Monday, 10 March 2014

Going for a Trot

My current Work-In-Progress (WIP) is a Regency Romance.  So naturally, there are a few horses about, especially as my characters do a bit of travelling.
Going for a trot is much better than having the trots.

So, how long did it take our travellers to go from one place to another via horseback or carriage?  Many factors come into play: the condition of the roads, the condition of the horse, the pace or gait of the horse, the distance, the weight pulled, etc.

If an experienced rider is on the back of a conditioned horse, going at a sustainable trot, he could make about twelve-sixteen kilometers in an hour.  My Hero needs to go a distance of about twenty kilometers one morning. A trip that would take just under two hours (factoring in increasing fatigue for both horse and rider which will slow the pace somewhat towards the end).

Coming back, he rides in a carriage drawn by two horses with a few other passengers. The average speed of a horse-drawn carriage is about 8-10 kilometers an hour.  That same distance would be a good three-and-a-half hours thereabouts, depending on road conditions and other factors, like toilet breaks for the passengers.

In the 21st Century, with our highly-engineered cars, our paved highways and other conveniences, sometimes we forget just how difficult travel used to be.  Today, that same distance my hero traveled two hundred years ago would take only 33 minutes "at current traffic rates" (midnight in London), if Google Maps is to be believed.  Also, his backside would be in much nicer condition, having reclined on some nice, heated leather seats, as opposed to being punished on the saddle of a trotting horse.

Have you traveled a great distance via horse or horse'n'carriage?

Her Grace does not miss the days of inconvenient travel. That said, there is not much more comfort squeezing into the teeny-tiny seats of a budget airline.

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