Horse (Breath of the Wild)

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Picture from the Horse entry in the Hyrule Compendium depicting Link's Horse
Main article: Horse

"These can most often be found on plains. Their usefulness as transportation has made them valuable since ancient times. That said, wild horses do tend to get spooked and run off when approached, so if you're looking to snag one, it's best to sneak up on it."

— Hyrule Compendium Entry

In Breath of the Wild, horses (001 in the Hyrule Compendium) can be found throughout Hyrule, particularly in fields such as Hyrule Field or the Faron Grasslands. In order to ride horses, Link must sneak up on one and then mount and tame it at the cost of stamina.

Taming and Bonding

View of the White Horse's stats when registered at a Stable; displayed are its strength, speed, stamina, temperament and bond

Mottled white/brown/black horses require little to no stamina to tame, albeit they have the lowest stats available in the game. Solid-colored horses tend to have better stats, and some can be considered among the best horses in the game.

Soothing horses is done by the number of button presses to soothe it:

  • Regular horses and other tameable animals require 15 (mostly), 18 or 25 presses.
  • The White Horse requires 25 presses.
  • The Giant Horse requires 30 presses.

Ideally, these presses should be done before the stamina gauge runs out, so the more stamina Link has, the easier it is to soothe.

Bonding is measured in a scale of 100 points. The higher the bond, the more obedient the horse is to Link. A horse with a high bond will travel along roads without needing direction from Link. There are three ways to bond with a horse:

  • One can soothe a horse after a gallop, which increases the bond by 3 points;
  • One can soothe a horse after it deviates from the path and one regains control, which increases the bond by 5 points;
  • One can feed the horse Apples, which will give 10 points per apple.

Statistics

There are two different types of horses in the game depending on their temperament, namely Gentle and Wild. Gentle horses tend to have worse stats, while Wild horses have better ones. Their stats can be classified like this:

  • Strength - How many hit points the horse has / how much damage it can take;
  • Speed - How fast the horse is;
  • Stamina - How many spurs the horse has.
Temperament Color Variations Strength Speed
(in canter/gallop)
Stamina
Gentle Solid light brown
Solid pink
Mottled
★ - 100hp
★★ - 150hp
★★★160hp
★★ - 9.8m/s / 14.4m/s
★★★ - 10.5m/s / 15.9m/s
2 to 3 spurs
1:1 with stars
Wild All other solid colors ★ - 80hp
★★ - 110hp
★★★ - N/A[HS 1]
★★★★ - 240hp
★★★★★ - 300hp
★★ - 9.8m/s / 14.4m/s
★★★ - 10.5m/s / 15.9m/s
★★★★ - 13m/s / 18.1m/s
★★★★★ - 14m/s / 18.6m/s
3 to 5 spurs
1:1 with stars
  1. There are no ★★★ strength Wild horses

Herd Behavior

Detail of the common horse positions in a herd
Map of horse herds by type of herd

Horse herds of 3-4 individuals have different characteristics depending on the location. As noted in the image, 40% of herds will have a fourth horse. There are four types of herds:

  • Note: Horses are sorted by Temperament and Statistics (Strength/Speed/Stamina)
Horse Position Type 1 Herd Type 2 Herd Type 3 Herd Type 4 Herd
(High-Tier
Horses)
Leader
Horse
Wild
1/3/4
Wild
4/3/4
Wild
4/3/4
Wild
4/4/5
Possible
Follower
Horses
Gentle
2/2/2
Gentle
3/2/3
Gentle
3/2/3
Gentle
2/2/3
Wild
2/2/3
Wild
1/4/3 or
1/3/4
Wild
4/3/4 or
4/3/3 (Link's Horse)
Wild
2/5/3
4/4/5 or
5/3/5
Wild
1/3/3
Wild
4/3/4
Wild
1/4/2 or
1/4/3
Wild
2/5/3
4/4/5 or
5/3/5

Horses ridden by Bokoblins are always Gentle, and have Strength/Speed/Stamina of 2/2/2, 2/2/3 or 1/3/4.

High-Tier Horses

Horses in the game spawn in groups of 3 or 4, mostly Gentle in nature, as detailed in the Herds section.

The best horses in the game (of the Wild variety) belong to the Type 4 Herd and can be found in Upland Lindor and the Taobab Grasslands. The horses that can be found there range from:

Statistics Stamina Horse Strength Horse Speed Horse Gentle Horses
(can also appear)
Strength ★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★ ★★
Speed ★★★★ ★★★ ★★★★★ ★★
Stamina ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★

Some of these high-stats horses may require up to 25 presses of the soothe button to control, so keep that into consideration.

