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Skeleton Horse

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Skeleton Horse
Skeleton Horse.png
Baby Skeleton Horse.png
Health points

15 (Mob Heart.svg × 7.5)


Height: 1.6 Blocks
Width: 1.4 Blocks
Height: 0.8 Blocks
Width: 0.7 Blocks


Skeleton traps

Common drops
Usable items

Kill Adult: 1–3

Internal ID

JE: 28
BE: 26

Namespaced ID


This article may need cleanup to improve its quality, possibly to comply with the style guide. Discuss
Please help us clean up this page if you can. The specific instructions are:
Remove information relating to other horse types.

Skeleton horses are undead variants of regular horses.


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

Skeleton horses spawn only from "skeleton traps".

A "skeleton trap" horse is a skeleton horse spawned from a fraction of lightning strikes during a thunderstorm (0.75–1.5% chance on Easy, 1.5–4% on Normal, and 2.8125–6.75% on Hard, depending on regional difficulty). It despawns after 15 minutes if not triggered.

When a player comes within 10 blocks of the skeleton trap horse, lightning will strike it. 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 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 exact level depends 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 if PersistenceRequired is set.
  • A trap horse may spawn in areas that a regular horse may not, such as the middle of an ocean.
  • A trap horse can trigger normally in clear weather.


Upon death, skeleton horses drop:

If armored or saddled, they will drop anything equipped. [verify]

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.


Tamed and saddled skeleton 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 and jump fences because the skeleton horses can jump up to five block heights, versus the player's maximum of about one (without a potion). They can be ridden in water in any depth. Skeleton horses sink in the water and can be ridden along the ocean or river floor

Much like other passive mobs, skeleton horses can be pulled using a lead.


Java Edition

In Java Edition Skeleton horses have the following slot available:

  • Saddle Slot: For equipping a saddle.

Saddles can be placed on a skeleton horse by holding it and then right clicking on the skeleton horse, or by accessing its inventory. A skeleton horse's inventory can be accessed by mounting the skeleton horse and opening the player inventory or by sneaking and then right-clicking on the horse.

Bedrock Edition

In Bedrock Edition, a skeleton horse does not have an inventory and cannot be equipped with a saddle and given armor.


Once a skeleton 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.

In Bedrock Edition, skeleton horses can be controlled by the player without a saddle. However, In Java Edition, skeleton horses can be equipped with a saddle and then controlled.

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 having an orange/brown appearance. The experience bar is replaced by the horse leaping bar. In Legacy Console Edition, the horse health bar will still be visible on creative.

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 varies 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. However, horses are very slow when 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 for a player to use a Nether portal while on a horse. It is possible however, to enter the portal on the horse and then dismount, sending the horse through the portal on its own, or use a lead to position the horse, then push it through the portal.

Unlike normal horses, a skeleton horse will not dismount the player when it enters water deeper than two blocks; rather, it can be ridden underwater without the skeleton horse running out of air. When underwater, its running speed and jump will remain the same but it will have a slower rate of descent.


Skeleton horses will roam idly, occasionally stopping to rear, swish their tails, or lower their heads to eat 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.

Skeleton horses, like most mobs, can ride in minecarts and boats. They can also be tamed by the player.

Unlike other passive mobs, skeleton horses will slowly regenerate health evident by their health bar while riding a tamed horse. This is the same case for normal horses. They cannot be bred or fed too.


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

Spawned values[edit]

When spawned in any way except breeding – for instance, using commands, spawning naturally, spawning as part of a skeleton trap, or using spawn eggs – horses are assigned their stats within certain ranges, specific according to their horse type.


Skeleton horse's health is always 15. Displayed hearts are health, divided by two, rounded down. A horse with an non-even number of health points (15, 17, 19, etc.) will not show the last half-heart. You may strike a horse to test this. If the horse has lost one fewer health point than the inflicted damage and did not regenerate, it has an odd number of health points, otherwise it has an even number of health points.

Movement speed[edit]

Skeleton horse's speed is always 0.2; the player's normal walking speed is 0.1. The speed listed does not include any status effect that affects the speed of a horse or a player.

See transportation to compare the speeds of various transportation methods.

Jump strength[edit]

Jump strength ranges from 0.4–1.0, tending towards the average of 0.7.

A jump strength of 0.5 is enough to clear 1 916 blocks, while 1.0 is enough to clear 5 14 blocks.

The following derived equation can be use to calculate a 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 strengths, to 15 digits, required to clear several block heights are listed below.

