In a recent session of the Hourlings, the writing group to which I belong, somebody included a scene in their story in which a character fell off their horse during a snowstorm…because the horse had been spooked by a snake.
Group members gently pointed out that there were several problems with this. Snakes are reptiles and not well-suited to cold environments, so they tend to go into a sort of torpor in cold weather. This alone makes it unlikely that a snake caused the fall.
Additionally, I pointed out that I had a friend who owned a farm, and owned horses. He mentioned to me one time that he didn’t have a snake problem. His horses hated snakes and stomped them to death whenever they saw them.
Well, that seems pretty much the opposite of being spooked.
Still, a bunch of us liked the idea of snowsnakes, a hitherto unknown creature that might reasonably be active in the winter.
So, while the critiques were still going on within the Zoom session…we brainstormed the attributes of a snowsnake in the chat.
That chat is over there —————>
Seriously, this was a fun way to do some world-building.