Notes

  • The horse's gear doesn't affect its health points and doesn't protect the horse. Also, a horse's health cannot be restored by feeding it. Health can be restored if a save file is reloaded, or by boarding the horse back into a stable.
  • Feeding the horse apples serves only to augment its bond to Link. It serves no other purpose.
  • Ramming enemies with the horse produces 30hp attack, while attacking with melee weapons while on horseback doubles the weapon's attack output.
  • The Giant Horse cannot gallop, but has the fastest canter in the game at 14.8m/s.
  • No horse will follow roads while galloping at full speed, so they have to be manually guided. They have to return to canter to follow roads again.
  • The horse's stamina can be enhanced with two additions. The Ancient Bridle adds two extra spurs, and feeding the horse Endura Carrots gives it three temporary spurs.
  • To date, no wild horse in the game has ever been found to have 5-star stats in all Strength, Speed and Stamina gauges (though the Lord of the Mountain is assumed to have perfect stats, it cannot be registered in a stable, so its stats are not visible).
  • Lynels will take heed of Link while on horseback, but won't attack unless they're approached. They may wield their weapons and bows in some cases. As such, the faster Link rides away from them, the better.

Registering

To keep a horse, Link must register the horse at a Stable. Only five horses may be registered at time; to register a new horse once the limit has been reached, one must be let go; it's stated by the given Stable attendant that the let go horse will join other regular horses at the stable. After a horse has been registered, it can be named and is equipped with a saddle and bridle. A registered horse's location is marked on the world map and it can be whistled for as long as it is within hearing distance.

If the horse is equipped with the Ancient Saddle, whistling will teleport it next to Link.

After registering the horse, its stats can be viewed while boarded at the stable. For each horse, its strength, speed, stamina, and temperament is documented. Also recorded is the horse's bond with Link.

Link cannot take out more than one registered horse at a time, as the Stables' personnel will board any registered horse that's outside. As such, multiple registered horses can be geared with the same bridle and saddle (i.e. if they're all regular horses, they can all be geared with the Ancient Bridle and Ancient Saddle).

Special Horses and Other Considerations

In addition to the standard wild horses, a few special horses can be found in Hyrule: the Giant Horse, the White Horse, the Lord of the Mountain, and the Stalhorse. The giant and white horses can be registered while the other two cannot. Other tameable animals like stags and bears can be ridden to the stables, but cannot be registered either.

Link's Horse is a special average horse found in various Type 3 Herds. It's the horse depicted in the Hyrule Compendium entry, the horse that Link rides in flashbacks, and the horse given to Link during the fight against Dark Beast Ganon if no other horses are registered, or are all boarded. Unlike other special horses, it doesn't have its own entry in the Compendium.

Epona cannot be found within Breath of the Wild, but may be obtained when the player scans certain amiibo. The Super Smash Bros. Link and the Twilight Princess Link amiibo will drop Epona on the first scan only. Other amiibo, such as the Super Smash Bros. Zelda amiibo, may drop Epona at random. She can only be received once per amiibo and must be registered at a stable in order for Link to keep her. However, Epona can be received multiple times from different amiibo, and each Epona received may be registered making it possible to have more than one Epona in Breath of the Wild. Epona has her own saddle and bridle that cannot be changed, and her bond with Link is already maxed out.

Horses can become stuck on crevices or on the sides of mountains and cliffs with no way out. In those cases, speaking with the attendant at stables will recover the horse from said places. Otherwise, the only alternative is for the horse to wear the Ancient Saddle, which can make the horse teleport next to Link.

Horses can be killed by the player or during combat, but unlike other animals, they drop no loot. Registered horses that have been killed can be revived by the Horse God Malanya at Malanya Spring in south Faron once unlocked.

Customization

Phanna offers to customize Link's horse

Horses can be customized at a variety of Stables, including the Outskirt Stable, but their bond with Link must be at max before this can be carried out. Every horse except the Giant Horse and Epona can change their saddles and bridles, which can be obtained in different locations around Hyrule; aside from those, the Royal Bridle and Saddle may only be worn by the White Horse.

Additionally, Link has the option to change the style of his horse's mane, if he so desires. There are ten styles, listed below: