The horse and oat carts problem

Although horses eat grass, they need oats.

Imagine then a horse carrying food from the area of production to the city where the oats will be consumed.

The driver feeds the horse the oats from the cart.

Is there a way the answer to this problem could illustrate for us the maximum size of a city? Surely the horse should arrive with its load mainly intact. If the horse has to carry the oats so far that it eats up the load (and has none for the return journey) then sending the oats to the city is pointless.

Some basic data

A average horse is about 500 kilos say.

It can pull two times its own weight.

A grain feeding of only .3% of body weight is all drafts need they can survive on grass they find by the roadside for the rest of their diet.

This is the first shot at this problem, comments and additional data sets would be appreciated.



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