Horses have been a key companion of Link’s ever since his first journey into the 3D realm in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64. They’ve been utilized heavily in every mainline Zelda title since, except Windwaker—and that was only because Hyrule remained underwater!
Until Breath of the Wild, Link was bound to one horse called Epona, and while Epona is also featured in Breath of the Wild, she was not the only steed befitting for the hero’s journey.
The same can be said for Tears of the Kingdom, which has adopted most of the aspects of horseriding we saw in Breath of the Wild and then some.
No matter which horse you choose, traversing the vast planes of Hyrule in the latest entry would become an incredibly tedious trek without one, so in this guide, I’m going to provide everything you need to know to use the game’s main mode of transport most effectively.
Bottom Line Up Front
If you’re in a rush and don’t have time to read the full article, here’s a quick rundown.
- Horses enable you to travel the vast world of Hyrule much more quickly and efficiently.
- If you want a horse, you need to tame one and bring it to a stable to be registered (so you don’t lose it).
- There are several different varieties of horses governed by several stats (Speed, Stamina, Strength, Pull, and Temperament).
- It’s also possible to upgrade and customize your horse by accruing Pony Points — these offer horse-specific rewards.
I’d also suggest scrolling straight to the bottom of the article and checking out the Frequently Asked Questions section; you never know, you might discover an answer to a question you’ve had for a long time!
How Horses Work in the Tears of the Kingdom
As I briefly mentioned, Link is no longer just bound to the one horse in Tears of the Kingdom. With the latest version of Hyrule representing flourishing biomes and all kinds of different flora and fauna, the first place you’re likely to see a horse is in the wild.
They can be tough to catch, but you’re able to tame a multitude of different varieties of horses this way, and for free.
Once you’ve caught a horse, you’ll need to bring it to a Stable. There are a total of eighteen different stables to choose from in the game, which also serve as great fast travel points on the map, a good place to bed down, and a solid choice for purchasing items.
There are numerous different types of horses in the game as we’ll discover later, but first, let’s briefly look at how you can gain access to your old horses if you’re coming to the game from Breath of the Wild.
Transferring Horses from Breath of the Wild
If you were an avid Breath of the Wild player, you’ll be glad to know that you can transfer your faithful companions from that game over to Tears of the Kingdom. To do so, simply speak to the person at the desk of any stable, go through the registration process, and your saved data will automatically be picked up.
From then on, you’ll notice all horses registered in Breath of the Wild’s iteration of Hyrule will now be yours to use in the new game.
Finding a Horse and Taming One
Finding a horse is pretty straightforward. As you traverse the planes of Hyrule, you’ll see them roaming about in packs around prominent grassy areas. There are several of these areas, but they’re not marked on the map.
As such, a better way to go about it would be to head to a stable: not only do these establishments provide other important horse-related benefits we’ll discuss later, but they usually have a group of horses conveniently hanging out in this same area.
The key part of taming a wild horse is making sure it doesn’t see you before you pounce. This means you need to first couch behind the horse until you’re close up against it. You’ll then be prompted to press the A button to mount it (and you’ll have to be quick as they don’t tend to stay in one place for very long).
Once you do, prior serenity is smothered to make way for the chaos which ensures; the horse will not like that you’ve jumped on its back and will writhe about violently to buck you off. To fight back, repeatedly press the L button until the horse calms down.
When that ordeal is over, you’ve successfully tamed a horse. Of course, more valuable horses will prove more difficult to tame: taming drains your stamina, so certain horses will be out of your grasp before you’ve leveled up a bit. The section I have on the types of horses will teach you what you’re up against.
Horse Coats and Colours
While the color or coat type of a horse may seem like an arbitrary detail, it should be noted that these variations do offer slight differences in stature.
Horses with marbled or spotted patterns often have slightly lower stats than those with solid-colored coats, and they’re also more skittish. Bear this in mind when picking a wild horse to claim.
There are a huge variety of stables in Tears of the Kingdom. Take a look at the map image below.
As well as being a prime location for catching horses, Stables in fact act as mini hubs that you can use to rest, buy, eat, and cook: they almost always have beds you can rent for a small fee, as well as a couple of vendors that’ll sell you ingredients. They even have a cooking pot for you to use.
