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      OK, I am confused.

                                      I thought "crayfish" lived in the water, not digging holes in dry pasture.
                                      Janet

                                      chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Crawfish chimneys are to catch a breeze and clean the air in the hole. But they can only make chimneys when it is muddy...if its dry, it's just a hole. They eat the roots of grasses and come out at night when it's cooler.

                                        If you want to get rid of them, pour a 1/4 cup of bleach down the chimney/hole, and close it up.

                                        Comment

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