Warhorses

Feb 2019
584
Pennsylvania, US
#51
Sorry but this is incorrect. There are no ancient Tekes or modern descendants of the Teke anywhere. For all the hyperbole it is a strange looking extremely weak breed. They are not fast and have long backs that make them prone to back problems.
They do look like they'd have to be kept in a green house to survive... LOL! I do like their "gold" coat shine... but their large, wonky 'devil ears' scream 'arid climate only'.

The DNA research looking at the Y chromosomes from stallions seems to show that a lot of line breeding and inbreeding started happening 700 years ago... in 1319, roughly (after Genghis). The two main branches supposedly were Arabian and Turkoman.

Check it out, it's an interesting read --> Almost All Modern Horses Descended From A Few Oriental Stallions
 
Mar 2014
1,915
Lithuania
#52
1000 miles is almost the distance from Berlin to Moscow. 900 km is only 560 miles. That is a big difference. There were certainly armies that did cover 100s of miles or even 1000km in a campaign (though rarely full army did 1000km + in an invasion- during raids many times that was fairly common but in my opinion such raids are more like the 'quick march' that was more typical for infantry-based armies that featured light equipment but lacked siege train or much supplies)
1000 km is 621 miles, I know that one Lithuanian Grand Duke attacked Moscow 3 times. All those times he marched from Vilnius to Moscow, burned everything except Kremlin and marched back. So, in total he had to do something like 1200 miles in one campaign and repeated it 3 times in relatively short period of time. As I also mentioned Tatars were occasionally raiding deep into today's Belarus and Poland, distance from Crimea something like 1500 km, both ways 3000 km, so 1864 miles. These are rough distances, no one knows exact roads used in 13th century, but most likely they were longer than used today. Recently group of fans of ancient Lithuanian horses rode from Lithuania to Black Sea, something like 2000 km. They used Samogotian horses and were able to do 20-30 km a day while keeping horses in good condition. They supplemented a little grain, but mostly horses were eating grass. They could't do longer day marches because horses would start loose weight. Samogotians are ancient breed, small stocky horses famous for hardiness and stamina, so quite similar to Mongolians in many ways. They still look pretty same as in 12 century (we have plenty of horse skeletons from burials for comparison).




Big dudes on small horses look quite funny, strange that no one charged them with cruelty to animals. :D They had several remounts, but used them only if some of permanent horses had some problems.
 
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#53
Probably not the result of breed, and more the result of culture, training, and environment: In the Plains Indian Wars, Indian ponies were hardier and able to subsist on a leaner diet of prairie grass while army horses had to be fed grain. It effected logistics since the Indians could operate anywhere, but the army could venture out from their forts only as far as their grain supplies lasted. Army horses were faster in the short run, but Indian ponies had greater stamina and endurance. Custer once sent out a patrol that did not return. When Custer went looking for it he found its remains. Hoof prints told him the patrol had stumbled upon a large party of Indians. A chase had ensued. Initially, the army horses stayed ahead of the Indians, but as the army horses tired the soldiers started falling behind one by one. The bodies were strung out along many miles of prairie. There were no survivors.
This reminds me a bit of an episode during the Second Punic War, when a large group of Numidian cavalry chased down some Roman cavalry over five Roman miles (Livy 22.15):

'(Fabius) led his army back over the same heights, having previously sent L. Hostilius Mancinus forward with 400 cavalry to reconnoitre. This man was amongst the throng of young officers who had frequently listened to the fierce harangues of the Master of the Horse. At first he advanced cautiously, as a scouting party should do, to get a good view of the enemy from a safe position. But when he saw the Numidians roaming in all directions through the villages, and had even surprised and killed some of them, he thought of nothing but fighting, and completely forgot the Dictator's instructions, which were to go forward as far as he could safely and to retire before the enemy observed him. The Numidians, attacking and retreating in small bodies, drew him gradually almost up to their camp, his men and horses by this time thoroughly tired. Thereupon Carthalo, the general in command of the cavalry, charged at full speed, and before they came within range of their javelins put the enemy to flight and pursued them without slackening rein for nearly five miles. When Mancinus saw that there was no chance of the enemy giving up the pursuit, or of his escaping them, he rallied his men and faced the Numidians, though completely outnumbered and outmatched. He himself with the best of his riders was cut off, the rest resumed their wild flight and reached Cales and ultimately by different by-paths returned to the Dictator.'

One imagines that Numidian horses had great endurance. The hit-and-run tactics of Numidian cavalry were notorious throughout the ancient world, and Numidia itself was a huge expanse of highlands, mountains and grassland.
 
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Sep 2014
896
Texas
#54
They do look like they'd have to be kept in a green house to survive... LOL! I do like their "gold" coat shine... but their large, wonky 'devil ears' scream 'arid climate only'.