Most importantly, this is also where you’ll register a horse. Registering a horse is essentially claiming ownership of it.
To register, head to the Stable’s main test and press A on the Registration option. You’ll then be prompted to give a name to your new friend and fit it out with a saddle, and from there on, you won’t lose your horse if you jump off and it wanders off.
If you don’t register your horse, there’s a high chance that it’ll just disappear at some point, and then you’ll have lost it forever! For an in-depth look at each stable in the game and the intricacies of doing business with them, be sure to check out our dedicated guide on the topic.
There are a few stats you should consider when choosing a horse; these will be visible upon registering it. There’s:
- Strength: Determines how much damage your horse can sustain; it’s basically another way of saying HP (Health Points).
- Speed: How fast your horse can go at both full gallop and regular speed.
- Stamina is how long your horse can gallop before needing a rest.
- Pull: The efficiency with which your horse can tolerate pulling heavy loads (only relevant if you’ve equipped a harness)
- Temperament: The nature of your horse determines the difficulty of taming the breed.
- Bond: The Bond stat is a level that increases over time as you spend time with your horse and soothe it. You can also increase the bond between you and your horse by feeding it apples, carrots, and similar foods. As the Bond stat increases, the less skittish and more efficient they become.
Pony Points are brand new to Tears of the Kingdom. Link will be given a Pony Club Card upon his first visit to an established stable, and this card will allow you to acquire Pony Points. These points unlock rewards at the game’s large stables. At the head desk, you’ll find you can interact with a ledger book, which is used to spend your points.
Reward value naturally scales with the number of points you put down, and there’s a wide variety from horse gear to rare food items.
There are numerous ways to earn Pony Points, and most of them are pretty easy. The simplest is by visiting a newly discovered stable and talking to the clerk; this will earn you one point, and you’ll earn another for every horse you register. You will also earn a point every time you sleep in a stable inn.
You’ll also earn points for any side quests you complete that have been given to you by a stable staff member, such as the A Picture for quests you will routinely come across.
Pony Points are cumulative, meaning that you won’t lose them when you acquire items. Instead, your total amount of points is what determines access to all rewards; you’ll need 60 points in total to unlock everything.
One of the most fun Pony Points rewards to unlock is horse customization, which we’ll get into next.
As was the case in Breath of the Wild, there are myriad ways you can choose to kit out your faithful companion in Tears of the Kingdom. Customization is unlocked by signing up for the Pony Points system and registering a horse. Let’s take a look at the options!
Your horse can offer you more than just speedy transportation, and these abilities come in the form of equipment sets: special gear strapped to your horse’s body that either provides utility or significantly alters its look. The following sets are presently available:
Towing Harness: The Towing Harness has a very specific utility: moving heavy stuff. You’ll find out organically when you need it for specific quests, but you won’t want to keep it on indefinitely as it understandably slows your horse down.
Stable Set: This is the basic set you can obtain from any stable once you register a horse.
Royal Set: The Royal set offers your horse authentic royals befitting for a rightful ruler. This one is similar to the Extravagant set, but exudes more elegance, somehow.
Extravagant Set: The Extravagant tack provides some serious pampering to your horse. He or she will look like a million dollars trotting around Hyrule in this ornate gear.
Knights Set: This is the set you’ll want if you and your horse are heading into battle, as it provides more protection from damage than any other horse armor (which means fewer trips to the Horse God!)
Travelers Set: The Traverlers set is a nice upgrade from the basic Stable set. Its design appears more fit for purpose, and you now have an extra inventory to use your horse for storing extra items you find on your travels.
Acquire 16 Pony Points, and you’ll also unlock Mane customization. There are ten different manes to choose from.
The Horse God
Should your horse fall during your dangerous journey, you do have an opportunity to revive it.
To do so, you must visit an entity known as Malanya, The Horse God, who is located not far from the Tech Lab in North East Hyrule.
Once you meet Malanya, you must offer them one Endura Carrot to make the services accessible to you. You’ll then have a few options, one of which is to offer her a Roasted Endura Carrot to revive your horse. So, either way, get some Endura Carrots first!
