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Health points

15 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg) to 30 (Heart.svg × 15), and 52 (Heart.svg × 26)[1]

Armor points

See horse armor


Plains and savanna

First appearances

See History

Common drops
Usable items

Kill Adult: 1–3
Breeding: 1–7

Network ID


Savegame ID


Horses are tamable mobs that have five in-game variants: horses, donkeys, mules, zombie horses, and skeleton horses. The variants can appear in one of several different coat colors that exhibit different markings.

Spawning[edit | edit source]

Horses and donkeys only spawn in plains and savannas in herds of 2-6. 10% of herds will be donkeys. For horses, all combinations of color and markings are equally likely. All members of the herd will have the same color, but markings may vary. 20% of the individual horses or donkeys will spawn as babies.

Mules do not spawn naturally, and can only be spawned in survival mode by cross-breeding a horse with a donkey. Skeletal horses can spawn as skeleton traps from natural lightning strikes, but do not otherwise spawn naturally. Zombie horses do not spawn naturally, but may be summoned by issuing the command /summon EntityHorse ~ ~ ~ {Type:3}. Skeleton Horses can be summoned using the command /summon EntityHorse ~ ~ ~ {Type:4} . (spawn eggs in 1.10[upcoming]).

Horse spawn eggs will spawn normal horses and donkeys, in the same proportion as random herd spawning.

Appearance[edit | edit source]

All 35 breeds of horses.

Each horse variant has unique features and markings, and a foal (baby) version. Adult horses are 1.4 blocks wide and long, and 1.6 blocks high. Foals start at half the size of adults and get progressively bigger as they age. Unlike wolves and ocelots, the appearances of horses do not change once they have been tamed, though tame horses may be differentiated by giving them equipment.

  • Horses feature a stocky build. They can have 1 of 7 base colors: white, buckskin, dark bay, bay, black, dapple gray, and flaxen chestnut; and 1 of 5 marking patterns: no markings, stockings and blaze, snowflake appaloosa, paint and sooty. In total, there are 35 possible horse coat combinations.
  • Donkeys are smaller all around than the normal horses and sport long, erect ears. Their manes do not protrude, but rather are drawn directly on the back of their heads and necks. All donkeys have gray-brown coats with darker ankles, ears, manes, and tails. Donkeys cannot be equipped with horse armor, but can be equipped with chests to store up to 15 stacks of items.
  • Mules are the offspring of horses and donkeys, and are closer to (but not quite) the size of a normal Horse. Their ears, coats, and manes are like those of a donkey, though mules’ coats are darker and reddish-brown. Like donkeys, mules cannot be equipped with armor, but can be equipped with chests.
  • Zombie Horses appear to be the horse counterpart of zombies. Like zombies, zombie horses are green-skinned, and their eyes are completely black.
  • Skeleton Horses appear to be the horse counterpart of skeletons. Like skeletons, their bodies are only bones.

Drops[edit | edit source]

Horses, donkeys, and mules drop 0–2 leather; skeletal horses drop 1 bone and zombie horses drop 1 rotten flesh, unaffected by Looting. They drop 3 experience when killed by a player or tamed wolf. If armored, chested, or saddled, they will drop anything equipped.

Using a weapon enchanted with Looting increases the maximum amount of drops by 1 per level of Looting, up to a maximum of 5 at Looting III.

Usage[edit | edit source]

Tamed and saddled horses can be used as one of the fastest means of transportation in the game, though they are unable to fit through single block-wide openings. They can also be used to climb hills, as some horses can jump high enough to clear up to five block heights, versus the player's maximum of one (without a potion). Donkeys and mules can be equipped with chests and used as pack animals.

Equipment[edit | edit source]

Donkey UI
Horse UI

Tamed horses can be equipped with saddles (all kinds), horse armor (normal horses only), or chests (donkeys or mules only). Foals cannot be equipped with anything.

Equipment can be placed on a horse by holding it and then right clicking on the horse, or by accessing its inventory. A horse’s inventory can be accessed by mounting the horse and opening the player inventory or by holding down shift and then right-clicking on the horse. A normal horse’s inventory will only have 2 slots, 1 for a saddle and 1 for horse armor. A donkey or mule will only have a saddle slot originally, but if it is given a chest, it will acquire 15 more inventory slots that can hold anything the player wishes.

Chests can only be given to a donkey or a mule by right-clicking on the donkey or mule with the chest in hand, and afterwards the chest cannot be removed, except by killing the donkey or mule. Upon death, the donkey or mule will drop the attached chest and its contents.

Riding[edit | edit source]

See also: Transportation

Once a horse is tamed and saddled, the player can control it with standard directional controls, jump, and the mouse. The player dismounts using the dismount control.

When riding a horse, the hunger bar is replaced by the horse's health in survival or adventure mode. It uses a slightly different heart texture than the player's health bar. The experience bar is replaced by the horse jump bar.

A player can use any item while riding a horse, including drinking or throwing potions; activating doors or redstone devices; using chests, crafting tables, and furnaces; breaking and placing blocks; and attacking with melee weapons or bows.

A ridden horse will automatically run up any one block high slope. The horse and rider can safely fit through a space as low as 2.75 blocks high. Lower clearance risks suffocating the rider if the rider's head enters a non-transparent block. The horse itself can enter gaps as low as 1.625 blocks high, but may itself take suffocation damage when clearance is less than 1.75 blocks. Horses cannot fit through a 1-block-wide gap.

The maximum speed of horses vary between 4.8375 blocks/second and 14.5125 blocks/second (compared to the player's walking speed, which is about 4.3 blocks/second). About 68% of horses are able to go faster than a minecart. A fast horse can be combined with speed potions and the Nether to make the horse easily the fastest practical way to travel in Minecraft (around 130 m/s Overworld-equivalent in the Nether). The speed of a horse has no relation to its outward appearance. Horses are very slow moving backwards, and about as fast as the player when moving sideways.

A ridden horse can be made to jump, and holding the control charges for a higher leap. Horses are not affected by jump boost beacons or potions. The standard dismount control dismounts from the horse, as does going in water deeper than two blocks. Like the player, horses take fall damage when falling from heights.

It is impossible to enter a Nether portal while on a horse. It is possible however, to enter the portal on the horse and then dismount, sending the horse to the Nether on its own.

Behavior[edit | edit source]

Horses in herds spawned by the game will usually all be the same color.

All horses will roam idly, occasionally stopping to rear, swish their tails, or lower their heads as though eating the grass. Unlike sheep, the eating animation does not actually cause any grass to be consumed. If a player comes near, the horses may turn to look at them. Any (non-undead) horse, even a wild one, will allow itself to be attached to a lead without protest. However, if the player attempts to saddle an untamed horse, it will rear and flail its front hooves. Horses remain passive, even when hit.

Horses will also open their mouths and make noises that depend on the particular horse’s variation. Normal horses make neighs and whinnies, while donkeys and mules, which use the same audio, emit brays.

Horses, like most mobs, can ride in a minecart.

Skeleton trap[edit | edit source]

A group of skeleton horsemen spawned by a "skeleton trap" horse.

"Skeleton trap" horses spawn from a fraction of lightning strikes during thunderstorms (3.75–7.5% chance on Easy, 7.5–20% on Normal, and 11.25–33.75% on Hard, depending on regional difficulty). They despawn after 15 minutes (18,000 ticks) if not triggered. Naturally-spawned traps are always skeleton horses, but with commands any horse may be made a trap.

When a player comes within 10 blocks, lightning will strike the horse. This lightning cannot start fires or damage nearby entities. When struck, the skeleton trap horse transforms into a skeleton horseman, a skeleton riding a skeleton horse. It will also spawn three additional skeleton horsemen in the vicinity. Each skeleton is equipped with an enchanted iron helmet and an enchanted bow, and have damage immunity for 3 seconds after spawning. Skeleton horsemen move extremely fast and maneuver exactly like skeletons, strafing when attacking and backing up when the player moves towards them.

