Frequently Asked Questions
Who can Ride in the Annual Re-Ride?
To ride in the annual Re-Ride, you must be a member of a state division, sign the state liability waiver, be in ride uniform and provide your own mount for the re-ride. Official riders must be 14 years (turning 14 at ANY time during the Re-Ride year) or older (under 18 requires parental/guardian permission). Younger riders may shadow/buddy ride to participate in the annual Re-Ride. Check here for official Rider Requirements.
I am not yet 14 years old can I ride?
Yes, you can ride as a shadow/buddy rider with an adult, this can be a parent or another rider. Contact the state president for more information.
How do I become a member?
Each state has different membership forms. In The States section of our website, choose the state you are interested in, go to the FORMS section of the state and the relevant forms are available there. Please ensure you coordinate with the State President about riding in the state before sending in the forms. You will need to complete the membership form and insurance waiver.
When is the annual Re-Ride?
The Re-Ride takes place every June. In odd years, we ride from Sacramento, CA to St. Joseph, MO, in even years, from St. Joseph, MO to Sacramento, CA. The 2020 Re-Ride had to be cancelled, due to Covid-19, so this direction is reversed from what it was prior to 2020.
The overall Re-Ride Schedule is available here. Note that each state provides schedules at the beginning of the Re-Ride year and those are available on each state’s webpage or by clicking on the state link from the National schedule.
How fast do I have to go?
We average what the original riders did (10 mph). Terrain and conditions may have riders go faster or slower. Just like in the 1860’s we ride 24/7.
How far is each leg?
The legs vary by terrain and state, average is about 2-5 miles, but can be shorter or longer.
How do I prepare for the Re-Ride?
There are several things to keep in mind while preparing for the event. Condition of your horse, what section/leg you are going to ride, shoeing requirements for your section/leg. Keep your mount conditioned and know your section. Some sections require water crossing, traffic, etc. Ensure you and your mount are comfortable with your terrain. Work with your Ride Captain/Lieutenant to ensure you know your route and pre-ride the section. In some states, mountain areas may require winter deadfall and branch trimming.
How many riders does it take to complete the trail?
Each year it takes about 650 riders to complete the 1966 mile Pony Express trail for the Re-Ride. Each rider will ride a leg and then hand off the mochila at preassigned locations. Ride Captains/Lieutenants will assign sections/legs to each riders before the Re-Ride. Some riders will ride more than one leg.
What is a Mochila?
The Mochila is a removable lightweight leather cover put over a saddle. There are 4 cantinas (pouches), one on each corner. The mail is carried in the 4 cantinas. The mochila gets placed over the saddle, underneath the rider.
What is in the Mochila?
The mochila carries actual mail – usually about 1000-1200 pieces of mail. The mail travels the entire route and at the end point is transferred to USPS to be delivered worldwide. You can send a letter. In addition to the mail, there is a tracking device carried in the mochila. The tracking information can be found at here.
I don’t ride, how can I participate?
You can help with trail preservation. During the Re-Ride you can help with supporting the riders and their mounts. Taking photos of the riders. The organization is also active throughout the year with different outreach events at local schools and other venues. Check with the state president for further information. Several states also have HAM radio operators that follow the mail and communicate along the way.
How does my rig get moved while I am riding?
If you do not a support driver that can move your rig, there are many ways this is done. You work with your ride captain to identify someone who might be able to move your rig to the next section, sometimes this is the inbound/outbound rider.
I live in a state that is not along the trail, can I still participate?
Absolutely! Determine what state you would like to ride in and reach out to the State Officers to help with determining the state needs. Some states have more miles and require more riders! Contact Information
What is it like to participate in the annual Re-Ride?
Many riders have shared their tales and photos from past Re-Rides – check out their stories.