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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » horse trouble (Page 1)

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Author Topic: horse trouble
wrenbird
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At one point in my WiP, the MC has to travel on horseback. He wasn't raised around horses, and didn't travel much in his life. So, this is the first time he has ridden much at all.

The thing is, he has to ride hard for four days straight. What would this do to him? Would he seriously not be able to do it? Would he get used to it after four days?

Anyone with horse experience?

P.S. I don't know if this makes a difference, but he is traveling on a paved road.

Thanks


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JeanneT
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Well, I've never traveled by horseback for four days although I've done quite a lot of riding. I can tell you he'd be as sore as hell. He probably would have a hard time walking even after the first day. That doesn't mean it couldn't be done, but every muscle would be so stiff you could barely move and your legs and hips would be agonizing. As with any strenuous new exercise it would take longer than four days to get used to it.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "ride hard" but please be aware that horses can't gallop for hours at a stretch. The most even a well-conditioned horse can gallop is normally a mile and a half or so. A horse can cover many miles in a day, but not at a gallop. A horse can cover more ground, faster, at a trot but an inexperienced rider would probably have a rought time with that since a trot is (to put it mildly) not a smooth gait. A horse would be exhausted after a three mile gallop. The same horse could trot, with walk and rest breaks, for many miles.

And they have to be watered, fed, rested and cared for. This would be more of an issue than the condition of the rider, actually.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited June 19, 2008).]


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debhoag
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Kayti is our horse expert. As a matter of fact, I had a horse/distance question for her. Kayti, you out there?
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JeanneT
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Oh, never mind then. Sorry to pipe in. I wasn't aware that other people weren't supposed to offer information.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited June 19, 2008).]


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annepin
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He/ she could "ride hard" on multiple horses--it doesn't have to be the same horse.

I think soreness would be a huge issue. After just one hour of horseback riding (my first time, as a kid) I remember my butt and thighs were really sore.


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wrenbird
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Hey, I need advice from everyone who's got it. Thanks for the info Jeanne.

So, if someone wanted to cover as much distance as possible, and say they were traveling on messenger horses, or some kind of horse specially trained to do so (if such a thing exists,) they would just mix up trotting and walking?


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debhoag
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that's the main thing I remember from my horseriding experiences, too, Annepin. And chafing. Lots of chafing.
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wrenbird
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Also, exactly what kind of soreness? Welts? Bruises? Just stiffness/general ache?
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JeanneT
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Chaffing (I've known people to end up with sores but it wasn't one of my big problems) and lots and lots of soreness and aches and pains. You use muscles you never use otherwise and strain joints in ways that nothing else does. You can bruise, too. I used to but it would depend on how easily you bruise. Some people never bruise. Ouch even thinking about it makes me cringe.

I was thinking of on one horse but if you can change horses about every fifteen miles you could make really good time. That way you don't have to take to groom and would have to do minimal resting. But I can't even imagine the misery that would be for an inexperienced rider.

But you still couldn't GALLOP. Keep that in mind. It's a myth that the pony express used to gallop their horses unless they had to. But yes, trotting and walking rest will keep your horse in the best condition and give you good time.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited June 19, 2008).]


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extrinsic
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First the horse, four days hard riding on paved roads is likely to road founder the horse, sooner not later. Search words laminitis, foundered, and horseshoes.

Endurance riding equestrian events on average range 100 miles through rough back country routes. Riders take a minimum of 10-12 hours to complete a 100-mile course, which is about the distance a cavalry troop could be expected to travel in one day in the same time frame.

Sore? Chafed inner thighs and shins and backside, four days of hard riding for an unaccustomed rider is likely to raise bruises and welts about like what rubbing beach sand on bare skin for hours will do. I'd be worried it might cause gangrene. Charley horse cramps will tie the quadriceps and tiabialis muscles into knots, to name a few of the leg muscle groups, then there's the toe, arm, and back muscles, the butt muscles, neck muscles. The eyelid muscles with be as sore as the forehead muscles. An unaccustomed rider riding a horse for long distances is like standing for days on a sawhorse with the arches of the feet cupping the buckboard and holding a beer barrel between the thighs.

