How to Find, Tame, and Care for Horses and Mounts in Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Gain a valuable companion

It’s not hard to find a horse in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but taming one can be a bit tricky.

This guide will teach you how to what you need to know about horses in the acclaimed Nintendo Switch game, including where to find some of Hyrule’s best steeds, how to care for them, and what to do if you accidentally get one killed (hey, it happens to the best of us).

Where to Find Horses

Wild horses are throughout Hyrule, but there are some areas where you are more likely to find them. The most common place where horses congregate is in open plains areas, such as Central Hyrule Field or the grasslands near the Dueling Peaks

A group of horses grazing in Hyrule Field in Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Every horse has four characteristics you’ll want to pay attention to:

  • Strength: This misleading stat determines a horse’s health (HP) in battle and not the amount of damage it can inflict on enemies.
  • Speed: Determines how fast your horse is. All horses can transition between 4 speeds: Walk, Trot, Canter, and Gallop.
  • Stamina: Affects the number of times you can “spur” your horse into a gallop. The star rating in this category determines how many spurs you can use, up to a maximum of 5. Spurs naturally regenerate over time.
  • Temperament: Horses come in “Gentle” and “Wild” temperaments. 
  • Spotted horses are Gentle, which means they are easier to tame but typically have lower stats than Wild horses. 
  • Solid-color horses have Wild temperaments and are much harder to tame. However, they generally have better overall stats than Gentle breeds.

How to Tame a Horse

Once you find a wild horse you like, the next step is taming them. The taming process requires a mix of stealth and patience on your part, as horses are skittish and will bolt if you approach them too fast.

Except for the game’s rarest horses (more on them below), the process for taming a horse is pretty straightforward.

  1. Get behind the horse and press the Left Stick to crouch.

    Sneaking up on horses in Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  2. Once you’re close enough, press A to mount. Immediately begin tapping the L button rapidly to soothe the horse and prevent yourself from being bucked.

    Taming a wild horse in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

    If your stamina runs out before you’re able to soothe a horse successfully, consider making elixirs or food that temporarily increase your stamina limit. You can also permanently increase your stamina by offering 4 Spirit Orbs to any Goddess Statue scattered around Hyrule’s towns and the Temple of Time.

  3. Keep soothing the horse by pressing the L button every time it tries to go in a different direction than you want. You’ll occasionally see a grouping of hearts surround the horse’s head after soothing it, which indicates your bond with them is increasing.

    Soothing a wild horse in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
  4. If you’d like to save a horse you’ve tamed, ride it to the nearest stable. Approach the front counter and press ZL to target the owner.

    Approaching stable owner in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

    DO NOT warp to a stable after taming a horse. Doing so will leave your horse behind.

  5. Select Yes, please to register your horse.

    Registering a horse in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
  6. The stable owner will ask if you're sure you want to register the horse. Select Yes.

    Confirming horse registration in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
  7. The owner will ask for 20 rupees to cover the cost of the registration and a saddle and bridle. Select Yes.

    Paying 20 rupees to register horse in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
  8. You'll next have to name your horse. Type in the name and select Yes to confirm.

    Confirming horse name in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
  9. After confirming the registration, the owner will ask you what you want to do with your new horse. Select Take horse to keep riding or Board horse to keep it at the stable.

    Selecting Take horse in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

How to Care for and Customize Your Horse

You can register a maximum of five horses at a time and summon them from any stable in the game. However, you can only take one horse out at a time. Unlike other open-world games, you can’t instantly summon your horse from anywhere in Breath of the Wild. Pressing down on the D-Pad will cause Link to whistle and call his horse to him, but it won’t work if the horse is out of range.

The only way to summon a horse from anywhere in Breath of the Wild is to purchase the Champions’ Ballad DLC and complete a quest that unlocks the Ancient Saddle horse gear.

Additionally, you can customize a horse’s appearance by following these steps:

  1. Travel to a stable and locate the NPC (non-player character) tending to the stable’s horses. Note that horse customization isn't available at every stable.

