Writing Horses

The 33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About Horses by Sue L. is a pointed and concise guide to help non-horseman write believeable horses. It details 33 common misconceptions and gives suggestions on how to write them right. It's the first book in a series of 33 Mistakes Writers Make About... hosted by novelist Holly Lisle and available as a download from the HollyShop


Middle-earth Resources links

These were written to be used by the people of the fandom, and I'm always delighted to know they've been useful to someone. Feel free to link back to them from your pages or to pass the links along on your favorite lists or archives. If you have any related questions that aren't covered in the articles, email me at Sulriel

Rohirrim Grey ~ A Horse of a Different Color ~
This article touches on basic elements of equine color genetics and provides photo examples to help you correctly describe the horses in your fic.

We're very proud to announce that Rohirrim Grey was awarded the 2005 MEFA - Middle-earth Fanfiction Awards Scrolls of Orthanc Award, 3nd place in the Non-Fiction Category.

A Meara for 'Me!' ~ Need a horse, Hobbit pony, or Meara to get you there and back again?? ~ Check this listing for what you need. Browse photos, physical descriptions, personalities and training levels ~ pick one or combine characteristics to create a suitable mount for your character. This page is being updated at Fantasy Horse Stable

We're very proud to announce that A Meara for Me was awarded the 2006 MEFA - Middle-earth Fanfiction Awards The Archives of Minas Tirith Award, 2nd place in the Non-Fiction Category.

We're very proud to announce that Travel Times was awarded the 2005 MEFA - Middle-earth Fanfiction Awards Library of Imladris Award, 1st place in the Non-Fiction Category.




This service provided as a courtesy by MeARA ~ Middle-earth Adventure Riders Association ~



 ErinRua ~ ~ ~ ~ Sulriel

~ ~ ~ ~ Life is a Journey, Don’t forget your
towel~ ~ ~ ~

~ Routes designed and measured by Blue Iris ~

~ Súlriel had nothing to do with this, absolutely nothing (that she will admit),

blame ErinRua for errors, if she isn’t guilty for this there is probably something in her past she got away with ~

*sigh* ... so much for the fun, but it's been made painfully clear that credit must be specified, so here goes... This page is mine, Sulriel, I originated the concept, with the help of others gathered information, and by myself compiled and formated the information, created the page and maintain it on this website. - HASA members were invited to suggest routes, which they did. Blue Iris measured routes using Karen Wynn Fonstad's Atlas of Middle-earth, ErinRua advised in regards to the wagons and slower times and contributed the wagon section of the essay. Many thanks to these people for their contribution: Lyllyn, Melina, Raksha The Demon, Cheryl, Tanaqui, Ithildin, Arquen, Lindelea, Dragonlady7, Nessime, Colagreenleaf, Marta, RubyGamgee, Nickey, Aranel_Pilindan, Elena Tiriel, Vanima Greenleaf. Apologies if I've missed anyone. If you contributed and would like your name added, please email me and I'll add it with the next update. Sulriel.

03/25/08 - corrected time/distance from Minas Tirith to Cair Andros and Henneth Annun - MANY THANKS to Rhyselle for noting the discrepancy and sending me a note.

Please use the ‘find’ function in your browser window to search for the departure/destination combination. If it is not listed individually, it may be found as a leg of a longer journey.

The minimum times are loosely based on a horse traveling 12-15 mph, with rest breaks dropping the average to approximately 10mph. The times are decreased (average speed increased) for easy routes such as level roads, and increased (average speed decreased) for cross-country travel, multiple river crossing or difficult terrain such as hills or mountainous regions. I’ve also tried to consider that an urgent rider may push hard to ride 100 or more miles in one day, if that was the entire length of the trip. It would not be possible to maintain that pace over several hundred miles and I reduced the average speed (increased travel time) for the longer distances. It may be possible to shave some time off of these minimum times riding a Meara or Elf-horse, depending on the skill and stamina of the rider.

