Riders planning to cover very long distances usually only average around 20 miles a day on horseback. However, on one ride that covered a total of 2,600 miles, the horses averaged 31 miles per day. Modern endurance rides cover 100 miles that must be completed in less than 24 hours.
Horses are capable of traveling much faster than 20 or 30 miles per day, but it may not be very good for their long-term health. For example, a famous race held in 1892 that covered 350 miles in 72 hours (averaging 117 miles per day) killed 13% of the horses entered. When horseback riders want to cover long distances at a high rate of speed they generally employ stages, or horse changes. For example, the Pony Express riders averaged 10 miles per hour but changed horses every 25 miles or so. By changing horses, they could routinely cover 80 to 100 miles per day.