Category Archives: Horses

History for the fantasy buff: travel distance for horses, part 4

I think this will be the final installment of my series on horse travel, and it’s about the care of the horse on the road. Horses are among the small number of mammals that cool themselves by sweating. As such, … Continue reading

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History for the fantasy buff: travel distance for horses, part 3

Continuing my series about travel distance for horses, here are a few more details regarding long-distance travel on horseback (or by horse-drawn conveyance). What is the best gait for long-distance travel? A solid working trot. While this is not the … Continue reading

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History for the fantasy buff: travel distance for horses, part 2

Last week I talked about how far a horse could go at a high rate of speed before becoming exhausted and requiring a two-hour rest: 10 miles. So how far can a horse go in a full day? It depends … Continue reading

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History for the fantasy buff: travel distance for horses

One of the classic questions fantasy writers ask about horses is, how far can a horse travel in a day? The answer is complicated, and I hope to address it over several blog posts. The reason it’s complicated is that … Continue reading

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History for the fantasy buff: elephants, horses, and pigs

Ancient people engaged in a sort of arms race with war animals. An army on horseback was better than an army on foot, and then armies started showing up with camels or war elephants, both of which trumped horses, which, … Continue reading

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History for the fantasy buff: the palfrey

I mentioned in a previous post that in the Middle Ages, women riding sidesaddle were perched rather precariously, could not control their own horses (someone else would lead the horse), and could not ride bouncy gaits like the trot and … Continue reading

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History for the fantasy buff: Riding sidesaddle

Are you writing a fantasy novel with a strong heroine? Does she ride horses? Depending on the time period you’ve chosen and the details of your world, your heroine may be riding sidesaddle. So what exactly can a sidesaddle rider … Continue reading

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