The average times are calculated, loosely, on 20-30 miles per day, (depending on terrain) with a rest day every 4-6 days. Sitting on a walking horse for hours and hours at a time is agonizing. It is much easier to trot and canter 25 or 50 miles than to walk/jog 15. -for the horse as well as the rider (speaking of a fit horse) A horse can walk about 3mph so that gives you about ten mile legs at the walk between breakfast and lunch and lunch and supper. Notice those are average times, not maximum times.

There are instances in canon of trips much slower than what we have listed. For example, Bilbo and the dwarfs traveled only an average of about 10 miles per day on ponies, where Frodo & Co averaged 17.5mpd on foot over the same distance from the Shire to Rivendell. Another example would be Boromir's trip to Rivendell. It can be assumed that Boromir did not travel in a direct route once he left Tharbad and perhaps wandered somewhat before then. Rivendell was said to be a hidden place and it is probable that Boromir spent time looking for it as he traveled up the Bruinen.

many THANKS to ErinRua for this paragraph ~ A point to remember with wagons is that they make about half the mileage in a day that horses and riders can make. Riders can vary their pace from walk, trot to canter, but wagons ... go one speed. Especially on a long journey. Also, among the American pioneers it was common for wagon trains to make a rather long lunch stop of two or three hours, to allow the animals pulling the wagon a chance to step out of their traces and relax, eat, drink, etc. So, for wagons .... 15 miles per day is probably maximum. Less if the road is hilly, rocky or muddy. A layover day every 4-5 days is very good. If the terrain is especially hard, or if the roads get boggy, two days rest would be well. On arduous trails over several weeks' travel, a horse can pull down and lose weight and condition, so husbanding them over a long journey is important. Those layover days allow them to relax, physically and mentally, and really eat their fill and not burn it back off right away. On choosing between routes, wagons would take a longer route in order to stay on a road as opposed to attempting a cross-country route.

Note on Hobbit ponies: I don’t believe the average times would be significantly slower, unless they decided to stop and set camp for each meal. The minimum times would depend more on the type of horse or pony (draft, cob or saddle type) rather than the size. This would also depend somewhat on the distance. – being that a larger/taller (longer-legged) horse could outrun a pony over a distance of 20-30 miles, but over the longer distance, the horse would not be moving above a speed that a good riding pony could match for an extended period.

Timelines: This chart was compiled without distinction between the Ages. Please verify the existence of your departure and destination locations, and the routes themselves, from a separate source.

  

Departure

Destination

Mileage

Minimum

Travel time

Average

Travel time

Comments on route or terrain.

CR in Ithilien

Crossings of Poros

185 miles

2 days

8 days

road

Crossroads in Ithilien

N. Bordr Ithilien

135 miles

1 day (24 hrs)

3 days

where the road turns towards the Black Gate

Edoras

Isengard

175 miles

2 days

8 days

Continuation of Great West Road through Westfold.

Emyn Arnen

Crossroads in Ithilien

50 miles

4.5 hrs

2 days

north along the Harad Road.

Minas Tirith

Cair Andros

60 miles

5 hrs

2 days

road

Minas Tirith

Edoras

350 miles

4 days

15 days

through Anorien and Eastfold along the Great West Road

Minas Tirith

Barad-Dur

150 miles

1.5 days

5 days

road and thru Ephel Duath

Minas Tirith

Emyn Arnen

30 miles

2 hours

1 day

(well-traveled, probably road)

Minas Tirith

Henneth Annun

65 miles

6 hrs

2.5 day

via Cair Andros (safer route, and quicker)

Minas Tirith

Henneth Annun

65 miles

8 hrs

3 days

through Ithilien, over Anduin at Osgilith / heavily wood

Minas Tirith

Pelargir

140 miles

1.5 days

6 days

direct shot down the South Road. Well travelled merchant route, likely with attendant inns and hostelries

