How can you tell?
If you’re looking to determine how “fast” horses are, start with this handy chart from C.S. Lewis. As you can see, the horses at the top of the charts are faster than the other horses by an enormous amount. The chart below plots speed stats for the three fastest horses. You’ll notice that the horses that are slowest can still make fast times with plenty of practice.
Why is this chart so important? Well, it demonstrates how horses differ in their capacity to handle a great deal of stress. We’re talking stress that’s generated by the stresses of having long journeys ahead, running ahead of you due to bad weather and, of course, all of the sudden being told, “Go, faster.” On the flip side, we’re talking stress that’s generated by the stresses generated by a slow train which is forced to slow down because an obstacle has been thrown in front of it. Think of it as the stress created by having a car behind you instead of a person behind you. In this situation, your body feels as if it is going to break down, but it actually does slow down and lets the car behind you pass.
The important thing to understand here is that the horses we’re talking about here are not always faster than the horses at the bottom of the table. We’re talking about horses who have to take very substantial amounts of stress due to things like bad weather or the stress caused by a slow train. So where do the horses that are fast on the chart end and the horses that are fast on the table begin?
I’ve included a photo gallery below of some of the horses that are fast on the table. These horses are typically faster than the horses at the top of the table and, although they’re all capable of keeping up with other horses, they do not have the physical edge that the fast horses seem to have over the slower horses.
If that looks familiar and you’re seeing horses on the chart that look a little like “Fast Jack”, don’t just hang tight because we’ll be explaining what’s going on soon!
The most “proficient” horses (as measured on the “fast” chart) tend to be the tallest, slimmest (or the fastest) and the one and only horses whose bodies have the most energy to expend over short distances. This allows them to run more quickly than horses who are shorter and/or slimmer, but for the
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