In Red Dead Redemption 2, Horses can be captured and broken out in the wild, purchased from stables or acquired by more underhanded means. You can train, or tame wild horses to gain their trust so that you can saddle and ride them.
Your horse is your constant companion, and you will rely on them just as heavily as on any of your fellow gang members so it is important to take good care of your animal. Here is everything you need to know about looking after your horse in Red Dead Redemption 2:
Taming & Saddling Horses
You can buy and sell horses at stables throughout the world. You can break wild horses, or steal owned horses. You can ride a horse temporarily, but to make it yours, you'll need to put your saddle on it.
To saddle a horse, approach it with a saddle in hand and hold UP to put it on. You can only have one saddle, and therefore one main horse, at a time. To remove a saddle you must approach the horse and hold L2 to lock on and hold UP to remove.
Arthur cannot saddle, bond with, or own horses belonging to the other members of Dutch's gang.
You can remove your saddle from a dead horse by approaching and holding UP to remove.
How to increase Bonding with your Horse
As you spend time with your horse, you will develop a bond of trust and understanding with it. You can increase bonding by:
- Calming your horse when it's agitated
- Feeding your horse when it's hungry
- Grooming your horse when it's dirty
- Riding, leading, and swimming with your horse, as long as it isn't tired out
Bonding Levels and Perks
There are four levels of Bonding. As Bonding increases:
- Your Horse's Health, Speed, Stamina and Acceleration will increase.
- You'll be able to call your Horse from a greater distance, and during combat.
- Your Horse will cross deeper water and navigate more challenging ground.
- Your Horse will become more difficult to steal.
At certain Bonding Levels, you can perform more complex maneuvers:
- At Bonding Level 2, hold R1 and tap Square when stationary to Rear.
- At Bonding Level 3, hold R1 and X while moving to Skid Turn or Skid Stop.
- At Bonding Level 4, hold Square to perform a Piaffe. While doing this, push the Left Analog Stick right or left while moving to Drift.
Horse Care and Cleanliness
To keep your horse happy and healthy, and retain a strong bond, you will need to keep it fed and clean. A horse's health and stamina cores are affected negatively when it gets hungry or dirty - meaning it'll tire faster and withstand less damage.
You will see a warning when your horse starts to become hungry or dirty. Hold L1 and navigate to the horse item menu to select and use food items or the horse brush.
Riding your horse too hard, or bringing it into contact with stressful situations such as combat or predators can lead to it becoming Agitated. An agitated horse can throw its rider off.
Higher Bonding Levels will reduce the chance of your horse becoming agitated.
Feeding your Horse and types of food
- Nutritious foods like oat cakes, apples, and hay will satisfy your horse's hunger for longer than treats. Giving these foods to your horse also increases bonding significantly.
- Certain plants and herbs picked in the wild can also be fed to your horse.
- Treats, such as Sugar Cubes, Peppermints, Common Bulrush, and English Mace will increase bonding a medium amount but will give almost no nutritional value.
You should be careful feeding your horse. Overfeeding it when it is already full can cause it to become overweight. Underfeeding it will cause the horse to become thin.
Hitching your horse
Hold Triangle to hitch your horse safely at a hitching post. This means it can't be stolen.
Whistling / Calling your horse
You can press UP to call your horse to you. As you bond with your horse, the range at which you can call it will increase.
Your horse will not respond to your whistle if it's too far away, stabled, or dead. It cannot come to you if you are inside a building or a cave.
There are stables in all major towns, shown by a blip on your map and radar. At a stable you can:
- Rename your horse
- Buy and sell horses
- Buy provisions and horse care items such as food, snacks, and tonics
- Buy or upgrade equipment such as saddles, saddlebags, stirrups, and blankets
- Keep up to three horses safely in stables
- Customize your horse's looks and accessories