How long can a horse pack its food? - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 4 Old 01-29-2010, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Northern Nevada
Posts: 1,714
• Horses: 1
How long can a horse pack its food?

Reading the "Pellets vs Hay" thread started me wondering about this. Say you're going on a multi-day pack trip with no grazing along the way, so you have to pack all the food for you and your horse. How many days can you go?

For comparison, as a human backpacker, and using freeze-dried & dehydrated foods (finding water along the way), I could pack for a week easily, maybe two at a stretch. If I had to carry my water, maybe three days max.
jamesqf is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 4 Old 01-29-2010, 09:21 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern Utah
Posts: 1,298
• Horses: 4
A pack horse can pack 100-150lbs. A horse will eat 15-20lbs a day.
If youa re packing feed on one horse and riding a second, That means you will feed 40 lbs a day. So a 100 lb pack will last 2.5 days.

In reality, you pack grain and let the horses fill up on what ever coarse feed they can find. The grain gives them calories, The slim pickens grass helps fill their gut. So you can get by with 50lbs of grain for 4-5 days. I've come off 5 day camp outs with my horse looking pretty gaunt around the flanks, but they've had plenty of energy for the trip.

You and I have to pack in our food. The horses will always be abe to find some thing to eat. Maybe not enough, but they will find some. Even today, my mares were picking through the snow while I was riding to get a mouthful of old dry grass.
Painted Horse is offline  
post #3 of 4 Old 01-30-2010, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Northern Nevada
Posts: 1,714
• Horses: 1
Originally Posted by Painted Horse View Post
A pack horse can pack 100-150lbs.
Let's see: Me, 200 lbs, plus clothes, boots, etc. Saddle 20 lbs. Also stuff in backpack or saddlebag. Poor Ellie

The horses will always be abe to find some thing to eat. Maybe not enough, but they will find some.
Maybe most places, but around here? Black Rock Desert - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Of course I'm thinking worst case, but a lot of the places I might go don't have a lot of vegetation. Even in the higher country, there are long stretches that're mostly pine trees & manzanita scrub growing in decomposed granite.
jamesqf is offline  
post #4 of 4 Old 01-30-2010, 09:53 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern Utah
Posts: 1,298
• Horses: 4
Horses can carry more LIVE than they can carry dead weight. You as a rider help to balance the load. A pack with dead weight doesn't help the horse balance as it leans. The same horse can carry 200lb rider, but only pack 100-150lbs of dead weight.

And I've riden in some pretty barren places. And the horses do loose weight, but they always find a little to eat. I normally don't grain my horses, but when I know the feed will be slim, I bring some grain along for energy.

Painted Horse is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Diet food for my horse? NyHorseGal Horse Health 10 11-09-2009 07:46 PM
Horse dribbling food... hotreddun Horse Health 6 03-24-2009 07:41 PM
What is the strangest food that your horse have been eaten? DutchHorse Horse Talk 39 11-26-2008 08:47 PM
Horse pushy for food.... melinda27858 Horse Talk 15 02-06-2008 10:17 PM
New Horse, Food Stubborn NJ02Z71 Horse Training 6 05-10-2007 03:16 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome