WHEN a 2m brown snake struck out at Jade Davies, what happened next is enough to prove that it's not just dogs that are man's best friend, but the trusty steed as well.
When the 14-year-old took her horse's feed out to the paddock on Wednesday evening, she saw a brown snake slither through her 16-year-old mare T-Bone's legs.
"She hadn't noticed it yet, but then I jumped when I saw it and the snake struck forward at me," Jade said.
Backed up against an electric fence, Jade had nowhere to go, which was when T-Bone came to the rescue.
The horse lunged forward at the snake and stomped on it, protecting her owner.
But the 2m reptile then wrapped itself around the horse's front left leg.
T-Bone then tried to crush the snake with her back legs while it coiled around her front.
The snake struck T-Bone on her fetlock before slithering away.
"After that she was being her normal self, hard to catch, but then she started acting like she had colic, looking at her stomach," Jade said.
"Then after three hours, she couldn't walk."
As soon as T-Bone was bitten, the vet was phoned.
A horse specialist from The Flying Dutchman attended the Kamarangi Crt residence and did a number of tests on the horse and gave her the antivenom.
Jade's mum Angela said the family had been up all Wednesday night worrying about T-Bone, unsure whether she would make it through the night.
"It was just absolute panic," Mrs Davies said.
"Even Zach (Jade's 11-year-old brother) was running around with a shovel trying to get the snake and even offered to sell his motorbike to pay for the antivenom."
As the Daily News went to print last night, T-Bone was doing well, but the vet had told the Davies family not to get their hopes up, because the situation could turn bad at any stage.
"The vet said not to get too hopeful until she makes it through another night," Mrs Davies said.
Jade said she couldn't thank her horse enough for saving her life.
"I have a strong relationship with her and always have and she was defending me," Jade said.
"If I wasn't there she would have just backed up because there was no reason for her to lash out except to stop the snake getting me.
"She saved my life. If it had got me, I would've been dead within a few hours."
Jade said it was a massive wake-up call to be on the look-out for snakes and urged everyone to always wear closed-in shoes when out in the paddock.
What to do
If you are bitten by a snake, remember:
- Call for medical help immediately
- Minimise movement
- Loosen any tight clothing around wound
- Apply a pressure bandage
- Lie down and keep the bitten limb at body level. Raising it can cause venom to move through body faster, and lowering it can increase swelling.