On the other hand, being born into the saddle, most lifelong riders hardly notice the effort horseback riding takes. My favorite horse anecdote comes from The William Byrd Diaries. In one pithy passage, the colonel relates the story of the young cavalier who spent four hours rounding up his steed for a journey he could have walked in fifteen minutes. However, the poor young man was ever aware of his social standing. Arriving on foot would have diminished his status among his peers.


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JeanneT
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Not a bad comparison about the beer barrel, however I do think it could be done if one were determined. People can put up with a lot of pain if they're really determined. I wouldn't want to do it, mind you, if I were that inexperienced rider. (I've ridden all my life.)

I would probably assume less than 100 miles a day unless I knew the condition of the horse. That can be done, absolutely, and more. But without knowing that the horse was in good condition and the rider experienced, I'd cut that figure.

Edit: On the other hand, I wouldn't SWEAR that it was possible. extrinsic might be right that it would be too dangerous. What would be chaffing in one day would be sores in four days. I don't think many readers would question it though if you said he was so sore he couldn't move, had had sores from chafing, etc. But believe me, it would be one tough way to go.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited June 19, 2008).]


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InarticulateBabbler
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quote:

Kayti is our horse expert.

Eh? Since when?

Lynda is an expert, she raises horses--I think for competition--and does fabulous sculptures of them.

Crystal Stevens is: "Maybe I should add that I’m in my mid-fifties, have been married to the same man for almost thirty-two years, and have always had horses for the better part of my life including the two we own at this time."

And I know kings_falcon has/has had horses, too.

I have had a couple, but I was a kid then, and didn't do as much riding as feeding, grooming and changing the hay.


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debhoag
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I thought Kayti was the one who did the training, and sold CDs on the topic. Yes, no?

Oops! my bad. I scanned back through Wouldbe's experts page and it was DebbieKW. Mea culpa, oh groovy, inarticulate one. You still rule cool.

[This message has been edited by debhoag (edited June 20, 2008).]


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InarticulateBabbler
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And, yes, DebbieKW, too. (How could I forget? Debbie, I'm giving myself a swift kick for ya...)

However, Deb, the others I listed are accurate, too.


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debhoag
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I never challenged anything you said, I never even bothered to look. I was just checking on my own mistake.
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InarticulateBabbler
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Didn't mean to imply you did, Deb. (Just double-checking myself.)
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rstegman
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How good a runner is your person? Over long distances, we can outrun the horses. We don't over heat the way a horse does and can carry our food and water, eating along the way. Your character might be better off, it it is practiced at running distances, to run along side the horse.

Of course, people who don't travel far are not likely running long distances. They may walk distances, though. They might never have been more than twenty miles from their home, the normal distance a wagon can travel in a day and the normal distance between towns, but they might do this often. The caracter may well be in condition to keep up with the horses over the distances if he is not carrying a load.

Just a thought.


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JeanneT
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I think a number of us are at least somewhat "horsey." I wouldn't consider selling CD's on the subject. I'm no expert.

But have had horses and ridden for my entire life. I no longer have them but still ride pretty regularly. My parents and grandparents had horses when I was growing up.

I wouldn't think a person can keep up with a horse. I might be wrong but I wouldn't think someone could travel 8 miles an hour as a horse easily can. But if I had a choice of another way for someone inexperienced on horses to travel, I'd use it.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited June 20, 2008).]


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kings_falcon
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Unless you've trained both the horse and rider, four days "hard riding" isn't going to happen without serious physical injury. Endurance riders and horses (100+ miles per day) train all year for it. Endurance riders generally also have more than horse so if the horse is lame or otherwise unfit, the rider can do the next competition on another horse. Your average farm horse isn't going to be doing this for all 4 days. Traveling on a paved road is going to place a bit less wear on the rider but more on the horse. If the horse is not shod, it will most likely go lame from the force of the hooves hitting the road.