Other notes:

  • The skeleton will be wearing an iron helmet, unless it randomly spawned with some other headgear.
  • The skeleton's bow and helmet will be enchanted as if on an enchantment table at level 5–22. The level is higher depending on regional difficulty; on Easy it will always be a level-5 enchantment.
  • The skeleton trap horse will become fully grown if it was a baby, and the breeding cooldown will be reset.
  • The original horse will be tamed when struck, and the additional three horses are spawned tamed.
  • The skeletons will not despawn (PersistenceRequired is set).
  • A trap horse activated in the Nether (after having wandered through a portal, for instance) will have wither skeleton riders 80% of the time – the same rate that governs skeletons in the Nether in general.
  • A trap horse may spawn in areas that a regular horse may not, such as in the middle of an ocean.

Taming[edit | edit source]

Adult horses, donkeys, and mules can be tamed, but not zombie horses or skeleton horses. With an empty hand mount the horse repeatedly; when it no longer bucks the player and shows hearts, it is tamed. It is necessary to tame a horse in order to breed it, give it equipment, or ride it for any length of time.

Taming depends on the horse's "temper". Horses begin with a temper of 0 out of 100. When a player is riding the horse, a random number 0–99 is chosen. The horse becomes tame if this number is less than the temper, otherwise the temper is increased by 5 and the player is bucked off. Temper can also be increased by feeding the horse.

Breeding[edit | edit source]

Feeding tamed horses golden apples or a golden carrot will activate love mode. Depending on the variations of the parent horses, the offspring can be one of several types. The offspring will be more spindly than their adult versions and will grow progressively larger with time until they reach their full size.

The offspring will not automatically belong to the player who owns its parents. Rather, it will be born as an untamed horse and will need to be tamed after it grows into an adult. The foal can be fed to make it mature faster.

  • Horse: Breeding two horses produces a horse foal. Usually the new foal has the color of either of its parents. One out of nine times it will take on an uncorrelated color (this color could still be the same as the parents', slightly reducing the probability of the new color being different). Markings work likewise.
  • Donkey: Breeding two donkeys creates a donkey foal. Since all donkeys have the same texture, the offspring will look exactly like its parents when it is fully grown.
  • Mules: Cannot be found in the wild, and cannot breed. Mules can only be spawned by breeding a horse with a donkey.
  • Zombie and skeletal horses: Cannot be bred or produced from breeding.

Food[edit | edit source]

Feeding a horse food can alter its behavior, cause it to grow (if it is not yet an adult; foals normally take 20 minutes to fully mature if not fed), and/or restore its health. The table below lists the effects of the various foods horses will take. Zombie and skeletal horses cannot be fed, even if tame. Horses can only be fed when feeding would have an effect, similar to other animals. If a horse does not need feeding or if the food is invalid, the player will simply mount the horse.

Food Heals Speeds growth by Increases temper Notes

1 (Half Heart.svg) 30 sec +3

2 (Heart.svg) 20 sec +3

3 (Heart.svgHalf Heart.svg) 1 min +3

Golden Carrot
4 (Heart.svgHeart.svg) 1 min +5 Activates love mode in tamed horses.

Golden Apple
10 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svg) 4 min +10 Activates love mode in tamed horses. Enchanted golden apples also work.

Hay Bale
20 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svg) 3 min Hay bales cannot be fed to untamed horses.

Statistics[edit | edit source]

See also: Horses tutorial

All horses have three "equine stats" which vary from horse to horse: health, jump height and (maximum) speed. The stats are created once the horse is born and are not affected by food.

