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Horse Question
Old 10-15-2014, 11:19 AM   #1
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Horse Question

Another question for my book. After an EMP-like event, someone needs to go forty miles from a small town in Maine to the Portland airport for a medical evacuation.

It will be an 81-year-old tough woman, and her 55-year-old son. The son has had a crush injury and needs to get to a working dialysis machine. His health is failing.

The plan is to have them both on the back of a clydesdale horse. The mom will be in the saddle, and the son holding on (or even strapped on at the end).

Is it feasible for them to ride the forty miles to the airport? Perhaps in two days.

If not, how far might they be able to go?


Thanks,

Al

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Old 10-15-2014, 11:34 AM   #2
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I think this link has some info on your question.

"QUESTION: How far can a horse travel in a day? Are there some guidelines to use when writing fiction?"

Horses: An Informational Site

"Mounted knights-- all on well-conditioned destriers or palfreys -- would move fairly fast and cover upwards of 50 or 60 miles per day. However, traveling 20 to 30 miles a day would be considered a good day's journey."
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Old 10-15-2014, 03:06 PM   #3
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The son would have to be tough to stand the pain of riding with a crush injury - but maybe there are some extra pain meds around that can be administered? Or he can be unconscious.

Can the riding exacerbate the crush injury? You could shorten the distance and put the injured on a travois pulled by the rider as his health deteriorates.

Clydesdale is a good choice. Strong, big horse. Smooth gait. Good stamina if conditioned. But not as fast as some other breeds.
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Old 10-15-2014, 03:36 PM   #4
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I wonder how an 81 YO woman is going to get a 55 YO man with what we have to assume is a severe injury, up onto a Clydesdale, and keep him there.

Do Clydesdales have a fast ambling? I don't think they were ever considered Palfreys in merry old England, were they? I think I'd rather be on a good ambler. If that Clydesdale has to trot to make the trip, isn't he going to be pulverized?

IIRC, there are horse breeds that can do a reasonably fast amble, and keep it up all day long. Others can't, and need to trot as their distance best. And trotting means a diagonal gait, which is punishing over the long haul (and even quicker if severely injured, I would assume).

Need someone with more horse-sense than me
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Old 10-15-2014, 03:48 PM   #5
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They can't use a car because of the emp-like event but something will be able to fly them out of the portland airport? Maybe the horse should be a Pegasus instead of a Clydesdale?
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Old 10-15-2014, 04:16 PM   #6
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Actually let them use a model T which would not be affected by an emp, having only a magneto to run the ignition. Might have to crank the car to start. (Actully some Ts did have starters, but no electronics. Could use essentially any 1960s or earlier car for this.

Or if they have a horse do they have cart? With draft horses you would likley have a waggon or cart. In fact you could do like the guy on the Viagra commercial and hitch the horses to a modern pickup and have them pull the truck. (if on paved roads)
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Old 10-15-2014, 04:21 PM   #7
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Old diesel trucks up to maybe the early 1990s were without electronics to run the engine. Just basic electrical.
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Old 10-16-2014, 01:22 PM   #8
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Thanks. Good point about the mobility. He got pinned under a tractor wheel. Because of muscle damage he needs dialysis, which is his main problem right now. I'll make it clear that it's hard to get him up onto the horse. The EMP-like event is much more disruptive than your normal EMP, but it only extends to Nevada, so authorities are sending planes from California to evacuate patients. They just have to get to the airport.

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Old 10-19-2014, 10:44 AM   #9
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I agree that draft horses are very rarely ridden, if you have the draft, you'd have a cart. That would be more likely. Change the horse to something more commonly ridden, like a Quarter Horse, or give them a cart.

*competitive horse rider in my youth.


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Old 10-19-2014, 11:38 AM   #10
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Aren't you a biker? Couldn't a bicycle pull a travois 20 miles a day? Would be much easier to put someone injured in a travois that is lower to the ground like a bike rather than a horse.
Unless a horse is trained to pull a cart/travois you can get a lot of bucking and kicking. When I was younger, we decided to hook a cart to one of our Quarter horses. It had metal wheels and was fine on the grass but as soon as we hit the stones in the driveway the racket the wheels made, lead to kicking the cart to bits! Then there's also the water and feeding of the animal.
Since you are talking a 2 day trip, is granny bring camping equipment or are they staying in hotel/motel/friends. This would also play into what type of transportation gets them there.
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Old 10-19-2014, 11:52 AM   #11
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I would think that if a Clydesdale was available, there would probably also be a Budweiser wagon that you could use to transport the son.
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Old 10-19-2014, 12:32 PM   #12
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I would think that if a Clydesdale was available, there would probably also be a Budweiser wagon that you could use to transport the son.
LOL
I'm not a beer drinker but could you take away the son's pain by having him drink beer...........guess not a good idea with damaged kidneys. You'd also need more than 1 Clydesdale to pull the wagon.
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Old 10-19-2014, 12:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meierlde View Post
Actually let them use a model T which would not be affected by an emp, having only a magneto to run the ignition...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Telly View Post
Old diesel trucks up to maybe the early 1990s were without electronics to run the engine. Just basic electrical...
+1

Also old motorcycles. How about the "81-year-old tough woman" driving her son in a sidecar?

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