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Breath of the Wild Guide: Horse Taming 101

These Breath of the Wild horse taming tips and tricks might just save you a buck or two!

Link is a great hero, and great heroes need great horses! Today we'll be taking a look at The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and how you can get your own loyal steed.

The Lead Up Finding Your First Horse

Before you can even think of looking for a horse, you'll need to get off the Grand Plateau. To do this, simply finish the four shrines found on the Grand Plateau and find the Old Man to get his paraglider. Once you have that, travel past the Dueling Peaks on your way to Kakariko Village.

The grassy area north of Dueling Peaks Stable is where you will encounter some of the first horses in the game. Depending on the color and pattern of the horse, the stats of the horse will be different. Spotted horses typically have lower stats, while single colored horses have the highest. Keep in mind that non-spotted horses are much harder to capture and tame because they have wild temperaments.

While it has yet to be determined for sure, my tests have yielded the following results for each color:

  • Dark Horses: Low Strength, Medium Speed, High Stamina
  • Brown Horses: Low Strength, High Speed, Medium Stamina
  • Gray/Blue Horses: High Strength, Medium Speed, Low Stamina
  • White Horses: Medium Strength, Low Speed, High Stamina

Choosing the best horse is less of a matter of what is best overall, and more of what better fits the situation. If you're looking for a war horse, a horse with higher strength will be better since they can take more hits without dying. If you're looking to travel short distances, speed is key. Meanwhile, stamina is best for rides that will go on for much longer distances.

Grabbing the Reins

Once you find a pack of horses, your first reaction might be to run and grab it. Doing so will instead get you kicked in the face, and possibly launch you hard enough to get you killed if you are still near the start of the game. Instead, consider the following:

Stealth is the Key...

Sneaking up on a horse is the only way to ensure that you can mount it without getting a mouthful of horse kicks. To do this, press down on the left joystick, and slowly push upward so that the sound meter (the wave to the left of your minimap) is as stable as possible. Once you're close enough, press A to mount the horse. 

Remember that the horses can still see you, even if you are dead silent, so approaching from behind is a necessity. Stealth gear can help you approach horses easier as well, so keep that in mind. Alternatively, try to find a spot to use the paraglider and press the B-Button when you're directly above a horse to land on them.

That said, you'll need to prevent sacrificing as much of your stamina as possible or else the next section will be much more difficult...

Breath of the Wild's Mad Rodeo

Once you get on the horse, you've got about three seconds to calm it down. The mad dash to tap the L button begins as soon as you get on, so be sure to press it as many times as possible!

Remember: unicolored horses have the highest stats, but they also have the worst temperament. That means it'll be harder for you to get control without getting bucked off. Each "soothing" session stacks with the last one, so if you continue hunting the same horse you can eventually tame it using sheer stubbornness.

You can also eat stamina-boosting foods or items to increase your chances of success. If you find you're about to be bucked off, boost your stamina to get a second wind.

The Ride Home

Once the horse calms down a bit, you can start controlling it. The more stubborn the temperament, the more likely it will disobey your commands. To prevent this, move the joystick in the opposite direction of the horse. Once it listens, press L to soothe it. Every successful soothe command will cause pink hearts to flutter around the horse's head. This is the horses' loyalty level. A higher loyalty means that the horse will be less likely to ignore your orders.

When you get full control of your horse, start traveling back to the stables to register it. To register a horse, speak to the receptionist at the front while on horseback -- the one behind the counter, not the one standing in front of it. This will ensure that your horse will stay with you permanently unless you get it killed.

If you happen to lose track of your horse while out in the wild, you can return to any stable in the game and select "take horse" to get it back.

Finding Epona in Breath of the Wild (Spoilers)

Epona is the horse typically associated with Link. Originating in Ocarina of Time, Epona can be tamed in-game. Sadly, the only way to get Epona to appear is through an amiibo exclusive. In particular, you will need to scan the Super Smash Bros. series Link amiibo. 

If you have the Link amiibo, Epona is a great asset to your journey. With maxed out stats and a gentle temperament, there isn't a single in-game horse that you can find that will match her stats. The downside, of course, is that if Epona dies -- that's it. You cannot respawn Epona by tapping the amiibo again after she dies, and you will only be able to get her by restarting your game or by finding the Horse God's Great Fairy Fountain.

And there you have it!

Hopefully, this helps you better understand the mechanics of horse wrangling in Breath of the Wild. There are plenty of patterns and colors to explore, each with its own personality and stats. You can register up to five horses as well, so don't worry too much about missing out on the chance to get another, either!

Check out our other Breath of the Wild guides!
Published Mar. 4th 2017

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