For naturally-spawned horses (where natural spawning is possible, and note this doesn't include skeleton trap horses),

  • Health is randomly determined for horses, donkeys, and mules, ranging from 15–30 but tending towards the average 22–23. For skeletal and zombie horses, health is always 15.
  • Movement speed is randomly determined for horses, ranging from 0.1125 to 0.3375 in internal units but tending toward the average of 0.225. For donkeys and mules speed is always 0.175, and for skeletal and zombie horses it is always 0.2.
    • For comparison, the player's normal walking speed is 0.1.
  • Jump strength for horses, skeletal horses, and zombie horses is random, ranging from 0.4 to 1.0 but tending towards the average 0.7. For donkeys (and mules), jump strength is always 0.5.
    • For comparison, a player's jump strength is 0.42, enough to jump 1 block high. 0.5 is enough to jump 1.5 blocks, while 1.0 is enough to jump 5.5 blocks.

When summoned using commands and NBT tags are supplied, all horses will use default stats instead of those described above: 53 health, movement speed of 0.225, and jump strength 0.7.

The skeletal horses spawned by lightning as skeleton traps use the defaults as if spawned from commands, while the three spawned from a skeleton trap are actually spawned as normal randomly-spawned horses or donkeys and then reset to skeletal type, and so have stats as if they were horses or donkeys.

When breeding two horses, the foal's stats are determined by averaging both parent's stats with a third set, randomly determined as above (i.e. add both parents' stats with the random value and divide by 3). Random values are used for the third set even when the value is not normally randomized for the type of horse being bred.

At the time of 1.9-pre2 the following equation can be use to calculate a very accurate horse jump height from its jump strength attribute (with an rss of 5.510e-19). This function was fit to the data found in the table below and is therefore most accurate around these values.
JumpHeight = -0.1817584952 * x^3 + 3.689713992 * x^2 + 2.128599134 * x - 0.343930367
Where x is JumpStrength

The exact jump strength, to 15 digits, required to clear each whole block height is listed below.

Jump Strength Blocks
0.966967527085333 5.000
0.847552919762898 4.000
0.715301016726230 3.000
0.564380127487889 2.000

Data values[edit | edit source]

See also: Chunk format

Horses have entity data associated with them that contain various properties of the mob. Their entity ID is EntityHorse.

  • Entity data
    • Tags common to all entities see Template:Nbt inherit/entity/template
    • Tags common to all mobs see Template:Nbt inherit/mob/template
    • Additional fields for mobs that can breed see Template:Nbt inherit/breedable/template

    •  Bred: 1 or 0 (true/false) - Unknown. Remains 0 after breeding. If true, causes it to stay near other horses with this flag set.

    •  ChestedHorse: 1 or 0 (true/false) - true if the horse has chests. A chested horse that is not a donkey or a mule will crash the game.

    •  EatingHaystack: 1 or 0 (true/false) - true if the horse is grazing.

    •  HasReproduced: 1 or 0 (true/false) - currently unused. Always 0.

    •  Tame: 1 or 0 (true/false) - true if the horse is tamed. (Non players mobs will not be able to ride a tamed horse if it has no saddle)

    •  Temper: Ranges from 0 to 100; increases with feeding. Higher values make a horse easier to tame.

    •  Type: The type of the horse. 0 = Horse, 1 = Donkey, 2 = Mule, 3 = Zombie, 4 = Skeleton.

    •  Variant: The variant of the horse. Determines colors. Stored as baseColor | markings << 8. Unused values lead to invisible horses.

    •  OwnerName (deprecated): Contains the name of the player that tamed the horse. Has no effect on behavior.

    •  OwnerUUID: Contains the UUID of the player that tamed the horse. Has no effect on behavior.

    •  Items: List of items. Only exists if ChestedHorse is true.

      • An item, including the Slot tag. Slots are numbered 2 to 16 for donkeys and mules, and none exist for all other horses.

    •  ArmorItem: The armor item worn by this horse. May not exist.

    •  SaddleItem: The saddle item worn by this horse. May not exist.

