If you’re going on a trail ride with your trusty steed, you might be wondering how much ground your horse can cover safely in a day. Generally, a typical horse can travel between 20 to 30 miles a day. However, some horses can cover more distance depending on these factors below:
As a rider, you should know the rate at which your horse is capable of running, walking, or galloping—that’s exactly the meaning of pace. While some horses are flexible enough to cover the pace that is set for the ride, yours might not be comfortable walking or running for long straight hours. Lack of understanding of how pace affects your riding buddy is detrimental to his overall health. Just keep the pace relaxed and slow as much as possible.
In very humid and hot weather, your horse may lose a tremendous amount of electrolytes in his body through sweat. During a ride, it’s important for horses to stay hydrated; otherwise, they will suffer serious health consequences. Make frequent stops throughout the ride and offer your horse something to drink or bite along the way.
Footing and Terrain
For your horse, nothing is more relaxing than traveling in an even ground—but that’s not always the case in trail riding. The terrain he will be navigating could be muddy, rocky, sandy or steep which adds loads of physical stress on your horse. If the terrain is either of these topographical conditions, you need to lessen the distance you travel and slow your pace to give his legs some rest and time to regain strength.
Overall Fitness & Health
In trail riding, a more fit horse can cover more distance than an unhealthy one—and it’s not surprising at all. Older horses may have weaker joints and a touch of arthritis—limiting their pace and overall ability to endure a long trail-riding adventure. Meanwhile, younger trail horses can be effective even in intense rides—but be sure not to overdo the ride. Your horse is more likely to stumble and get injured if you push him to his limits. Always think about your horse’s overall fitness and health in any activity that involves him.
Your horse can cover more or less than the average distance he can travel depending on the pace, weather conditions, terrain, and his overall health. Without considering these factors, your entire trail riding journey can be risky.