Minecraft Animals Explained: Horses, Donkeys and Mules

There are many mobs in Minecraft that are tame-able, like ocelots and wolves, for example. Today, we will be talking about horses, donkeys, and mules. The reasoning that we will be speaking about all of these different types of animals is because, in order to explain the breeding nature, we will need to bring all of these animals into the equation.

Where to Find Your Trusted Steed

Minecraft Horses, Donkeys & Mules screenshot

Horses and donkeys will be found in two different biomes, the savannas, and the plains. Mules, however, can not be naturally found and have to be bred by the player directly. If you are trying to find an ‘undead’ and a ‘skeleton horse’ naturally in game, you will also have some trouble. These horses can only be spawned into the game by using various in-game commands. To spawn an undead or skeleton horse, the commands needed are as follows.

  • To spawn an untamed skeleton horse use: /summon EntityHorse ~0 ~1 ~0 {Type: 4}
  • To spawn a tamed skeleton horse use: /summon EntityHorse ~0 ~1 ~0 {Type:4, Tame: 1}
  • To spawn an untamed undead horse use: /summon EntityHorse ~0 ~1 ~0 {Type: 3}
  • To spawn a tamed undead horse use: /summon EntityHorse ~0 ~1 ~0 {Type: 3, Tame: 1}

Taming Your Horse

MInecraft screenshot
Minecraft Horse "Interactive Menu".

Horses, donkeys, and mules are generally passive creatures, so don’t be afraid when approaching one for the first time! All can be tamed when fully grown into adults, except for skeleton and undead horses. If you would want a skeleton horse or an undead horse, you would need to do the tamed versions of the commands above. Taming a horse, mule, or donkey can be quite the pain, and at times, it will feel like you’re not doing it correctly.  

To tame a horse, it’s as simple as sitting on the horse multiple times. The horse will throw you off a few times, but soon enough, he will become tamed. After the horse is tamed, you’d like to ride it, wouldn’t you? Well, you can’t do that without a saddle! The horse, mule, or donkey will not go in any directions chosen by the player without a saddle. You can give your horse a saddle by either sitting on the horse and opening your inventory and putting a saddle in the ‘saddle slot’. If you would like to give the horse a saddle without riding it, feel free to crouch and hit the ‘use’ button.

Feeding Your Animals

MInecraft screenshot
Minecraft "What To Feed Your Horse".

When having a digital pet, you may want to feed them! Feeding an animal food may help you in various situations, such as getting their health up (if they’ve taken damage), getting them to age into full adults quicker, or to get them to breed!

If you feed a horse, mule, or a donkey sugar, they will heal half a heart. The sugar will also speed up the rate at which they grow into a full adult by 30 seconds. Wheat will heal the horse for 1 heart and will speed the animal’s growth by 20 seconds. An apple will heal the horse for 1 heart and a half and will speed up growth for one minute. A golden carrot will heal the horse for 2 hearts and speeds the growth for one minute. A golden apple will heal the horse for 5 hearts and will speed growth by four minutes. Feeding a hay bale to a horse will heal the horse for a total of 10 hearts and will speed growth by three minutes.

All Horses Are Different

MInecraft screenshot of horses on pillars above water
Minecraft "All Horses Are Different".

When choosing a steed, there are three things to keep in mind: Health, maximum speed, and jump height. Each animal has it’s own unique stats. Some horses have a maximum health of anywhere from 15 to 30 hearts (The general average found is usually 22.5 hearts). The jump strength of some horses ranges anywhere from 1.5 to 5.5 blocks. Generally, the jump height is found to be about 3.5 blocks high. The max speed of some horses is anywhere from 25% faster to 337.5% faster than the player’s walking speed.

When riding a horse, you will find that your experience bar has been replaced by an empty bar. Holding the button you use to jump will allow you to charge your jump. The more you charge your jump and the better timing you have releasing the button towards the end of the bar, you are more likely to jump higher.

A major downside of horses is when traversing through any water that is two blocks deep or more. Traversing through water that is too deep for horses will kick you off of the animal and make it a challenge getting the animal back onto land. When riding your horse, steer your steed away from water unless absolutely necessary!


breeding horses can seem tricky when attempting to get the right color. If you are to feed a tamed horse or donkey a golden apple or a golden carrot, you will activate their love mode. Depending on how you breed your animals will determine the type of offspring you will have. Breeding two horses will allow you to produce a horse foal. Eight out of nine times the horse will have the same color hair as it’s parents, but you may get lucky and have one with a different color! Breeding a donkey and another donkey will produce a donkey foal.

If you want to produce a mule, you will need to breed a horse and a donkey.

Horse Armor Explained!

MInecraft screenshot of armored horses
Minecraft Horse Armor.

 Armor is used on horses in order to give them protection from mobs and attacks from players. Like armor for humans, it comes in many different varieties, ranging from iron, gold, and diamond. The iron armor gives 5 defense points, the gold armor gives 7 defense points, and the diamond armor gives 11 defense points. These various armors can only be found, not created. These armors can be found in many dungeon chests around the world of Minecraft, including in the overworld, nether, and end.

Stop Horsing Around!

screenshot of a Minecrafter on a horse
On a Minecraft Horse.

Stop horsing around and get to finding, taming, and breeding your own horses as soon as you can with the new information you’ve been given! You may get lucky and find your perfect steed!

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