I was informed that there were stables on the other side of Twin Peaks, and that should be my next goal. I was all for this, because where there are stables, there are horses. And you guys know how much of a horse lover I am by now!
I knew nothing about the mount system in this game, so as I made my way towards the first stables, I wondered how much I’d have to save to buy my first horse. I was slowly gathering rupees, which I’d just begun seeing once I left the plateau. So, imagine my surprise when I got there and was told horses could be mine… for free!
In fact, they started teasing me about it the moment I talked to the first NPCs I saw outside the stable.
Why, yes. Yes, I am!
Oh, absolutely. Link even has a pony tail (get it?).
Yes! Yes! Yes!
So they go on to tell me that you can just catch a wild horse and tame them. I was head over heels with excitement! I didn’t expect this game to have a horse catching/taming system in the slightest! But they did give me a bit of advice…
Patterned horses are easier to catch, but have lower stats (will get to stats in a moment). Horses that are more solid colors are harder to catch, but have better stats overall. There does seem to be some inbetweens, too. For example, a paint horse has some lower stats than a blanket pinto does, though both of them were about the same difficulty to catch.
Catching Your Wild Horse
There are several herds of horses out on the plains near the stables. Just have to look around to find them. Also, be careful because a few of the Guardians out there do activate, which can lead to sudden death.
Once you find a horse that catches your eye, crouch down and sneak towards it. On the Switch, that’s pressing in on the left joystick.
Keep in mind that you need to try to be behind the horse. They will see you sneaking up in front of them.
Also, if you alert one of the horses in the herd, they will often send the whole herd scattering, so be careful.
Once you’re close enough to the horse, you’ll be prompted to press A to mount.
The horse will then try to buck you off, depending on how spirited they are (more solid colored horses are more spirited). Start hammering the top L button as fast as possible to wear them down. If you do get bucked off, follow the horse and keep trying. I read that your attempts to catch them do stack as long as you do it within a short period of time.
Once you’re on the horse’s back, your controls will change. This is reflected down at the bottom of the screen.
The horse is not tamed yet, and may not always respond to your commands.
But the first thing you should do is get them to the stables to register them.
Registering Your New Horse
So ride your new horse to the stables and go to the front window to talk to the guy there. You can talk to NPCs while mounted by holding ZL and pressing A at the same time.
Registering costs 20 rupees, but earns you an automatic saddle and bridle. You can also name your horse.
However, before you register, you’ll see something important: the horses’ stats.
Here’s what my first horse’s stats looked like:
Strength – How a horse holds up if they get in a battle. Horses will usually try to flee battle, but if they get hit, more strength is better. Yes, horses can die.
Speed – Overall top speed. Faster is faster, but also makes it harder to maneuver your horse.
Stamina – How many spur icons you have on the screen while riding, allowing you to urge the horse to break into a run.
Then, of course, there’s Temperament, which is self explanatory and the Bond you’re forming with your horse through taming.
Taming Your Wild Horse
Now, it’s time to tame your wild horse. You can do this by pressing the L button to soothe the horse, which increases the horse’s affection towards you.
But you can’t just do this randomly. The kids at the stable suggested to only soothe when the horse does something that you asked it to. Sorta like rewarding the horse for obeying a command.
The easiest way I’ve found to tame horses is to ride them toward fences — they will automatically jump over (or balk at the attempt). Soothing them right after a successful jump always earns affection.
Taming doesn’t take too long, and is really worth it. There’s nothing worse than fighting with your not-tame horse to go in the direction you need to when enemies leap out of the bush!
- You can only register 5 horses at a time.
- If you already have 5 horses registered, when you try to register another, the stables will prompt you to release a horse of your choice.
- Horses can die, but they can also be revived.
- Horses will automatically follow a road without your guidance. So if you ride them to the road, you can just let them do all the navigation work.
- You can take out a horse at any stable you come across, even if you left the horse somewhere else in the world.
- Your horse is always marked on the map, and you can use the horse whistle to call them as long as you’re in range.
- You can customize your horse’s looks at some stables.
- There are special horses and horse quests, so be on the lookout!
- You can get Epona in game from scanning an Amiibo. While Epona has good stats, she doesn’t have the best stats of all horses in the game, believe it or not.
- Added Tip: You can also feed the horse apples to tame it! I didn’t know that — thanks My Gaymer Blog!