racingfool4747 asked in PetsHorses · 1 decade ago

Reasonable distance traveled on horseback?

I am wondering what is a reasonable pratical distance traveled while going on horseback? Peferably I would like a mph and what that would look like, (walk, jog, run, ect) and an average distance traveled per day.

Additional information that would be useful is how often it would be nessisary to stop a rest the horse. Would this kind of traveling cause soreness in even very expirenced riders. Last but not least, what would be the most possilbe differnence.


This would be under optimal condiditon, well trained horse and rider in the best of condiditons.

Update 2:

I apologise for any confusion, you must understand, I am a complete novice and am tring to research the topic.

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    You really have to give a more specific example. Do you want one day only or day after day of travel.

    Horses can cover 100 miles in a day. They do in competition endurance rides.

    However, most horses would be killed by this as they are not conditioned for it.

    For a normal horse, day in and day out travel then a gaited horse can go 5 to 7 miles per hour for several hours. Some go up to 10. They can travel 20 to 30 miles a day for days. If conditioned well they can cover 40 to 50 miles a day for 4 or 5 days. After this they will probably need to rest and feed up for several days.

    Source(s): I ride 300 to 500 miles of trail per year. I seldom go on rides shorter than 10 miles and seldom have a horse that is anything less than rearing to go at the end of the trail.
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  • lj
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I don't know about mph, but horses in the wild go an average of 25 miles every day. Domesticated horses could very well go that far, as long as they are sound, healthy and fit.

    I believe the average walk is 3-5 mph, depending on the horse, the trot is about 6 mph, and I don't know the lope/canter or gallop.

    To stop and rest a horse could be taking off all the tack, putting on a halter/lead rope (It's helpful to leave the halter on under the bridle, and carry a leadrope in a saddle bag.) and tie the horse to something safe. If you haven't been riding for long and just want to give the horse a short break, you can just dismount and lead the horse for a little while.

    Good luck!

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  • I disagree with the prior answers..... I jog a 12 min. mile and that is slow! My horse can jog can jog at least a 10 min mile without pushing him, so that is 6 -7 mph. 3-4 is awfully slow.

    Back when travel by horseback was the common method of transportation, 20 mile per day was average. If you note, most towns along the old highways are 18-20 miles apart. That's because towns were established the distance one could travel by horseback. (This doesn't apply to So. Cal or other areas where the cities have filled in all the space! :) )

    Anyhow, I have riddin 27 miles in one day and that was an easy going trail ride with plenty of stops for water and lunch. My horse handled it fine but by the end of the day other mounts were pretty thrashed, some even coliced (sp? past tense of colic? ) So conditioning is important.

    Endurance riders go from 25 to 100 miles. The longer rides go over more than one day with an average of 50 miles per day.

    You can get more info. on distance and endurance riding at this web site.

    Anyway, back to your question. If you walk/trot a horse you can travel from 6 - 10 mph, stopping about every 2 hours for a 10 min break to rest, water, and taking a 45 min. break in the middle of the ride. You can travel from 20 - 30 miles depending on you and your horse's level of fitness. Will you be sore? That depends on you. When you rest your horse, get off and stretch, walk a little, and sometimes walk your horse for 10-15 min. to stretch your legs. You can ride 30 miles and not be sore if you are fit.

    Have fun!

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  • 1 decade ago

    When I condition a horse to be ready for any normal use I start with a ten minute ride once or twice a day for up to a week. The first week is generally kept to a walk and slow trot occasionally, needing no break to rest.

    The second week I start adding about ten minutes and running a little every other day as long as there are no abnormalities with the horse's health, such as off feed, any sign of lameness or stress. As you add exercise you will have to increase feed rations porportional to the individual horse depending on it's condition when you start the exercise program.

    The fourth week you should have no problem going 6-8 miles in 2 hours with one, maybe two, short (1/4 mile) fast run to develop lung capacity and a five minute break near the halfway point.

    After the first time it's shoes need replaced or reset (6-8 weeks) the horse should be able to do ten miles in 1 1/2 hours easily with a five minute break half way through. That's occasionally running the horse at a controlled gallop changing speed a few times but not full out very much. When the horse starts to breath a bit heavily walk it til it's back to normal breathing before stopping for a break. I always walk the horse the last five minutes of an exercise session.

    You can exercise a horse in shape about 8-10 miles in a bit over an hour 3 or 4 times a week and keep it in shape to go thirty miles in an 8 hour day without any danger of hurting it as long as it's not anything extreme, like a race, heavy load, or such.

    If you want to compete with the horse count on at least six months of conditioning before you compete at maximum effort. A competition horse needs a lot more exercise and attention but should have 2 days a week off for mental as well as physical health.

    I hope this is helpful I'm not real sure exactly what the question was :-)

    this program has worked for me for a long time on all sizes and breeds with just small variations for individuals. The exercise program has to fit the individual, they will all be a bit different, some can progress a lot faster than others. The most important part is not to rush anything and pay close attention to any changes in their health. If they start a session tired don't push them, back off the progressions and give the animal time to adjust.

    Most possible distance would depend entirely on the individuals, (my guess) 20 miles to over 100 miles a day for both rider and horse.

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  • 5 years ago

    Traveling at 3 mph for 4-5 hours is 12-15 miles per day; that's easy riding for both horse and rider. For a "long ride" doing that for 5 days a week and resting 2 days equals 60-75 miles a week, or about 250 miles a month. A 1,000 ride would take 4 months. Cattle drives and wagon trains traveled about 12 miles per day and a pony express horse was ridden about 15 miles a day (with the rider continuing).

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  • 1 decade ago

    The distance would depend on the condition of your horse and what kind of ground you will be riding on. Even in endurance riding even the most experienced and best conditioned horses are often pulled from a long distance ride due to the toll that it is taking on the horse mainly so I having said that, I don't think that anyone can tell you exactly how far you and your horse can go without taking everything into consideration. A rock in a hoof can cause the horse to become lame even after a very short distance due to the sole of the hoof becoming bruised. Good luck on your ride!

    Source(s): A lady who has had many years experience with horses.
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I'm not certain of the point of your question or even what your question is. Normally a horse will travel, at a brisk walk/trot approximately 4 MPH, give or take the horse's stride. Cantering, of course, is going to raise that number considerably. 25 to 30 miles can be done in a days time with regular rest intervals. On the other hand, if you are in an endurance competition, where you have to stop at regular intervals to have your horse examined and approved, you aren't going to cover as much ground.

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  • 1 decade ago

    well first you have to train the horse for years to build up endurance. but a average hrose only being riden a few times a week could probably go 4-5 miles before getting exausted. Now if you are riding the horse and average of 5-10 miles a day for around 2 years you can go 25-50 miles probably in a day. I can make 15 mile rides on my arabian in 3 hours. But granted he is a trained endurance horse. On my Tennessee Walkers i can make a 15 mile ride in 2-3 hours dependign on the terrain and how long the hrose will stay in the running walk.

    if you are riding a arabian they can go a very long time without water since they where originally desert breed. A TB or QH can probably do a 15 mile ride without water but if you are outof shape you will probably want to walk some along the horse becasue you will get sore.

    hope i answered your question.

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  • 1 decade ago


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  • 1 decade ago

    I have done endurance which involves knowing each of the things you have asked above.

    *my horse traveled at 19mph

    *This was a very fast extended trot

    *We did 50k in a day but that wasnt going all day, horses needed to be stopped to be sponged down, rehydrated and have their heartrate taken at regular intervals.

    I dont know how far you could go. As far as your horse would take you i suppose, after all they are animals and not machines.

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