Pony Express

I’ve been reading about the Pony Express,but can’t find anything about the horses’workdays.I know the horses galloped along for up to 25 miles (on the more level stretches)to as little as 2 or 3 miles in the muddy mountain paths,but nowhere can I find what kind of break the horse got after his shift.

What has me wondering is a record run of 25 miles in 1 3/4 hrs (to Oakland from some midway point on the Sacremento leg).A world record marathoner (human) will cover another mile and some yards in approximately another 25 minutes,whereupon he’ll collapse and probably have to be drug to the nearest first aid station and a lengthy rest period before attempting anything more than a walk arouund the block.

What where the horses’routines after their shift? When was their next run?

Oakland? The Pony Express ran from St. Joseph, MO to Sacramanto, CA. I’ve just packed away a book about The Pony Express called Saddles and Spurs, but it’s been several years since I read it. Here is an online fact sheet".

Horses were changed every 10-15 miles and traveled an average 10mph.

New riders took over every 75 to 100 miles.

Pony Bob Haslam rode 370 miles (Friday’s Station to Smith Creek and back. This is in present-day Nevada.)

William “Buffalo Bill” Cody is said to have made the longest non-stop Pony Express ride. (I think I remember first reading that in Saddles and Spurs, and I believe he claimed it in his autobiography.) His relieve rider had died (only one mochilla and one rider was killed; I don’t remember if Cody’s relief rider was that one, or if he died of something else) and Cody had to ride an extra 76 miles, for a total of 116 miles.

Great. Now I have the Young Riders theme going through my head.

I’ve visited those sites and found,among others this clip

San Francisco Evening Bulletin
April 23, 1860
Times Made By The Pony and The Stage
The Pony Express last arrived, left St. Joseph in Missouri at 5 p.m. of the 13th, and reached *San Francisco in 9 days 17 hours. The swiftest riding we have heard of on the route, was Mr. Bedford’s from Martinez to Oakland, which 24 miles he accomplished in one hour and 45 minutes *; yet the Pony did not shed his shoes, his rider did not break his neck, nor was there any appreciable smell of fire upon his garments when he came in. The distance from Sacramento to Benicia Mr. Hamilton rode this morning between 1 and 7 o’clock. Very few letters brought the Pony. Dreadful slow people live on the other side of the mountains.

From this column and others,it’s aparent the Pony mail got thru to SF,altho some of the bay miles are accomplished by the horse and rider on a ferry.

I still can’t find any links about the horses’regimens,other than the one-leg stint on the route.