Also, if you are planning to have the character ride into the night, the serious injury will happen when he falls off from exhaustion. Even if he can manage to sleep in the saddle, it's not restful and very disjointed so fatigue is going to be a big issue.

After that abuse, his muscles may tighten so much that he can't physically mount without assistance (a handy fence will do). Dismounting can send bolts of pain through his legs, legs will crumple under him and he'll fall. If the weather is cold, he'll have to worry about frostbite in his toes too.

The "best pace" is a combination of a gallop, walk and trot. A horse can trot for long periods of time but nothing faster. Trotting is hard on the rider unless you know what you are doing and the horse has a reasonably smooth gate. Men have a bit more difficulty with this in the begining because the chance of smashing some fairly delicate bits against the pommel are high. So, an inexperienced male rider is likely to straighten his legs to push off the stirrups to avoid hitting the front of the saddle, which is going to result in more muscle pain and fatigue.

After the first day, he's going to have saddle sores (blisters, usually broken and rubbed raw on his inner calf) from the stirrup strap rubbing against his clothes and leg. Depending on how he's dressed there may be other rub marks too.

He's going to be miserable and in poor physical shape when he gets where he's going even if he's changing horses regularly.


So what was the distance question?


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debhoag
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distance question was how long would it take a party of five, all experienced riders, to cross seventy-five miles or so of open country (dirt road, up and down hills, fording creeks) if they were traveling at a reasonable, but not desperate, pace?
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wrenbird
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Wow, thanks for all the great info. It looks like I might have to rethink a few things in my story.

I'm impressed that there are so many people here with horse know how. I'm a city gal (suberb gal, to be more accurate,) so I doubt I could even get into a saddle without hurting myself.


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JeanneT
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Experienced riders on well-conditioned horses could do that in a day, deb. In fact when writing, I usually assume (unless they're being chased or something so that they push their pace) that riders in my stories average 60 to 75 miles a day. Sure you can do more but it's hard on the horse. So unless you have spares, you need to allow for resting and grooming them, watering, feeding, etc. I tend to be a bit on the conservative side in mileage estimates.

Now if you have spares and are switching horses, you can increase mileage substantially if the rider is up to it.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited June 20, 2008).]


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kings_falcon
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This is a helpful website:

http://www.wwwestra.com/horses/history_travel.htm

This is another interesting one since it talks about speeds of other animals as well:

http://www.americanbible.org/brcpages/CommonTransportation


If the horses and riders are well conditioned, I'd agree they can travel the 75 miles in a day but it might be a long day depending on how hilly and such.


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Robert Nowall
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I'm no expert either, but I do know you can't just ride and ride and ride one horse at full gallop---the horse'll give out if you ride it too hard. No matter how soon you have to be somewhere far off, the horse can't do it. (I was watching "The Searchers" the other day and it had this same point in it.)

Your main character, if he's never ridden before, might have trouble getting the horse to "go" where he wants at all---I'm told that if you don't establish the master-servent paradigm over the horse right away, the horse will take advantage of you. (Not expressed that way.)

I think a paved road would be hard on the horse's hooves---here's where my limited knowledge fails me, though.

Also, after four days of riding-when-one-has-never-ridden-before...think saddlesores. I concur with the others on this.


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Antinomy
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He better be wearing jockies or longjohns -- boxers will give him a permanent Melvin.
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InarticulateBabbler
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Interesting choice of links, kings_falcon. The first one was informative about horses and rates of travel, purposely for fiction. The second was timed according to biblical passages. That struck me as odd.
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KayTi
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I'm so glad IB knows me well enough to know horses ain't one of my things. (digs out wet noodle for debhoag, LOL) breastfeeding, gardening, and computers I can ride with the best of them (how's that for an odd group of areas of expertise? LOL) but I think the last time I was on a horse I was 5 years old. I've done a few thousand things since then.