The Old Forest Road

Bree

80 miles

1 day

5 days

Over the Barrowdowns

Rivendell

Delta of Greyflood

400 miles

4 days

20 days

To Thrabad following the Bruinen

Brandy Hall

Hobbiton

60 miles

5 hrs

2 days

Brandy Hall

Tuckboruogh

63 miles

5.5 hrs

2 days

Stock Road through Green Hill Country

Hobbiton

Michel Delving

65 miles

5.5 hrs

2.5 days

By road

Hobbiton

Tuckborough

65 miles

5.5 hrs

2.5 days

15 miles overland, 50 miles by finished road

Tuckborough

Michel Delving

55 miles

5 hrs

2 days

Mostly on Great East Road

Tuckborough

Tookbank

8 miles

45 minutes

˝ day

Over Green Hill country along Stock Road

Michel Delving

Greenholm

43 miles

4 hrs

2 days

On Great East Road

Greenholm

Tower Hills

50 miles

5 hrs

2 days

On Great East Road

Buckland

Bree

50 miles

5 hrs

2-3 days

Overland, inc. forest and downs.

Forlond

Mithlond / Grey Havens

225 miles

3 days

8 days

The Gray havens are on both sides of there the River Lhun just widens to become the Gulf of Lhun. There does not appear to be a bridge across the River Lhun and you will need to cross for quickest transit; so assume a ferry.

Mithlond/Grey Havens

Over Tower Hills

65 miles

7 hours

2 days

Either over or around Tower Hills slows pace.

Hobbiton

Minas Tirith

Wagon / Afteryule season (winter)

Hobbiton

Bree

100 miles

X

8 days

East Road / Wagon ~ Afteryule season (winter)

Bree

Thrabad

200 miles

X

16 days

The Greenway / Wagon ~ Afteryule season (winter)

Tharbad

Gap of Rohan

325 miles

X

26 days

Old South Road / Wagon ~ Afteryule season (winter)

Gap of Rohan

Edoras

125 miles

X

11 days

Great East Road / Wagon ~ Afteryule season (winter)

Edoras

Minas Tirith

350 miles

X

28 days

Great West Road / Wagon ~ Afteryule season (winter)

Mitheithel

Angle

150 miles

1.5 days

5 days

cross-country - following the R.Mitheithel

Minas Tirith

Lothlorien

Great West Road

Edoras

350 miles

5-6 days

15 days

good road

Edoras=>Overland

W.Emnet

Entwash

150 miles

1.5 days

5 days

north-east. cross-country w/ r.crossing

Entwash -> Wold

R. Limlight

100 miles

1.5 days

4 days

north/cross-country

Limlight

R. Celebrant

75 miles

1 day

3 days

Ford R.Limlight, cross-country, ford R.Celebrant

Celebrant

Galadhon

10 miles

45 minutes

3 hours

cross-country

Lothlorien

Edoras

325 miles

5 days

14 days

see above notes

Thranduil

Elven King's Hall

Rivendell

see refs re: the time period & relative safety of the Old Forest Rd vs the Forest Path. It could be assumed that the safety of passage of The Old Forest Road is inversely tied to the rise of the Necromancer in Dol Guldur.

Thranduil's Caverns

Laketown

50 miles

5.5 hrs

2 days

from the edge of Mirkwood, thru Long Marshes as the Forest River enters Long Lake.

Celeduin

Old Forest Road

75 miles

1 day

4 days

edge of Mirkwood

Old Forest Road

thru Mirkwood

200 miles

3 days

7.5 days

spiders and nasties / on avg tt - 30 mpd; no rest days because of danger

Edge of Mirkwood

River Anduin

25 miles

2 hrs

1 day

cross at Old Ford, terrain likely flat, stay on road

Old Ford

Misty Mountains

50 miles

4.5 hrs

2 days

typical up-slope land form, still on Old Forest Road

Turn North

to High Pass

12 miles

1 hr

1/2 day

foothills overland or unfinished road/path

Start of High Pass

over Misty Mountains

est 125m

1.5 days

6 days

mileage estimated for mountain switchbacks, obstacles and attendant difficulties

alt route - the Path west

to Forest Gate

200 miles

3 days

7.5 days

Forest path maintain by Thranduil’s patrols

Anduin south

Old Ford

130 miles

1 day

4 days

Banks of Anduin. Floodplain, grasslands, possible marshy

Pelargir

Dol Amroth

by land / mostly road

route-1 Pelargir

or

route-2 Pelagir

Ethring / road via Linhir

 

