The Pony Express is an iconic part of the American West during the mid-1800s. It was developed by a freighting company called Russel, Majors & Waddell answering the Westerner’s call for faster mail. The Pony Express delivered mail weekly on horseback from San Francisco to St. Joseph, Missouri.
Stations were located every 10-15 miles so riders could switch from their spent horses to fresh ones, taking their 20 lb saddlebag of mail with them. During his shift each rider would ride about 75-100 miles.
The horses of the Pony Express were chosen specifically for their endurance and speed. The breeds commonly used were of Thoroughbred breeding in the eastern areas, and Morgan and native mustangs in the western areas.
The horses and riders provided a crucial communication link between the newly forming West and the established East for a year and a half before the Pony Express was dismantled to make way for stagecoach mail delivery.
(photo from wheresotter.com)
~ Saddle Up