The horse farms near where I live are fun to look at, though, particularly in late spring when the foals arrive. There were at least 3-4 on my regular carpooling route in May.

Good luck with your story, wren.

[This message has been edited by KayTi (edited June 20, 2008).]


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annepin
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quote:
He better be wearing jockies or longjohns -- boxers will give him a permanent Melvin.



I'm afraid to ask!

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JeanneT
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Interesting links. My problem with the information on the common forms of transportation link is that I feel it severely underestimates a reasonable distance to travel by horseback. And that makes me a doubtful of information on the other forms since I can't bring my own knowledge to them. Using biblical examples seemed a bit odd.

For instance, the Paul example sites a military escort. Now you have to know whether the entire escort was mounted, whether Paul was mounted and whether they had a supply wagon or whatever to slow them down. Also it is frequently a good idea to cut normal movement rates in half for a moving army.

Movement rates can get amazingly complicated.

The history site had some very good information. Thanks for that link. I'm adding it to my collection since it's information people frequently ask and it's good to have a source to site. I'm going to have to see if it's possible to get that book it mentions.

Edit: Kings_falcon is right that a 75 mile trip could make for a long day. Depending on a lot of factors that would could easily be a 12 hour day or something in that range. However an experienced rider could do that. If you're riding during a time of year when days are short, you probably aren't going to want to risk laming your horse in an accident so you'd make it a two day trip. There are a LOT of variables involved.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited June 20, 2008).]


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kings_falcon
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Yes, but it's the only resource I've found for how fast something other than a horse - donkey, camel and such travels. You'll have to account for road conditions, the references based on the Bible stories and such but it's a nice ruler.

Also for horses, you need to take into account breeds. Some can reach 55 miles per hour nomt for hours at a time but if someone is on a pasa fino (I think that's the breed at least and am too lazy to check) they're going to escape from someone on a slower horse breed.

But 50-60 miles a day is probably a good guideline.


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JeanneT
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You're right that guides on how far a camel will go in a day aren't easy to come by.

And distance traveled depends on so many variables: breed, experience, supplies and available water, season, road or country side and its condition the best you can do is a very rough estimate. And in a group, the group will always end up traveling the speed of the slowest member or they cease to be a group.


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TaleSpinner
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One should never be afraid to ask, Annepin ;-)

Melvin -- When ones trousers become caught up between one's buttocks.

I found it here:
http://www.peevish.co.uk/slang/m.htm

Quite why it's a melvin is a mystery to me. I'm not afraid to ask, I just don't know who'd know.

Cheers,
Pat

P.S. Above are many of the reasons I'd put the character on a motorcycle.

[This message has been edited by TaleSpinner (edited June 21, 2008).]


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DebbieKW
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Well, I may be the horse expert, but it looks like I wasn't needed. Since I was called on to make a comment, I'll say that I agree with the information given wrenbird about soreness, not having the character ride one horse the whole distance at a gallop, and so on.

As for:
the distance question was how long would it take a party of five, all experienced riders, to cross seventy-five miles or so of open country (dirt road, up and down hills, fording creeks) if they were traveling at a reasonable, but not desperate, pace?

Again, it depends on how fit and well-fed the horses and riders are, how rough the terrain is, weather conditions, etc., but I'd say about one-and-a-half to two days.

Hope this helps.

[This message has been edited by DebbieKW (edited June 21, 2008).]


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debhoag
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Thanks Debbie!
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Crystal Stevens
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Wow! I leave to go on a 3 day campout and trail ride on horses and come back to find this subject going on.

One thing I just have to say is that if you have a horse that can do 50 to 100 miles in one day, he better be a very well conditioned horse. Even your top notch endurance horses don't usually do more than 50 miles a day, and most of it is at a trot. Your 100 mile endurance races are usually split over 2 days, and there are vet checks done to make sure the horse and rider can continue the race without harm to either of them. An average horse going cross country won't cover more than 20 or 30 miles in one day if the horse is to be ridden for several days in a row. This is how the pioneers made it out west if they weren't in wagons or the horses weren't pulling heavy loads. Of course if you can switch horses and ride 3 or 4 instead of one, you might be able to cover more ground.