Ethring / cross-country

225 miles

 

175 miles

3 days

 

2.5 days

8 days

 

9 days

South Road from Pelargir. W. to Linhir. N. to Ethring

 

Cross-country, ford R.Serni, R.Gilrain

Ethring

Edhellond

130 miles

1.5 days

4 days

along the river Ringlo south to Edhellond

Edhellond

Dol Amroth

65 miles

6 hrs

2.5

Along the beach, sea/salt-water only

route-3 Pelargir

linhir

100 miles

1 day

4 days

by road

Linhir

to Hills of Tarnost

60 miles

1 day

2-3 days

cross-country

east foothills

over Tarnost Pass

10 + 15 miles

1/2 day

1 day

mountain pass

west foothills

Edhellond

60 miles

1 day

3 days

route-4 (Stealth!) T.Pass

skirt W.foothills to D.A.

140 miles

1.5 days

7 days

directly from the pass to Dol Amroth / not via Edhellond

Bree

Rivendell

By way of the Great Road, bypass the marshes

Bree

To last bridge

225 miles

2 days

11 days

By road

Last bridge

Bruinen

115 miles

1 day

6 days

By road

Bruinen

Imladris

30 miles

2 hrs

1 day

Following river path

Delta of the Greyflood

Minas Tirith

By way of Rohan, north along the White Mountains

Tharbad

Gap of Rohan

325 miles

3 days

13 days

Old South Road to the fords of Isen

Fords of Isen

Edoras

125 miles

1 day

5 days

On Great West Road

Edoras

Minas Tirith

350 miles

4 days

10 days

On Great West Road

Rivendell

Fornost

Cross country over the Weather Hills

Imladris

Bruinen

30 miles

2.5 hrs

1 day

Forest trails

Bruinen

Last Bridge

115

1 day

4 days

Road

Last bridge overland

Fornost

260

3 days

10 days

Plains and rolling downs

Lothlorien

The Shire/Hobbiton

Caras Galadhon

Mount Foothills

100 miles

1 day

5 days

Following Celebrant

Redhorn Pass

Over Mountains

100 miles

5-10 days

15 days

Inc. switchbacks (possibly impassable on horseback)

Foothills

Tharbad

225 miles

2.5 days

15 days

Follow Swenfleet/Sirannon (Decreasingly rough terrain)

Tharbad

Bree

200 miles

2 days

12 days

The Greenway

Bree

Hobbiton

100 miles

1 day

4 days

East Road

1. Minas Tirith

Rivendell

Through the Gap of Rohan

Minas Tirith

Edoras

350 miles

4 days

15 days

through Anorien and Eastfold along the Great West Road

Edoras

Gap of Rohan

125 miles

1.5 days

5 days

Great West Road

Gap of Rohan

Tharbad

325 miles

3 days

13 days

Old South Road

Tharbad

Rivendell

400 miles

5 days

20 days

Follow R.Mithiethiel NNE, ENE fork of Bruinen

2. Minas Tirith

Rivendell

Rohan/Anduin/HighPass

Minas Tirith

Mering Stream

200 miles

2 days

10 days

Along Great West Road

Mering Stream

Anduin

225 miles

3 days

12 days

Overland (area of Wold/South Undeep)

Wold

Field of Celebrant

75 miles

1 day

3 days

Following Anduin

Field of Celebrant

Lorien

125 miles

1.5 days

5 days

Following Anduin

Lorien

Gladden Fields

150 miles

1.5 days

6 days

Gladden Fields

Old Ford

125 miles

1.5 days

5 days

Old Ford

Misty Mountains

50 miles

4.5 hrs

3 days

Typical up-slope landform, still on Old Forest Road

North

High Pass

12 miles

1 hr

˝ day

Across Mountains, foothills overland or unfinished Rd.

