3. How Much Weight Can a Horse carry?
Saddle bags can be used, yes. However, no prudent man loads up his riding saddle with provisions for a week on the trail. If he stuffs his saddle bags with 50 or so pounds of extra weight, plus his bedroll, he will risk soring up his horse's back, both by putting too much weight behind the cantle and seat, (where the saddle is not really designed to carry such weight,) and also by that same weight bruising the horse's kidneys. In olden days, if a man was going to be riding a long ways, with no stops for meals, lodging, etc., he would bring a pack animal, as well. Thus he could pack along his bedroll, (often meaning a canvas tarp and at least two blankets or quilts,) plus extra clothing, rain gear, food for several days, cooking pots and utinsels, knife and fork, plate, cup, fire-starter of some sort, some string and/or rope, picket rope(s) and picket pin(s), and his few toiletries. For prolonged trips with few towns, he would also be wise to bring along a set of 4 pre-shaped horse shoes for his mount, plus nails, hammer, rasp and nippers, in case ol' Dobbin throws a shoe in the middle of nowhere. Imagine all that "stuff" in a pile - gets kind of huge, doesn't it? Plus, if you've ever tried to swing a leg over a saddle with too much junk tied on behind, you would know what a darned pain in the rear that really is.
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