Zelda: Breath of the Wild horses are your most useful companion in the game, allowing you to travel around the game's massive world much faster, saving time and allowing you to evade powerful foes.
You're able to tame horses fairly early in the game - as you first leave the Great Plateau and head towards Kakariko Village as part of the Seek out Impa quest - but it's worth learning how to effectively break them in and eventually gain more valuable ones.
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How to tame horses and put them in stables in Zelda: Breath of the Wild
To tame a horse, first you need to locate some in the wild. If you find a stable there should always be some close by - the earliest stable is just on the other side of Dueling Peaks, and to the fields surrounding the stable could potentially be your first steed.
If this is your first horse, look at once with spots - these are a little tame, and it's better to have a horse than none at all as these general rules explained:
- Spots are even-tempered and easy to train
- All one colour are more wild and harder to train, but has more stamina and runs faster
When you have selected your target, crouch to sneak and approach it from behind. Just like enemies in the game, long grass will help you give further cover from afar, but provided they are looking away don't be afraid to break away.
When you're close enough, and if the horse hasn't spooked, then you'll get a prompt to mount. Do so, and you should leap on. Immediately sooth it to calm it down.
While your horse will by and large follow your commands straight away, it can be a little dissident and need further training, and so you will need to continue soothing your horse overtime to build up your bond.
Some horses will need this more than others, but the general rule is whenever it agrees to do what you want, sooth it - don't just pat willy nilly. You'll see a red mist appear whenever your bond improves over time, so keep it up to increase your trust.
How to claim a horse in a stable
Once you're at a Stable and ready to claim, stay on the horse and target the stable master at his window. (Remember you can tap ZL again to change targets.)
You'll then be able to register the horse and give it name of your choosing. You'll need 20 Rupees for your trouble, but it's a one time fee that also gives you a saddle and bridle.
What this essentially means is your horse can now be called at any Stable in the land. Though you're able to call your horse to you by whistling when nearby (press Down on the D-pad) a horse will stay put in place whatever you go, so if you fast travel elsewhere, visit a Stable and it'll appear by your side once more.
How to get Epona in Zelda: Breath of the Wild
To get the legendary horse Epona requires you to have the Smash Link specific amiibo, whereby tapping it in to the game will make Epona appear. Epona has a four star rating across Strength, Speed and Stamina, a Gentle temperament and a Max bond, making it an excellent horse to have with you.
One important note with Epona is you can only import it once with the Smash Link amiibo. The first time you use the amiibo it'll appear, but if you lose it, or it dies before it's registered, there's no way to get another. So, make sure you use the amiibo near a stable and you immediately register it so it's yours.
Another interesting fact is Epona is one of the few horses in the game that cannot be renamed - the stablemaster will balk at the mere suggestion of you trying to do so!
Want more help? Our Zelda: Breath of the Wild walkthrough and guide provides in-progress steps to completing the game's main quests - including Divine Beasts Vah Ruta, Vah Rudiana, Vah Medoh and Vah Naboris - as well as how to find the Master Sword, Hylian Shield and all Captured Memories locations and Great Fairy Fountain locations, while our ongoing Shrines of Trials hub explains where to find and solve the game's many puzzle rooms. We also have advice on how to beat Guardians, where to get easy Rupees, tame horses, find how to get cold resistance, fire resistance and heat resistance, and learn the most effective means of cooking with ingredients for bonus effects.
Other things to know about taming horses in Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- You can have store up to five horses at a Stable, and summon them from another Stable anywhere in the land.
- Most regions have a stable, so be sure to visit to add it to your map, and locate a Shrine or Tower nearby to act as a waypoint.
- Even if you haven't registered and 'claimed' a wild horse, you can leap off and continue exploring - it won't just make for freedom. That said, you'll want to register it at a Stable sooner than later to be safe.
- By and large horses will stay where you leave them, which is why it's important to visit Stables. They can however move of their own accord; for example when it rains, they will find shelter nearby.
- If you capture a horse that was once ridden by an enemy - such as those north of Kakariko Village - they will have a higher bond than if you caught it purely wild.
- Riding a horse into smaller animals and enemies and kill them instantly.
- Horses cannot sprint through populated areas, so it might be easier to run through on foot and whistle it over if you're passing to the other side.
- When you leave food lying around, your horse sometimes will automatically eat it.