High Pass

Rivendell

125 miles

2-3 days

12 days

Over mountains. Changes in elevation, switchbacks, mountain terrain and all attendant difficulties.

3. Minas Tirith

Rivendell

All Anduin/High Pass

Minas Tirith

Cair Andros

50 miles

6 hrs

2.5 days

road

Cari Andros

Rauros

200 miles

2.5 days

13 days

Through the Mouths of the Entwash and Wetwang.

Rauros

Through Emyn Muil

100 miles

2-3 days

12 days

Through Emyn Muil (maybe impassable for horseback)

Downs & Brown Lands

Field of Celebrant

130 miles

2 days

12 days

Field of Celebrant

Lorien

125 miles

1.5 days

8 days

Following Anduin

Lorien

Gladden Fields

150 miles

1.5 days

8 days

Gladden Fields

Old Ford

125 miles

1.5 days

7 days

Old Ford

Misty Mountains

50 miles

5 hours

2 days

Typical up-slope landform, still on Old Forest Road

North

High Pass

12 miles

˝ days

1 day

Across Mountains, foothills overland or unfinished Rd.

High Pass

Rivendell

125 miles

2-3 days

12 days

Over mountains. Changes in elevation, switchbacks, mountain terrain and all attendant difficulties.

4. Minas Tirith

Rivendell

West of the Mountains through Dunland

Minas Tirith

Break/W.Mts & Tarnost

225 miles

3 days

15 days

West through Lossarnach to the break between the White Mountains and the Hills of Tarnost. Ford R.Erui, Serni, Gilrain. Terrain = plains, foothills.

Tarnost

Foothills of W.Mts

300 miles

4 days

15 days

plains, rolling hills. Ford R.Ringlo, Morthond, Lefnui

Over White Mountains

10 miles

3 hours

˝ day

Low mountain pass

W.Mts

North to R.Isen

75 miles

1 day

4 days

R.Isen east

Dunland to G.Rohan

100 miles

1 day

5 days

Overland

Gap of Rohan

Tharbad

325 miles

3 days

13 days

Old South Road

Tharbad

Rivendell

400 miles

5 days

20 days

Follow R.Mithiethiel NNE, ENE fork of Bruinen

Stealth route:

Minas Tirith

 

Rivendell

 

Overland west through Lossarnach (S. of White Mtns)

Minas Tirith

Hills of Tarnost

225 miles

3 days

15 days

Ford R.Erui, Sirith, Gilrain

Tarnost

Foothills of W.Mtns

300 miles

4 days

20 days

Rolling plains, intermittant foothills.

Ford R.Ringlo, Morthond, Lefnui

Over the W.Mtns

10 miles

3 hrs

1 day

Low mountain pass

North of W.Mtns

River Isen

75 miles

1 day

3 days

R.Isen –East

Dunland

100 miles

1 day

5 days

Old South Road near Gap of Rohan

Gap of Rohan

Tharbad

325 miles

3 days

15 days

Old South Road

Tharbad

Rivendell

400 miles

5 days

20 days

Follow Mithiethiel NNE, fork at Bruinen ENE

*Lond Daer

Gap of Rohan

550 miles

7 days

35 days

Gwathlo upriver overland to Tharbad

Thranduil’s Halls

Caras Galadon

Thranduil's Caverns

Laketown

50 miles

5.5 hrs

2 days

from the edge of Mirkwood, thru Long Marshes as the Forest River enters Long Lake.

Celeduin

Old Forest Road

75 miles

1 day

4 days

edge of Mirkwood

Old Forest Road

thru Mirkwood

200 miles

3 days

7.5 days

spiders and nasties / on avg tt - 30 mpd; no rest days because of danger

Edge of Mirkwood

River Anduin

25 miles

2 hrs

1 day

cross at Old Ford, terrain likely flat, stay on road

Old Ford

Caras Galadon

425

5

23

Grasslands, gently rolling, floodplains
























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