    •  Saddle: 1 or 0 (true/false) - When loading, if SaddleItem is omitted and this is true then the horse will be wearing a default saddle.

    •  SkeletonTrap: 1 or 0 (true/false) - true if the horse is a trapped skeleton horse. Does not affect horse type.

    •  SkeletonTrapTime: Incremented each tick when SkeletonTrap is set to 1. The horse automatically despawns when it reaches 18000 (15 minutes).

Horse entities have Type and Variant fields that determine the type and look of the horse. All normal horses are of Type 0, donkeys are of Type 1, mules are of Type 2, zombie horses are of Type 3, and skeletal horses are of Type 4. Below is a list of Variant values that determine the variant of Type 0 horses (horse entities of other types seem to ignore the Variant field).

White Creamy Chestnut Brown Black Gray Dark Brown
None 0 1 2 3 4 5 6
White 256 257 258 259 260 261 262
White Field 512 513 514 515 516 517 518
White Dots 768 769 770 771 772 773 774
Black Dots 1024 1025 1026 1027 1028 1029 1030

Variant names taken from the names of the texture file they correspond to.

Giving a Type 0 horse entity a Variant value not in this chart will result in a white horse.

Using a value that is not a true ID (all true IDs are displayed on the chart above) will result in an invisible horse.

Video[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Official release
4 April 2013 Jeb hinted at adding horses when Minecraft hit 10,000,000 sales.
1.6.1 13w16a Added horses, assisted by DrZhark (John Olarte), creator of the Mo' Creatures mod, whose horses were a baseline for Minecraft's Horse models.[2]
13w16b Made horses slower and reduced horses from gliding so much.
13w18a Removed horse saddles. Horses are now ridden using the saddle
13w19a Enabled access to the donkey and mule inventories by sneaking and interacting.
13w21a Added new GUI for horses, to control saddle/armor/inventory.
13w22a Added new sound effects for horses, donkeys, mules, skeleton horses, and zombie horses.
1.7.2 13w36a Skeleton and zombie horses are now available without third-party tools, with the introduction of the /summon command.
1.8 14w02a Baby horse growth can be accelerated using wheat.
14w26c Horses can no longer be fed bread for taming, healing, or growing.
Wheat's acceleration of baby horse growth was reduced.
1.9 15w38a Added "skeleton trap" horses.
There is a chance (depending on regional difficulty) that a lightning strike will spawn a "skeleton trap" skeletal horse.
15w43a44b Drops changed several times. The end result is that undead horses now always drop 1 of their item (bone or rotten flesh), not affected by Looting.
15w47b Added sounds for horses eating food given by a player.
1.10 16w20a Added mule, donkey, zombie horse and skeleton horse spawn eggs.
Added baby versions for the skeleton and undead horses.
Console Edition
TU19 CU7 1.12 Patch 1 Added horses.
TU22 CU10 1.15 Added quick move to the horse inventory.
TU31 CU19 1.22 Patch 3 Baby horse growth can be accelerated using wheat.

Issues[edit | edit source]

Issues relating to “Horse”, “Foal”, “Donkey”, “Mule”, “Skeleton horse”, “Undead horse”, or ”Zombie horse“ are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Dr. Zhark appears in the credits after the End Poem as the creator of the horses
  • If a player picks up leather dropped by an adult horse, he will receive the “Cow Tipper" achievement. This is due to the achievement being given when a player picks up any piece of leather instead of being given when one kills a cow.
  • If a player pulling a horse with a lead enters a boat, the horse will swim after them at the same speed as the boat.
  • A player riding a horse will be dragged along if their horse is being pulled by a lead, and can even be lifted up in the air in the same way.
  • On multiplayer, it is possible to easily figure out which of two horses (owned and ridden by different players) is faster. Each rider needs to apply a lead to the other horse, then play 'tug of war'. The stronger horse will be faster.
  • While it's raining, skeleton traps can spawn even if MobSpawning is false.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]