Hard riding over a four day period would leave a non-horse rider with the inside of their legs looking like raw meat. I'm not kidding. And if the rider is in somewhat good condition, they wouldn't be able to get off the horse without a whole lot of help. Those muscle would be so stove up the rider wouldn't be able to move let alone walk once they got off the horse. Trust me on this.

Other factors to condsider is how much weight the horse will be carrying in proportion to the horse's size and conditioning. I was on a 5 hour ride with my friend Beth just last Saturday. We were riding through forest, some open areas, and some very long hills to climb up and down. Beth outweighs me by 50 to 75 lbs. I'm a fairly small person. We traveled approximately 16 miles. Our mares are about even when it came to their conditioning, conformation, and endurance levels. Beth's mare was more tired than mine by the time we made it back to camp, but the reason was the weight difference.

Terrain will play a large part too. Is the route over rocks, through deep mud, over mountains, or through a desert? All these will play a factor as to how far a horse can travel in one day. I should add that we were taking our time and enjoying the view. We were trail riding and not endurance racing.

You do not ever want to go faster than a walk for any length of time on a hard packed surface on a horse. This will cause the horse permanent damage to their legs. It can fracture bones and break them depending on the age of the horse. A prime example of that would be Eight Bells, the filly that had to be euthanized after she broke both front legs in this year's Kentucky Derby.

These are just a few things that come to mind, and I guess I should add that I've shown horses for over 35 years, showed Appaloosas on regional and national levels. I trained a reserve national champion, put a Register of Merit on one of my horses, and placed him 2nd in the nation in the Appaloosa Horse Club. I've given riding lessons for the last 7 years, and been secretary of the Foundation Appaloosa Horse Registry for 6 years. So, yes, I do know my way around the block when it comes to horses.


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JeanneT
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Hmmm I've ridden in the 70+ miles in a day several times on a pretty average condition horse, well-cared for but not an endurance competition animal, so I find your comments that this is impossible to be kind of surprising.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited June 24, 2008).]


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Crystal Stevens
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I didn't say it was impossible, but it usually isn't done. It's also dangerous. You could very well have endangered this horse, and I'd say you were lucky. Were you planning on doing this 4 days in a row? No offense, but I doubt it. Endurance and distance riders don't take those kinds of chances.

Again, it depends on the terrain, the weather, and the condition of the horse and the rider. 100 miles in one day would take a lot out of almost any horse let alone an average riding horse that gets moderate exercise. I'm going with what I've been told by veteran endurance and combined trail ride competitors. One of these has put ApHC medallions on more distance horses than anyone else in the history of the association.

I might add that I went for time just for fun over distance with my mare who is definitely endurance type (This is what the gentleman who put the madallions on all those endurance horses has told me and has been demanding that I put her into distance competition.). We covered 24 miles in a little over 3 hours, but I wasn't planning to ride like that for several days in a row. This very same ride usually takes about 6 hours at a ground covering walk.

It takes at least 3 months of continuous training to get a horse ready for serious distance competition, and I wasn't talking about endurance racers when I said 20 to 30 miles a day. This is every day type horses like the kind used by the pioneers heading west. I doubt very much if there were very many long distance type horses among them. Most of them were ranch horses or heavy horses bred to pull their heavy wagons and were on the move for months. These horses had to last. 75 to 100 miles a day wouldn've killed a lot of them over that period of time.

[This message has been edited by Crystal Stevens (edited June 24, 2008).]


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JeanneT
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Of course, a heavy horse wouldn't be suitable for that kind of riding. But a fit well-conditioned riding horse should be able to do 5 to 6 miles an hour mainly trotting with walking breaks. In an emergency such as being pursued, you could do a longer day in order to increase the distance although it would be a lot of risk.

Let me put it this way, if the best my horse can do is 20 miles a day, I might as well walk. I can go that far and I don't have to be curried.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited June 24, 2008).]


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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I understand that humans can go further than horses, everything else being equal (except if they are carrying something, too), so I don't think Crystal is disagreeing with you, JeanneT.

Endurance horses are as different from regular horses as marathon runners are from regular joggers, right?


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kings_falcon
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That's sort of the point. People assume horses can cover vast distances at great speed every day. But, they can't. No human can run two or three marathons every day for three days without risk of injury. Same issue for the horse.

But there are two questions in the thread - the first one - hard ride for 4 days straight - didn't have a distance factor.
The second- how long to cover 75 miles.

Related but slightly different. The first one is probably answered by - he can't do it because of the physical toll on him.

The second - depends on lots including if the rider is willing to push the horse to death and risk serious injury herself.

Sure 75+ miles a day can be done if you're not planning on riding that horse tomorrow. Assuming you are stuck with the one horse, you're probably limited to 50 -60 miles per day even on good ground AND if nothing unexpected happens ex - Eight Belles.


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JeanneT
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Not in my opinion, Kathleen. Any regular jogger can run a marathon. Heck, I've run a marathon although I won't tell you how long it took me, that would be too embarrassing. But I finished.

I kept Morgans for most of my life until about three years ago and rode in pretty hilly country in Colorado where I lived at the time. I made numerous recreational rides in the 40 to 50 mile a day range but both my horse and I were in good condition. We could have done more if I'd felt that I had to, but you don't punish a horse without good reason.

I'll drop the subject. I think that Crystal and I do disagree, but that's fine. People disagree. And that's all I have to say about that. Take it for what it's worth. LOL


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Crystal Stevens
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Jeanne; I didn't know you were talking about Morgans. The original Morgan type was an endurance machine. You didn't say anything about that. A moderately conditioned Morgan CAN go for a considerable distance in one day. They were bred for it. But the average horse could not begin to do this, and even a Morgan would need some condditioning for this distance. So, yes, I agree that your horse could do that.

Also, many pioneers walked most of the way west .

I'd just like to add that Kathleen hit the nail on the head with the comparison of endurance horses to marathon runners. Thank you, Kathleen for your comments.

[This message has been edited by Crystal Stevens (edited June 24, 2008).]


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JeanneT
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Crystal, I was assuming that anyone who was going to make a ride like we were talking about would choose a good horse for it, if not a Morgan (and I do love them) something suitable. No, a drayhorse couldn't do it. They'd drop dead just as a Morgan would trying to pull a heavily loaded wagon the way it could. I wouldn't pick a Clydesdale.

Edit: Oops, I said I was off this subject. Sorry. I really have said all I have to contribute.

Ok one more edit: kings_falcon, you have an excellent point and I rarely argue for more distance in what you assume a horse can do. People watch the LotR movie or similar and assume that a horse can travel at a gallop for hours at a time for days on end. Yikes. No. Yes, a horse can travel faster than most of us can walk, but they can NOT do that. Shadowfax was magical not a real horse!

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited June 24, 2008).]


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Elan
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quote:
“The average horse can travel 25 to 30 miles in one day. This will NOT be done at a run. Most of the distance will be covered in a trot, a gait that your rider will probably not enjoy. Endurance horses are trained to make 50, 75 even 100 mile trail rides in one day. However, this requires special diets and extensive training for horse and rider.”

from "Using Horses in Fiction"
http://fantasy.fictionfactor.com/articles/horses.html

Ultimate riding distance & speed:
http://www.ultimatehorsesite.com/info/farandfast.html

quote:

