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Horse Sense: 3. How Much Weight Can a Horse carry?

Ideally, an average-sized man and his saddle. In other words, a 140-190 lb man and his 30-40 lb saddle are plenty. Tie on a coat and canteen, maybe a weapon, and you have got a full load. If you throw in 70 pounds of armor and a lance - well, you need a bigger horse.



Saddle bags can be used, yes. However, no prudent man loads up his riding saddle with provisions for a week on the trail. If he stuffs his saddle bags with 50 or so pounds of extra weight, plus his bedroll, he will risk soring up his horse's back, both by putting too much weight behind the cantle and seat, (where the saddle is not really designed to carry such weight,) and also by that same weight bruising the horse's kidneys. In olden days, if a man was going to be riding a long ways, with no stops for meals, lodging, etc., he would bring a pack animal, as well. Thus he could pack along his bedroll, (often meaning a canvas tarp and at least two blankets or quilts,) plus extra clothing, rain gear, food for several days, cooking pots and utinsels, knife and fork, plate, cup, fire-starter of some sort, some string and/or rope, picket rope(s) and picket pin(s), and his few toiletries. For prolonged trips with few towns, he would also be wise to bring along a set of 4 pre-shaped horse shoes for his mount, plus nails, hammer, rasp and nippers, in case ol' Dobbin throws a shoe in the middle of nowhere. Imagine all that "stuff" in a pile - gets kind of huge, doesn't it? Plus, if you've ever tried to swing a leg over a saddle with too much junk tied on behind, you would know what a darned pain in the rear that really is.


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In Playlists

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Last Update: 30 Dec 09
Stories: 4
Type: Reader List
Created By: Elena Tiriel


Non-fiction works about topics useful to writers.

Why This Story?

Helpful information about horses and ponies.

 

Story Information

Author: ErinRua

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: Other

Genre: Research Article

Rating: General

Last Updated: 12/17/02

Original Post: 09/24/02

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