General Question

GeorgeGee's avatar

How far could you reasonably plan to travel in a day on a horse?

Asked by GeorgeGee (4925points) October 18th, 2010

Or in a horse-drawn buggy? On a daily basis, and without killing the horse, of course. Let’s suppose you wanted to commute to work on a horse in order to be ecologically sound. Is 20 miles each way too far?

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8 Answers

FutureMemory's avatar

About 5 miles.

Coloma's avatar

It would depend, like anyone or anything on the physical condition of the horse.

A couch potao person is not going to be able to run a marathon withour risk of serious health issues and neither is a horse.

I rode trail and light endurence some years ago and my horse could go 10 miles mostly in uphill mountain terrain in about 4 hours.

A fat out of shape horse would have come up lame or been so sore it couldn’t have been ridden again for several weeks.

Top endurance horses can cover rough terrain in 100 mile endurance races in 24 hours or less and be in prime shape at the vet check markers.

It is all about conditioning.

Coloma's avatar

And, of course time!

If you have the time to ‘commute’ by horse. lol

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Me? Travel reasonably on a horse? That’s unreasonable on its face. I would travel back to wherever I got onto the thing (assuming we’re not talking some kind of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome thing here, and I had a choice in the matter). Then I would get in my car and drive away.

Seven miles in a buggy, tops. And that might call for two horses, so that I could pick up one and leave the other one in livery for the next day’s trip. On a saddle horse, a mile or two, maybe. I guess it depends on whether you want me to do something after I make this “commute”. Riding horseback is not conducive to my ability to do anything meaningful after I get off the thing. Or fall off, or get thrown, or slide off the side because the cinch wasn’t tight—which happened once.

Coloma's avatar


Lol…yep, and starting to horse commute as a greenhorn would leave the employee unable to walk for at least the first week. haha

risingonashes's avatar

The recommended distance with ample food, water, and rest would be 100 miles in a 24 hours.

marinelife's avatar

“There is a large discrepancy on how far a horse can travel in one day. This depends on the type of horse, what it is carrying, and how it is cared for. Your average, well kept, riding horse can travel twenty to thirty
miles per day. Horses trained and conditioned for long distances can travel up to fifty or sixty miles per day. Mounted knights, rangers, and messengers would be in the latter group.

Distance traveled will also depend on the condition of the roads, the weather, and access to food and water. Horses cannot gallop for twenty miles and then be tied up under a tree for the night. Overworked horses must be walked for a while to cool down and rubbed down before resting.”


downtide's avatar

It depends on the fitness of the horse. In past times when horses were the main form of transport, 20 miles and more a day would not be unreasonable, because the horses were working at that job day in, day out; they were fit and accustomed to it. But I would not expect a modern horse to be able to do it, unless it was already a working or competing horse. One that regularly does three-day-eventing would be able to do it but an average hack that’s used to getting only a couple of miles exercise a day wouldn’t.

Having said that, my fat little pony when I was a kid would regularly carry me 10 miles in an afternoon. But she wasn’t pulling a buggy, she was just carrying scrawny little me.

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