Jump Strength Blocks
0.966967527085333 5.000
0.847552919762898 4.000
0.715301016726230 3.000
0.564380127487889 2.000
0.432084373616155 1.250 (player's jump height)

Data values[edit]

Skeleton horses have entity data associated with them that contain various properties of the mob.

  • 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.
    •  EatingHaystack: 1 or 0 (true/false) – true if the horse is grazing.
    •  Tame: 1 or 0 (true/false) – true if the horse is tamed.
    •  Temper: Ranges from 0 to 100; increases with feeding. Higher values make a horse easier to tame.
    •  OwnerUUID: Contains the UUID of the player that tamed the horse. Has no effect on behavior.
    •  ArmorItem: The armor item worn by this horse. May not exist.
    •  SaddleItem: The saddle item worn by this horse. May not exist.(Non-player mobs will not be able to control a tamed horse if it has no 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).



This page would benefit from the addition of more images.
Please remove this notice once you've added suitable images to the article. The specific instructions are: Didn't donkeys/mules/etc. also have model changes? Also, note the texture change that resulted from MC-124281's fix. Additionally, it would be nice to have the texture of the creamy horse in 18w22a.
Java Edition
4 April 2013Jeb hinted at adding horses when Minecraft hit 10,000,000 sales.
1.6.113w16aAdded skeleton horses along with other horses, assisted by DrZhark (John Olarte), creator of the Mo' Creatures mod, whose horses were a baseline for Minecraft's Horse models. However, skeleton horses are not available yet without the use of third party commands[1]
13w21aAdded new GUI for horses, including skeleton horses; to control saddle/armor/inventory.
13w22aAdded new sound effects for skeleton horses.
1.7.213w36aSkeleton horses are now available without third-party tools, with the introduction of the /summon command.
1.915w38aAdded "skeleton trap" horses.
There is a chance (depending on regional difficulty) that a lightning strike will spawn a "skeleton trap" skeleton horse.
15w43a44bDrops changed several times. The end result is that skeleton horses now always drop one bone, not affected by Looting.
1.1016w20aAdded Spawn eggs for Skeleton horses.
pre2Removed spawn eggs for skeleton horses.
1.1116w32aHorses now have seperate IDs, the ID for skeleton horses is skeleton_horse
Re-added spawn egg for skeleton horses.
Skeleton trap horses' chance to spawn during lightning strikes is reduced to 15 of what it was.
16w38aSkeleton horses now drop 0–2 of bone or rotten flesh, affected by Looting.
1.1317w45aAdded a new model for skeleton horses
17w46aThe new model was slightly tweaked.
18w03aSkeleton Horse.png Updated the skeleton horse model again, also slightly altered the texture.
18w19aSkeleton horses will now sink in water, due to being an undead mob. Zombie horses, curiously, do not.[2]
The player can now ride skeleton horses when underwater.
pre2Updated skeleton horse model to fix serious Z-fighting.
1.1419w08aThe skeleton horse texture was updated
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.15.0build 1Added skeleton trap horses
Pocket Edition
1.1.0alpha entity ID for skeleton horse is changed from skeletonhorse to skeleton_horse.
Bedrock Edition
1.2.6beta the new skeleton horse model from Java Edition 17w41a
1.2.9Horses will no longer open their mouths when bucking the player off or taking damage.
1.5.0beta horses can now be ridden underwater.
1.8.0beta horse foals now have a chance of being spawned using a spawn egg.
Legacy Console Edition
TU46CU361.38Patch 15Added "skeleton trap" horses.
TU60CU511.64Patch 30Added the new skeleton horse model from Java Edition 17w41a.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
0.1.0Added skeleton trap horses.


Issues relating to "Skeleton horse" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.


  • Dr. Zhark appears in the credits after the End Poem as the creator of the horses, including skeleton horses.
  • On multiplayer, it is possible to easily figure out which of two skeleton 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.
  • It is possible to summon a rideable skeleton horse using the command /summon skeleton_horse ~ ~ ~ {Tame:1, SaddleItem: {id: saddle, Count:1}} which will spawn a horse wearing a saddle, which the player can then mount. Like a donkey there is no armor slot, but also no way to equip a chest.
  • In the Bedrock Edition, skeleton horses can be transported in a boat by riding the skeleton horse and jumping into the boat then dismounting (leaving the horse behind in the boat) and activating the boat from underneath / underwater. Attempting to activate the boat in order to pilot it from above will result in the player being mounted on the horse again rather than being placed inside the boat to pilot it.


See also[edit]