Category Archives: General Horse Stuff

Carriage Driving

Dr. Ellen Schmidt of Scotland e-mailed me to tell me about her site: http://www.discover-horse-carriage-driving.com and it is just loaded with neat pictures and information!  I think what I like best (well, best so far: I’ve hardly had time to scratch the surface) is the picture of the jolly pair of cute little Fjord horses pulling the cart in Germany. Check out Dr. Schmidt’s Wild Troika Games page for a neat picture and an explanation of how the troika works. My own barn was sponsoring some lessons back in the fall courtesy of Bob (Bob works there) and Cookie the Awesome Pony.  Since hands (the human ones) are so important in riding, I imagine that those same hands have a lot to do with carriage driving.  Can you feel the horse’s mouth from all the way back there in the seat of the cart?  I’d like to know more about that!

 

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MPH

I got recruited to play Oregon Trail on FaceBook (I gotta quit hunting or I’ll use up all of the group’s ammo – I got a buffalo but that was beginner’s luck) and I’ve been thinking about how the land looks for people who need to go on a trip but who do not have a Rand-McNally Road Atlas, GPS, or an overall conception of how the earth looks from space. Then I unearthed my 1996 souvenir copy of the English translation of the Medieval Mappa Mundi. This classic  T and O map of the world, ringed about with angels and God and Jesus, makes me think of how people look at the world and at their own piece of landscape, and what our enlightened view should do for our brains  vis a vis us and the world – but often does not. So anyway, how far can horses travel in a day?  I’m sure it depends on the ground and on the day, but if one was estimating how far it would take to get from Specific Point A to Specific Point B, how would one do such a thing?  For example; assuming that one could work with the pre-industrial landscape of Central Ohio, how long did it take to get from Unionville Center, Ohio to Lithopolis, Ohio? It’s about 44 miles and in our current age, this is considered a doable daily commute.  But what about Back When? The proposed terrain is flat, the old routes and highways are probably the same ones that existed 150 years ago in the era of farms, the rivers and streams haven’t moved all that much, and in the late spring, as long as one wasn’t in a hurry, it might even have been a pleasant trip and would have given one time to think about life and such as one sauntered along. Is there a formula or a figure for MPH for horses?

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