The DNA research looking at the Y chromosomes from stallions seems to show that a lot of line breeding and inbreeding started happening 700 years ago... in 1319, roughly (after Genghis). The two main branches supposedly were Arabian and Turkoman.

Check it out, it's an interesting read --> Almost All Modern Horses Descended From A Few Oriental Stallions
I have Dr. Cothran's DNA report on horses. The two lines are Teke and Marwari. The Teke is slightly older than the Marwari and there are no descendants of the Teke breed. The Marwari is the ancestor of the ARabian.
 
Sep 2014
896
Texas
#55
1551317546954.png Chris Hemsworth on an American Quarterhorse. Big man on a big horse.
1551317820878.png
The real soldiers on a breed of Mongolian pony called a Lokai. Not very big but tough as nails.
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,583
#57
1000 km is 621 miles, I know that one Lithuanian Grand Duke attacked Moscow 3 times. All those times he marched from Vilnius to Moscow, burned everything except Kremlin and marched back. So, in total he had to do something like 1200 miles in one campaign and repeated it 3 times in relatively short period of time. As I also mentioned Tatars were occasionally raiding deep into today's Belarus and Poland, distance from Crimea something like 1500 km, both ways 3000 km, so 1864 miles. These are rough distances, no one knows exact roads used in 13th century, but most likely they were longer than used today. Recently group of fans of ancient Lithuanian horses rode from Lithuania to Black Sea, something like 2000 km. They used Samogotian horses and were able to do 20-30 km a day while keeping horses in good condition. They supplemented a little grain, but mostly horses were eating grass. They could't do longer day marches because horses would start loose weight. Samogotians are ancient breed, small stocky horses famous for hardiness and stamina, so quite similar to Mongolians in many ways. They still look pretty same as in 12 century (we have plenty of horse skeletons from burials for comparison).
Sure, I agree it could happen sometimes but is comparatively rare for a full-scale invasion to cover such a distance. I am not sure on this type of expedition the Lithuanians did in this example but they were fully inheritors of steppe cavalry traditions and I would expect them to be the most able of the later cavalry armies to carry out such activities.

Raids of such a distance were much more common- not only in Crimea but the nomads raiding into China regularly did such distances but also were rarely able to move such a distance on anything other than a raid. Even the distances Caesar's legions marched in the Gaullish campaigns were around 800km in the busiest years if you follow the routes from the winter camps to the battle sites and back over 4-5 months but as you point out an invasion going over 1,000km one direction is often nearly twice that (if it is not occupation over the winter) as the return trip should be counted so long as it isn't a retreat.

20-30km per day for about 40 days is not bad by modern standards but also not pushing it hard and the time of year matters quite a bit for how lush the vegetation is- better time of year or better growing year and horses can get by with less grazing than other times.

Modern competitive distances are usually around 150km+ per day over only 2-3 days. More than that and most modern horses will be under some strain and the horses typically need 3+ days to recover before doing such a distance again. Operating during the right time of year on open grasslands where grazing is everywhere I think 60+km per day is sustainable even for modern conditions for long periods (some weeks duration) without putting well-conditioned horses into danger but rarely such events are organized because there is no point- horses can go much faster if the event is a race or much longer if the event is a historical trek as that example from Lithuania to the Black Sea so doing a moderately intense pace with larger groups of horses is hardly ever done nowadays.

The longest ride of a relatively larger group of horsemen that I am aware of was the recreation of the pursuit of Napoleon's army from Moscow to Paris in 64 days done in 2012 which is on average 44km per day but in reality most days of riding went further because there was a rest day every 3-4 days. In my opinion, this distance would have been even faster if done on steppe during the best time of year. Add in remounts and both riders and horses conditioned at the start to long distances and I think over periods of 8-12 weeks 50km per day is possible. To go much above 60km per day is also possible but not for months on end- couple weeks maybe but then rest and recovery for the horses would be necessary.

With re-mounts and conditioned horses in favourable terrain, 100km per day for a week or so might be possible as cavalry trials in the 1800-1900s demonstrate greater distances than that with the caveat that only about 20% of the cavalry horses (presumably fit/conditioned animals) could manage such speeds and remain sound though I don't think such trials made much use of remounts though really the burden of 200lbs for a horse is less of a strain than the amount of time spent moving rather than eating so while remounts are important I don't think their use would add more than 10-20% faster time though probably it would make the % of horses that can go such distances and remain healthy a bit higher so the combination of health and speed is probably worth re-mounts especially if the cost is relatively cheap which it probably was for steppe armies that regularly rounded up and let loose semi-wild herds (and perhaps the added advantaged that use of re-mounts makes estimating numbers by enemies much more difficult).
 
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