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Old 02-02-2007, 12:41 PM  
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How far can a horse go in a day?

Someone else just asked how much a horse can pull and it reminded me of a question I've been wanting to ask.

My husband is a huge History Channel and Military Channel fan. Those 2 channels are on all the time at our house. Many times when he's watching a show about the old west or maybe about a military operation during the revolutionary war or civil war there will be horses in the pictures or in the re-enacted scenes.

A couple times he's heard something about cowboys or soldiers traveling X amount of distance in X amount of time. Then he'll ask me "how far can you ride a horse in a day?"

He's not a horse person at all. Since I am, he just assumes I should know that, but I don't really have any idea.

How far can you ride a horse in a day? I'm talking an in-shape conditioned horse, like they would have had in the old west days. Maybe some of you endurance riders could give me some insight, so the next time he asks me, I can give him an answer.

Don't ask me why he continues to ask this question... you'd think that after I said "I don't know" the first time, he would have figured I just didn't know But, for some reason he must be curious about this because he asks me every so often.

Thanks!
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Old 02-02-2007, 12:44 PM  
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Alot depends on the horse, if it's in shape, the breed, ect.

Just for example, my parents raise Missouri Fox trotters, they are made to cover ground for long distances and do it while being a smooth ride. My dad has ridden his mare for over 30 miles in one day...
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Old 02-02-2007, 12:47 PM  
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I assume they had QH and horses like that back in the old west. I know QH are short distance animals. So I wonder the same question.
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Old 02-02-2007, 01:04 PM  
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I know we've taken our miniature horses on driving treks up to 14 miles/day with 3 people in the cart and the only thing we have to watch out for is them wearing their feet down too far on the blacktop.
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Old 02-02-2007, 01:09 PM  
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I think the horses the military bred and rode were mixed with throughbred x whatever? Anyway when I was doing competive trail it was nothing to do 40 miles a day. I was never so fit as I was then! Horse and rider were in top condition. We rode 5 days a week and she got the best feed and looked like a million bucks.
And it depends on the speed your horse picks to travel. My horse was a walk trot canter sort of girl (she picked her pace) and my girlfriends gelding was a none stop trot guy. I guess some people could do more but that was a lot of conditioning and it was all we wanted to do.
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Old 02-02-2007, 01:30 PM  
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Endurance racers frequently cover 100 miles in 24 hours. I have seen 100 mile endurance rides completed in less than 12 hours. The maximum distance for a one day on competitive trail rides is usually about 40 miles. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:49 PM  
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I was going to say I think the Tevis Cup is 100 miles in one day. The most I've ridden was 42 miles. If you plan on riding that far never wear a brand new pair of Levis.
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:53 PM  
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Yeah, a lot depends on the horses. Sparky's Arabs can probably do 50 miles when they're in shape, tough to get a QH much over 30 or 35. The Pony Express stations were 10, sometimes 15 miles apart, but they ran their horses.

Wildcat's Arabs could maybe do 2 miles if you got them drunk and gave them enough rest stops.

My Casper would stand at the starting line, watch all those scrufty Arabs with their silly running walk disappear rapidly into the fog, then shake his head, turn around in disgust, and head for the barn...
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Old 02-02-2007, 05:29 PM  
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Well our Impressive daughter made 630 miles in one day.
She was in a trailer that day but still.
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Old 02-02-2007, 05:39 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToveroMom
Well our Impressive daughter made 630 miles in one day.
She was in a trailer that day but still.
Those darn Impresssive horses can do it all - ain't fair to the rest of us...
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:23 PM  
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I covered 170 miles in the apalachin Mts in 3 days on my QH.

ah, those were the days.
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:34 PM  
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I would think with the rough way of life , and all the gear those horses had to carry, and those darn, hard saddles, that I would say 25-30 miles would have been tops, even if the horses were'nt exhausted, I bet those guys had to rest after going that far, to doctor the callouses on their hineys....
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Old 02-03-2007, 12:32 PM  
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We have Pasos and in the summer it's not uncommon for us to go 50+ km during the day. For the record, we don't ride that way all the time but 3 or 4 times we all get together and leave around 5 am and go were ever the wind takes us. We come home anywhere between 6-8 pm.
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Old 02-03-2007, 12:34 PM  
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It really does depend on the horse, the Icelandics can literally go all day! ( I can't however, so our longest ride was 40-50 miles in a day )
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:38 AM  
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Cool. Great information. I'm impressed with the distances some of you have ridden in a day. I have no idea what my longest ride would have been... maybe 15 miles. But, I knew that wasn't a lot.

I told my husband what you all had to say and he says "Thanks, That's something I always wanted to know."

Our other hobby is motorcycling. For me, a nice leisurely all day ride on a cruiser would be like 300 miles. I've done some 400 mile days, but was always hurting pretty bad. My husband rides a dresser so he can do 400 in comfort, he doesn't start hurting til 500.

Before we met, horses were my thing and motorcycles were his thing. 12 years ago when we got together I jumped right in and got involved in his hobby. I got my license, got a Harley, rode miles and miles with him. Hmmm.... I've yet to get him on a horse.... doesn't seem quite right, does it?
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