• 1808: The Marquis of Huntley rode from Aberdeen, Scotland, to Inverness (105 miles) in seven hours on eight relays of horses. (Each horse averaged 15 mph for about 13 miles.)
• 1860's: The Pony Express averaged nine mph over 25 mile stages.
• 1880's, England: The Book of the Horse describes a good hunter as a horse which can ‘after a hard day which ends at dark, ten or fifteen miles from home . . . walk and shog (sic) for ten or twelve miles at about five mph
• 1886: Frank Hopkins (of Hidalgo movie fame) a military dispatch rider, rode a stallion named Joe 1800 miles from Galveston, Texas, to Rutland, Vermont, in 31 days (average 58 miles/day). Joe finished in excellent condition, after traveling no more than 10 hours/day.
• 1892: Prussian and Austro-Hungarian soldiers raced from Berlin to Vienna. The winner rode 350 miles in 72 hours. The horse died, as did 25 others out of 199 who started.
• 1920: The first U.S. Cavalry Mounted Service Cup race averaged 60 miles/day for five days, carrying up to 245 lb. of rider and gear.
• 1988, extreme terrain, regular Western saddle: A stable owner rode 100 miles through the San Juan Mountains in Western Colorado, crossing several 12,000+ ft. passes, in 17 hours, 20 minutes.
• Modern Endurance Rides: The 100-mile rides are run by the same horse and rider in under 24 hours-- but there are usually 8 vet checks, where the horse is required to rest for 30 minutes, as well as pass a health check. That's 4 hours spent resting; also, the rider may get off and jog with their horse partway. These horses are also in top condition, and must pass many vet exams.
• Today, in the Middle East, 26 mile marathons are won in just over an hour.
• One horse and rider, during the Cross-Country day of the modern Three-Day Event, might achieve something like this: Two miles of 'roads and tracks' at 10 mph (brisk trot and canter); 2.5 mile steeplechase over 10 jumps at almost 26 mph (full gallop); 10 more miles of roads and tracks at 9 mph; 10 minute rest; 4.5-5 miles over 30 or more large and challenging fixed obstacles in natural rolling terrain at about 21 mph (gallop); and be fit enough to show-jump the next day. In other words, around 20 miles in less than two hours, with major jumping efforts involved.


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kings_falcon
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Aha! Elan found the other link I was looking for.

Now Frank Hopkins and Joe are a great example of well trained and conditioned rider and horse making an amazing journey.

Can do you 100 miles in a day on horseback? Sure with the right breed as JeanneT points out.

Can you do 100 miles a day every day for 4 days with the same horse? Probably not.

Can you do 100 miles per day every day for 4 days trading out mounts? Possibly, but it's going to take a HUGE physcial toll on you. I would think 60 miles per day is probably a more realistic number.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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I would't be surprised if four days straight of riding, heavy or not (how many miles is heavy?), would be hard on anyone who hadn't done much riding before--one day would be enough to make a new rider want to think twice before getting on a horse the second day. (Last time I rode a horse, I only rode for about an hour, and the horse walked instead of trotting. I was plenty stiff enough the next day.)
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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By the way, I rode a camel partway up Mount Sinai this past Christmas season, and then walked the rest of the way up (because a camel can't go up rock steps). I walked all the way down, though. Wasn't stiff, though I probably should have been.
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goatboy
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Camels can't do steps? I would have never guessed. Do you know why they can't do steps? Legs, feet?
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JeanneT
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Truthfully, I suspect that even a fairly frequent rider would feel it pretty severely after four days in the saddle. I used to ride several days a week but never did that kind of riding. Let's face it, few people do these days.

But people used to do that kind of thing regularly. We forget how much people rode. An easy example is a trail drive when they spent weeks in the saddle day after day. People rode across country fairly often. So I think finding people who were used to extended rides would be common. Incidentally during the middle ages women did not ride side saddle, myth to the contrary. They sometimes rode postillion, but side saddles wheren't even known in most of Europe until the 15th century and most women weren't eager to adopt them for good reason.


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debhoag
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Goats do steps really, really, well. Camels have too wide a wheel-base. Hoof base?

[This message has been edited by debhoag (edited June 24, 2008).]


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