    Locating horse hand in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
  2. Approach the NPC on horseback, hold ZL to focus on them, and press A to initiate a conversation.

    Speaking to stable caregiver in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
  3. You’ll be asked if you want to change your horse’s gear or mane. Select “Yes, please!”

    Changing horse's gear and mane in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
  4. Scroll through the options and make a selection by pressing A. If you change your mind, you can always return to choose a different mane, saddle, or bridle.

    Changing horse's mane, bridle, and saddle in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
  5. If your bond with your horse is low, you won't be able to customize its gear or mane until it's stronger.

    Being denied horse customization in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

To increase your bond with your horse, continue to soothe it as you ride by pressing L and feed them treats like apples. To feed your horse, dismount, hold the food item in your hand and stand next to the horse’s mouth. The horse will automatically eat it after a few seconds.

How to Find the Best Horses in Breath of the Wild

As a rule of thumb, the best horses in Breath of the Wild are the ones with the best stats. Wild horse characteristics vary, but you’ll have a higher chance of finding one with good stats if you look in Upland Lindor, located near the Maag No’rah Shrine in Hyrule’s Ridgeland Region.

Royal White Stallion in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

In addition to regular wild horses, there are several specialty mounts you can find:

  • Epona (Strength: 4 | Speed: 4 | Stamina: 4 | Temperament: Gentle): Link’s iconic horse is arguably the best mount in Breath of the Wild, which makes it all the more disappointing that she can’t be obtained in-game by traditional means. The only way to acquire Epona is to scan a Super Smash Bros. Series Link or Twilight Princess Zelda 30th Anniversary Link amiibo. Unlike other wild and specialty horses, Epona doesn’t need to be tamed.
  • Royal White Stallion (Strength: 4 | Speed: 3 | Stamina: 5 | Temperament: Wild): A noble steed said to be the descendant of Princess Zelda’s horse. It has a stamina rating of 5, and players can obtain it by completing “The Royal White Stallion” side quest, given by Toffa at Outskirt Stable. 
  • Giant Horse (Strength: 5 | Speed: 2 | Stamina: - | Temperament: Wild): A massive black horse with a red mane rumored to be a descendant of Gandondorf’s steed, the Giant Horse is in the Tabab Grassland. Like the Royal White Stallion, the Giant Horse is part of a side quest. Travel to the Mounted Archery Camp and speak to Straia to initiate “Hunt for the Giant Horse.” The Giant Horse has a strength rating of 5 (the highest possible rating) but no stamina. In other words, it’s a slow horse that can knock down nearly any enemy in its path. 
  • The Lord of the Mountain: It's a mysterious, glowing horse that randomly appears at the top of Satori Mountain near a cherry blossom tree. The Lord of the Mountain only shows up when a green vertical beam of light shines from the mountain. This horse is tough to sneak up on and tame, and you can't register it at stables. But it makes up for this by being the fastest horse in the game, with unlimited stamina to boot.
  • Stalhorses: These undead skeletal steeds only appear at night and are typically accompanied by a Stalkoblin riding on their backs. Stalhorses cannot be registered at stables and disappear at 5:00 AM in-game time.

How to Revive a Horse

Sadly, your horse can die (either by your hand or an enemy’s), but the good news is there's a way to get them back. Visit the Horse God Malanya, and she’ll bring back your loyal steed (for a price):

  1. Warp to Lake Tower or Ka’o Makagh Shrine, the latter of which is closer.

    Warping to Ka'o Makagh Shrine in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
  2. Cross the Horse God Bridge to the south, located just southeast of Nette Plateau.

    Crossing the Horse God Bridge in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
  3. Find the fairy fountain at the end of the road and speak to Malanya.

    Locating horse fairy fountain in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
  4. Pay her a one-time fee of 1,000 rupees to resurrect any deceased horses. You can only resurrect horses that had maximum affection for you.

    Paying 1,000 rupees to horse god fairy in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
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