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 How far can an average horse travel in a day?
PosterChild  [Team Member]
3/29/2007 1:47:33 PM
After watching many, many Westerns, and having no horse experience myself, I have some horse-based questions.

1. How far can an average horse, with a rider and usual supplies, travel in a day?

2. How long can a horse run at full gallop and how much distance can they cover during that time?
338winmag  [Team Member]
3/29/2007 2:05:22 PM
This depends on a lot of variables. One of which is the weather. Some of the others, are the weight of the rider, the terrain, and what breed of horse you are using. If you notice, a lot of towns are about 5-10 miles apart. This is probably due to the amount of distance a horse will cover in a fair amount of time.
If all you want to do is ride and walk all day, I would say you could cover between 30 and 50 miles. You would have to rest your horse for a couple of days after this.
E22CAPT  [Team Member]
3/29/2007 2:20:09 PM
30 miles is a good rule of thumb. You can push a horse much futher if you need, but it wont last a day or two.

It is interesting that you mentioned the distance between towns. Towns along the old wagon trails out west are spaced roughly 30 miles apart for that very reason, it was a good healthy distance for a traveler to cover in one day and still allow his team to recover.

jungp  [Member]
3/29/2007 2:20:44 PM

Originally Posted By PosterChild:
After watching many, many Westerns, and having no horse experience myself, I have some horse-based questions.

1. How far can an average horse, with a rider and usual supplies, travel in a day?

2. How long can a horse run at full gallop and how much distance can they cover during that time?

I don't think I can answer your question but I would like people to ponder about these

1. What breed? It's hard to generalize horses using the word "average"
2. How much training? Horses are like atheletes. You have to train/exercise regularly.
3. How heavy is the load? There is big difference between live load and dead load. Horses can't carry dead load as well as live load.
4. Condition of the terrain? Are you going over a mountain?
5. How good is the rider? How far can you go? These days, not many people can "live" on horse back.
6. How much rest will the horse have each day for food and water? (If the ride is continuous)

If you google 'Edurance Riding', you may be able to find some answers. There are many people who are interested (including me) taking a long trip on horse back.


kar98k  [Team Member]
3/29/2007 2:20:46 PM

Originally Posted By PosterChild:
After watching many, many Westerns, and having no horse experience myself, I have some horse-based questions.

1. How far can an average horse, with a rider and usual supplies, travel in a day?

2. How long can a horse run at full gallop and how much distance can they cover during that time?


Ummm... it all depends.

Generally, one can travel give or take 30 miles a day on a horse. I think I heard somewhere that 40 was possible on a forced march, but the old horse drawn army standard was 30.

Further distances are possible using a trot - canter- walk technique, or better yet, using a string of horses and rotating through them so that none of the horses gets too tired.

It is alleged that Curly Bill Brocious rode over 100 miles in one night... using remounts... to be persent for court when his bail was called in the late 1870s. Other stories tell of similar rides.

A full blown gallop? Not all that far actually. Maybe 10 miles. And thats not at a continuous gallop. After which the horse wouldn't be much good the rest of the day. Most horse races are a quarter mile (thats where the term "quarter horse" comes from).

Pony express riders rode 10 to 15 miles between stations, (at an averge speed of 10.7 mph) then changed horses, took a 2 minute break, and rode on for about a total of 4-6 stations. The mail via pony express travelled about 250 miles a day.


YMMV
Dedhorse  [Member]
3/29/2007 2:23:27 PM
Endurance horseback Riders often hold 100 mile 24 hour races...but these are trained athletes and not your avarage rider and horse. I think Arabian horses are the prefered breed but believe some mules do very well to.
I think an avarage horse in good condition should be able to keep up an avarage speed of 4-6 miles per hour for a long time with out pushing it. Not the flat out speed but a sustainable speed....Todd
vrwc0915  [Team Member]
3/29/2007 2:26:50 PM

Originally Posted By jungp:

Originally Posted By PosterChild:
After watching many, many Westerns, and having no horse experience myself, I have some horse-based questions.

1. How far can an average horse, with a rider and usual supplies, travel in a day?

2. How long can a horse run at full gallop and how much distance can they cover during that time?

I don't think I can answer your question but I would like people to ponder about these

1. What breed? It's hard to generalize horses using the word "average"
2. How much training? Horses are like atheletes. You have to train/exercise regularly.
3. How heavy is the load? There is big difference between live load and dead load. Horses can't carry dead load as well as live load.
4. Condition of the terrain? Are you going over a mountain?
5. How good is the r

ider? How far can you go? These days, not many people can "live" on horse back.
6. How much rest will the horse have each day for food and water? (If the ride is continuous)

If you google 'Edurance Riding', you may be able to find some answers. There are many people who are interested (including me) taking a long trip on horse back.





NVG and horse at night is the way to travel
Dedhorse  [Member]
3/29/2007 2:40:16 PM

Originally Posted By kar98k:
Most horse races are a quarter mile ....


uhmmm....No.....The classic horse race in the US today is normaly 1 1/4 miles not just a 1/4 mile. Used to be longer. The Kentucky derby was 1 1/2 miles up till the late 1800's when it was cut back to 1 1/4........Todd
jungp  [Member]
3/29/2007 2:44:39 PM

Originally Posted By Dedhorse:
Endurance horseback Riders often hold 100 mile 24 hour races...but these are trained athletes and not your avarage rider and horse. I think Arabian horses are the prefered breed but believe some mules do very well to.
I think an avarage horse in good condition should be able to keep up an avarage speed of 4-6 miles per hour for a long time with out pushing it. Not the flat out speed but a sustainable speed....Todd

I have an arab but he is rather fat and low on endurance side.

I have lunged my quarter horse mare at extended trot. She quit after about 40 minutes.

So, I have rather below average horses.
Dedhorse  [Member]
3/29/2007 2:46:12 PM

Originally Posted By vrwc0915:.....NVG and horse at night is the way to travel....


Might have some trouble finding those NVG that will fit your horse though. You know they have to see too, eh?.....Todd
vrwc0915  [Team Member]
3/29/2007 2:49:29 PM

Originally Posted By Dedhorse:

Originally Posted By vrwc0915:.....NVG and horse at night is the way to travel....


Might have some trouble finding those NVG that will fit your horse though. You know they have to see too, eh?.....Todd



Try it, my appaloosa thought I was crazy at first but she got the hang of it... she goes where I tell her :)

Appaloosa's are known for not being right in the head
ml271  [Member]
3/29/2007 3:55:28 PM
I am a realtor for alot of Amish around here. There rule of thumb is they dont want to be more than 14 miles from things. Thats about as far as a real good horse will do for them. (that includes the 14 miles return trip). They say a adverage horse will do 13 each way. They do use carts or buggies.
JusAdBellum  [Member]
3/29/2007 4:53:29 PM
Needless to say anyone can ride a decent Mountain bike 14 miles a day without too much trouble and no need to feed it, rub it down and water it either.
TheAvatar9265ft  [Member]
3/29/2007 5:44:14 PM

Originally Posted By JusAdBellum:
Needless to say anyone can ride a decent Mountain bike 14 miles a day without too much trouble and no need to feed it, rub it down and water it either.


And some people can go 149 miles with 31,303ft of vertical accumulated gain in 24hrs riding between 9,100ft and 14,270ft above sea level ;).
tequilabob  [Team Member]
3/29/2007 6:51:54 PM

Originally Posted By Dedhorse:

Originally Posted By kar98k:
Most horse races are a quarter mile ....


uhmmm....No.....The classic horse race in the US today is normaly 1 1/4 miles not just a 1/4 mile. Used to be longer. The Kentucky derby was 1 1/2 miles up till the late 1800's when it was cut back to 1 1/4........Todd




yup quater horses are bred for short distance speed, kinda like the difference between nhra andnarcar

best long distance hores' are arabians, tenn walkers and american saddle breds these among others were developed for riding all day lonf so plantatiojn owners could traverse all the fields in a single day, lots of different breeds for lots of different tasks

my personal choice for a teotwawki would be an andalusianm those are the horses the are most used in merry go rounds, broad back large usually over 15.2 hands and can ride all day
'

Waldo0506  [Team Member]
3/29/2007 7:12:20 PM
Thats like asking how far a human can run in a day.

Is the human conditioned to run or have they been sitting on the couch?

Is the horse ran daily or is it kept in a small pin?
wylde21  [Member]
3/30/2007 6:20:08 AM

Originally Posted By 338winmag:
This depends on a lot of variables. One of which is the weather. Some of the others, are the weight of the rider, the terrain, and what breed of horse you are using. If you notice, a lot of towns are about 5-10 miles apart. This is probably due to the amount of distance a horse will cover in a fair amount of time.
If all you want to do is ride and walk all day, I would say you could cover between 30 and 50 miles. You would have to rest your horse for a couple of days after this.


Most town centers in the Central/Western US are "5-10 miles apart" because of the grid plan used to divide up land as America expanded westward. Standard grid is 6 miles x 6 miles (36 sq. miles) broken up into 36 x 640 acre (one square mile) plots of land. Of course, as time has gone on these plots have been subdivided into smaller plots. In or near the center of these 6 mile x 6 mile grids would be a town center. This was established by the Land Ordinance Act of 1785.
Rodent  [Team Member]
3/30/2007 8:14:54 AM

Originally Posted By PosterChild:
1. How far can an average horse, with a rider and usual supplies, travel in a day?


As others have mentioned, there are many variables. There are twenty-year-old people who can hardly cross the street, and there are seventy-year-olds who run marathons. Same goes for horses. But a good all-around average that won't take too much out of either you or your horse, and gives you time to make and break camps, is twenty miles per day.


2. How long can a horse run at full gallop and how much distance can they cover during that time?


Galloping is tough on a horse, and trotting is tough on a rider. Despite what you see in the movies, it's the walk that gets you where you're going.

My main association with horses is through "eventing", a multiple-day test of horse and rider. (The sport evolved from a test for cavalry.) Here's a description of endurance day from the Eventing Association's website:

"... the endurance day consists of ... approximately three and a half miles of walk and trot as a warm-up ... approximately two and one-eighth miles at a gallop over approximately eight steeplechase fences ...appoximately seven miles of walk and trot as a cool down from steeplechase, and ... approximately five miles at a gallop over a maximum of 45 obstacles that can be up to four feet high and ten feet wide (at the base). The horse's speed on this phase is over 20 miles per hour."

Bear in mind that those are remarkably athletic horses at the peak of training, and that they will need several days of recovery afterwards. Also that many will not finish the day, and some will be injured. (That seemed to be my usual fate )







Originally Posted By JusAdBellum:
Needless to say anyone can ride a decent Mountain bike 14 miles a day without too much trouble and no need to feed it, rub it down and water it either.


Bicycles don't kick, bite or run away, either.


Originally Posted By Dedhorse:
Might have some trouble finding those NVG that will fit your horse though. You know they have to see too, eh?.....


Horses see much better in the dark than we do. I enjoy riding at night, and have done it several times with my PVS-14.
beemerphile  [Team Member]
3/30/2007 8:27:16 AM
RE: "How far can an average horse travel in a day?"


It depends on the trailer, the rig pulling it, and whether you use team drivers. We got ours from Utah to Georgia in three days.
vrwc0915  [Team Member]
3/30/2007 8:31:30 AM


I thought I was the only one to don NVG and ride, I guess that means that I am not so crazy or that there is someone just as nuts as me



In the context of SHTF there is no better asset than a "sport utility horse"
Fuel is cheep and plentiful
Off road performance is great
They are better watchdogs than dogs (Plus it's hard to ride your dog)



Rodent  [Team Member]
3/30/2007 8:47:36 AM

Originally Posted By vrwc0915:


I thought I was the only one to don NVG and ride, I guess that means that I am not so crazy or that there is someone just as nuts as me


Great minds think alike.



But then, so do the other kind...
cowboy7242001  [Team Member]
3/30/2007 10:42:51 AM

Originally Posted By vrwc0915:
Appaloosa's are known for not being right in the head




Yup, but they make the best cuttin horses you'll ever see. My app went blind in one eye last year, so we had to retire him from working, but before that he was incredible at his job. Crazy....but incredible.


On topic:

The 30 mile mark should be about right for most critters. I'm gonna say less because your average non-horse person won't be able to go that long in a day. They'll either have to take alot of stops or quit sooner, especially if your having to ride and still carry a pack or tac gear. Gonna have a sore back and a sore ass after the first couple of hours and it'll get worse from there.
FourDeuce  [Member]
3/30/2007 12:07:29 PM
I've been wondering if anybody was going to mention the movie Hidalgo.