Weight of a rider?

How many stones enc. is a rider? Calculating the 'dead weight' of a body is easy but I assume riders weigh their mount down less as they actively rebalance themselves. I'd pick the average of STR and CON in stones but there might be a better assumption or something I've missed. A problem with this assumption is that an average man (11 stones) wearing plate armor, a shield, a lance and a bow (total 20 stones) could still ride a light horse at full speed, somehow that seems wrong.

These threads:



has some relevant info; and L&E has a lot more for weights, at least.

The general default for a normal man is 15 stone. 

I'm not sure about the 'active rebalancing', not being a rider myself, but I would say there becomes a point at which if you're taking weight off due to calculated or assumed efficiencies, you've got to add it back on elsewhere to be complete - I'm not sure anyone takes note of the encumbrance of saddle and tack, for instance.


Compare carrying a concious and unconcious person on your shoulders. Thanks for the links! The monster wieght list is great.

Sure - or, a small child sleeping versus one fighting/goofing.

To extend the thought, would you have to have a difference between a mount/rider at a travelling pace and the mount/rider in combat? The rider's gonna be a bit occupied not getting killed, and may not be (or, actively working against) optimal balance.


I wouldn't do anything since that would be more complexity than I want but if I did there are a couple of things to consider:

In mass combat your charges will be slower than the maximum speed of your mount to keep the formation together.

Horses tire, instead of modelling the weight vs. speed there should be a model of weight vs. endurance (with speed decreasing over time). Mongol warriors had several horses (7 or 8 was not uncommon) and would switch several times during battle to keep them fresh. Knights would use different horses for battle and travel, also to keep their battle mounts rested.

Indeed, if you only have one mount, you're not really a cavalryman. You're just one mishap away from being a (bad) infantryman.

In many ancient steppe cultures (such as the Skythians) you weren't considered a rider (ie a warrior) unless you had at least four mounts. As an aside, I had the following house rule on remounts:

"Remounts - if the party has two mounts per character (including henchmen/hirelings), they may move at double the long-distance movement rates shown. This is double the speed of the slowest mount in the group. If the party has three mounts per character, they may move at 2.5 times long-distance rates. If the party has four or more mounts per character, they may move at triple the long-distance rates."

This is to account for the much faster overland speeds of steppe armies. If you have lots of horses/ponies (and all the logistical complications they entail) you can move a lot faster.

That remounts rule is golden. 

Thanks also for the historical context. It was a revelation that now seems totally obvious in retrospect, one of the best kinds of learning experiences.

I like that remount rule.

Makes me want to go over to the Reactions threads and add a -4 modifier for "monster is a giant carnivore and party has lots of extra mounts".


I like that remount rule.

Makes me want to go over to the Reactions threads and add a -4 modifier for "monster is a giant carnivore and party has lots of extra mounts".



more like +4!

"Why hello there puny meatbags, you have brought me a snack, thank you!"

Wow! Awesome rule. Magnificent.

It's also intrinsically balanced. Having more mounts:

1) Costs more - both to procure and equip them.

2) Requires more people to look after mounts and increases the camp duties required to keep them in good condition.

3) Requires more forage, which may require more pack animals to carry some extra.

4) Makes the party a big target - both for people who want to steal their horse herd, and in more fantastical settings monsters that want to eat them.

Cowboys would have a string of horse they would use over the course of a day. A cattle drive would not cover much distance and the could easily switch horses during the day. Most increases in travel rates would be from relaying horse at waystation.