How Many Miles Can A Horse Run?

You have seen movies where horses just seem to run forever, through the desert, no water, no feed, no hay and have probably wondered how far can these horses run before they have to stop and rest. We have always thought the same. We have pushed our horses when training, lunging, racing, but not to the point of pure exhaustion. They get coddled with water, a cold bath, hay, and when they have cooled down some feed.

horse galloping

So how many miles can a horse run? A horse that is in pretty good shape can gallop for 1 to 1.5 miles with relative ease. However, at 2 to 2.5 miles this horse will probably start to feel pretty fatigued. There are a lot of variables like Arabians and Thoroughs can go longer when in shape. 

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How Long Can You Ride A Horse At Full Gallop?

Gallop and run are one in the same. On average 1 to 1.5 miles a well trained horse can maintain a full gallop as shown in the Kentuck Derby and all thoroughbred horse races. Arabians can also do this for 1 to 1.5 miles and both around 2 to 2.5 will start to feel the fatigue.

There is a big difference in carrying a person versus a horse running by itself. That extra 100 to 200 lbs can take a toll. That like a person carrying 10lb dumbells in each arm while they run.

A lot of this as discussed comes down to two things

  1. Breed of horse
  2. How in shape the horse is

The lighter horses like the Arabians and Thoroughbreds can maintain a gallop longer than say a draft or quarter horse. Drafts and Quarter horses are much stockier can do shorter distance with ease where thoroughbreds have a much longer stride.

Most all horses can cover a great amount of ground just not at a galloping speed that would need to be more at a trot. Just like with a person if someone is a sprinter and they are only running 100-400 meters that same person at that same speed isn’t going to fare well at 4,000 meters.

Same goes for a horse where if they are galloping at 3 miles they are going to be pretty exhausted at a galloping rate but keep them at a trot pace and they can go around 15 miles with much less effort.

How Far Can A Horse Run In A Day?

A horse can travel at a decent pace like a trot or canter at about 20 miles a day. Probably by the 3rd or 4th day of doing this even with adequate rest they will still be pretty exhausted.


Related Questions:


How Far Can The Average Horse Trot?

The average horse can trot 20 miles a day safely.

This is, of course, dependent on a lot of variables which include:

  • Weather – cooler weather 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit would be good
  • Adequate water – water stops along the way to have them stay hydrated
  • Food – hay or grass to graze would be optimal
  • Rider – how heavy is rider? the lighter the better
  • Hills vs Flat ground – flatter best, up and down will fatigue a horse quicker

How Long Can A Horse Run Before It Dies?

A horse should never be pushed to the brink of complete exhaustion and close to death so please never do this. Get to know your horse and know their limits. Having said that some horses can travel 24-72 hours straight before being thoroughly exhausted and dying.

It all comes down to the proper nutrition, shape and most importantly pace you are pusing the horse. A perfect pace is usually a trot but switch it down to a walk. Cycling back and forth will help the horse catch its breath as will taking breaks.

How Far Can A Horse Drawn Wagon Travel In A Day?

Again a lot of variables here. But lets say the travel is optimal with trail settings being mostly flat and weather 40-50 F. This would still leave a horse traveling on average around 10-20 miles a day.

Mail Carriers back in the day changes horses frequently during their cross country travels things they don’t really mention in the history books. They used to also have a horse tied up to switch out with as well.

How Far Can A Mule Travel In One Day?

With so many variables again hard to answer, but it is safe to say a mule can travel just as far as a horse since it does come down to the pace. So the average mule can go 20-30 miles a day.

How Long Would It Take To Ride A Horse 1000 Miles?

Having one single horse travel 1,000 miles first off is not recommended at all. Mail carriers changed their horses all the time when going across the country. Having said that with 20 miles a day average it would take approximately 50 days.

You could push it to 30 miles a day which would be just under 34 days but that would be pushing it to the extreme.

How Long Would It Take A horse To Travel 20 Miles?

A horse that is in good shape can travel 20 miles a day with relative ease at a trot to canter pace. I wouldn’t suggesst doing this too many days in a row as the horse will get fatigued. Think like when we have a leg workout day and need some days to recover. Eventually a horse will need to recover.

Keep them hydrated more then anything before you take the trip and after the trip. Hay and grass first wait until they cool down to give them any grain or pellets.


As you can see horses do have the stamina to go long distances. Don’t do like they show in the movies as it is ridiculous and doesn’t tell the whole story. Horses get fatigued and need rest along with proper nutrition.

You can surprass their limits and they won’t be able to recover and may die. That is why it is suggested to build horses up with training and lunging. They do recover pretty quickly and can get in shape much faster then humans.


I have owned over 50 horses and currently own a small horse farm with 8 horses. I have competed on and off for over 25 years while doing mostly trail riding and cow sorting these days. I write these articles to help anyone out there if you love this article pin it to your Pinterest or Share on other social media platform. Thanks for visiting.

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