Skeleton Horse

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Skeleton Horse
Skeleton Horse TextureUpdate.pngSaddled Skeleton Horse.png
Baby Skeleton Horse TextureUpdate.png
Health points

15♥ × 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


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", when a lightning strikes a horse within 4 blocks.

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 strikes 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 also spawns two additional skeleton horsemen in the vicinity. Each skeleton is equipped with an enchanted iron helmet and an enchanted bow, and has damage immunity for 3 seconds after spawning (in Bedrock Edition both horse and rider are immune only from lightning). 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 wears an iron helmet, unless it randomly spawned with some other headgear.
  • The skeleton's bow and helmet are enchanted as if on an enchantment table at level 5–22. The exact level depends on regional difficulty; on Easy it is always a level-5 enchantment.
  • The skeleton trap horse becomes fully grown if it was a baby, and the breeding cooldown is reset.
  • The original horse is tamed when struck, and the additional three horses are spawned tamed.
  • The skeletons do 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.
  • The skeleton drops more experience orbs.


Upon death, skeleton horses drop:

  • 0–2 Bones. The maximum amount is increased by 1 per level of Looting, for a maximum of 0-5 with Looting III.
  • 1–3 experience when killed by a player or tamed wolf.

If saddled, they drop their saddle.


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 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.

Skeleton horses can be pulled using a lead in Bedrock Edition, but not in Java Edition.[1]


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 and Legacy Console Edition

A skeleton horse does not have an inventory and cannot be equipped with a saddle or 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 brown appearance. The experience bar is replaced by the horse leaping bar. In Legacy Console Edition, the horse health bar is still 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 automatically runs 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.

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.‌[Bedrock Edition only]

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


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 slowly regenerate health evident by their health bar while riding a tamed horse. This is the same case for normal horses. However, they cannot be bred or fed.


All horses have three "equine stats" that 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.) does 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).



Java Edition
4 April 2013Jeb hinted at adding horses when Minecraft hit 10,000,000 sales.
1.6.113w16aSkeleton Horse Revision 1.png Added 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.[2]
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 spawns 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.
pre2The spawn eggs for skeleton horses have now been removed.
1.1116w32aHorses now have seperate IDs, the ID for skeleton horses is skeleton_horse.
Re-added the 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.
1.1317w45aSkeleton Horse 17w45a.png Added a new model for skeleton horses.
17w46aSkeleton Horse 17w46a.png The new model for skeleton horses has now been slightly tweaked.
18w03aSkeleton Horse Revision 2.png The skeleton horse model has now been updated again and the texture has been slightly altered.
18w19aSkeleton horses now sink in water, due to being an undead mob. Zombie horses, curiously, do not.[3]
The player can now ride skeleton horses when underwater.
pre2The skeleton horse model has now been updated to fix serious Z-fighting from Skeleton Horse 1.13 Z-fighting.png to Skeleton Horse 1.13 pre2 Z-fighting fixed.png.[4]
1.1419w08aSkeleton Horse.png The texture of the skeleton horse has now been changed.
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.15.0build 1Skeleton Horse Revision 1.png Added "skeleton trap" horses.
Pocket Edition
1.1.0alpha entity ID for skeleton horse has now been changed from skeletonhorse to skeleton_horse.
Bedrock Edition
1.2.6beta Horse 17w45a.png Added the new skeleton horse model from Java Edition 17w45a.
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.
1.10.0beta Horse.png The texture of the skeleton horse has now been changed.
Legacy Console Edition
TU46CU361.38Patch 15Skeleton Horse Revision 1.png Added "skeleton trap" horses.
TU60CU511.64Patch 30Skeleton Horse 17w45a.png Added the new skeleton horse model from Java Edition 17w45a.
PlayStation 4 Edition
1.90Skeleton Horse.png The texture of the skeleton horse has now been changed.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
0.1.0Skeleton Horse Revision 1.png Added "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 find 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 is faster.
  • It is possible to summon a rideable skeleton horse using the command /summon skeleton_horse ~ ~ ~ {Tame:1, SaddleItem: {id: saddle, Count:1}}, which spawns 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 results in the player being mounted on the horse again rather than being placed inside the boat to pilot it.


See also[edit]