Most of the Pony Express riders were teenage boys. They had to be because weight was all imortant. One rider was 11 years old. That was unusual. almost all of the riders were teenagers, and not older teens. An ad for Pony Express riders read, "Wanted. Young, skinny, wiry fellows. Not over 18. Must be expert riders. Willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred." That was notbaann ad that would attract many responses today. At the time, many youth signed up. The work was exciting and the pay good. The reason boys were preferred was that they did not weigh as much as adult riders and the horses could thus sustain faster speeds, the same reason that jockeys in horse raising have to be small. An adult man would have tired out the horses. Slender youth mean that that the horses could gallop at full speed to the next station. The boys faced Native Americans, expert horsemen themselves, drought, and blizzard. Quute a few riders were lost. But most survived, many of which then enlisted to fight in the Civil War.
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