The best place to find them growing organically is around Satori Mountain; roasting them merely requires throwing one onto an open flame.
You can also visit them to boost your horses’ stats. Strength, Pull, Stamina, and Speed can each be augmented in this way, but to do so, Malanya will ask you to provide her with certain meals at random (check out our cooking guide if you haven’t already!).
Note: You won’t have the ability to use these upgrades on Epona, the Giant White Stalion, or Ganon’s Horse.
So, now that we know the various different ways in which you can obtain a horse and upgrade it, let’s go through the different types you’ll come across on your journey.
The Wild Horses have already been covered above in the Taming section of the guide, so in this section, we’ll discuss the less common types of horses you’ll find in Hyrule.
Each horse in this category is one-of-a-kind, and usually, they have particularly high numbers in one or more stats. Which you consider going for will be dependent on your playstyle and also on which side quests you choose to pursue (as many are acquired through these means).
The Golden Horse
- Strength: 4 Stars
- Speed: 4 Stars
- Stamina: 3 Starts
- Pull: 2 Stars
- Temperament: Gentle
The Golden Horse is a truly magnificent specimen. Belonging to Princess Zelda herself, the stallion features a glowing golden coat and a platted blonde main, and of course, it’s incredibly fast! According to the game’s lore, it’s said to only appear every 100 years; it’s also deemed to be particularly robust, and it’s very picky about who can ride it.
Take a look at the image below. This is where you’ll find the Golden Horse roaming about, though taming it is another matter!
You’ll find that sneaking up on the horse is as it usually is with any breed ( the horse hasn’t developed X-ray vision among its other notable attributes, it seems). The challenge comes once you’re on its back, as it requires considerably more button mashing than is usually the case and a large stamina wheel, so don’t go for it without a few upgrades.
Once you’ve tamed the beast, head down to Snowfield Stables to register it, and the Golden Horse is yours to keep.
The Skeletal Horse (a.k.a. Stalhorse)
- Strength: N/A
- Speed: N/A
- Stamina: N/A
- Pull: N/A
- Temperament: N/A
The Skeletal Horse certainly has the strangest appearance of all the horses you can find in the game, probably because, well, it has no skin. They’re not a common entity but can be found roaming around Sandin Park Ruins, as annotated on the map below. They can only be located at night, however.
The reason you’ll only see them in the dark is that they burn into a pile of bone dust in the sunlight. This also means that you won’t be able to register the Skeletal Horse at a stable, and so really, they’re only good for particular use cases (this is also why there are no available stats for it).
The most obvious use is traversing The Depths; you can also find and tame the Skeletal Horse here, and they’ll prove very useful for their ability to run right over the large patches of Gloom without you or it taking damage.
The Giant White Stallion
- Strength: 5 Stars
- Speed: 2 Stars
- Stamina: N/A
- Pull: N/A
- Temperament: Wild
As the name implies, the Giant White Stallion is a positively huge horse with excellent stats. In my opinion, this is one of the top horses you should make a B-line for early, given its virtually unlimited stamina.
Finding it comes as part of a specific quest called ‘A Picture for Hyland Stable’. The quest simply tasks you with snapping a picture of the magnificent beast in question: head to Hyland Stable in the Faron region, walk inside, and then interact with the large blank picture frame on the wall. The stablekeeper will then discuss your quest with you.
Having taken the picture, you’re free to tame the horse as usual, but given the size, you’ll have a tough job without a large stamina wheel.
- Strength: Five Stars
- Speed: Two Stars
- Stamina: N/A
- Pull: N/A
- Temperament: Wild
I’m not sure how Ganon left his horse out in the open in two games, but nevertheless, he’s yours for the taking if you so desire.
The horse can be found consistently just outside of Hateno Bay, as marked below. It barely needs mentioning at this point, but you’ll need plenty of stamina (at least two wheels) to tame him.
- Strength: 4 Stars
- Speed: 4 Stars
- Stamina: 4 Stars
- Pull: None
- Temperament: Gentle
I’d wager almost all fans of the series know who Epona is. This particular horse was Link’s trusted steed from Ocarina of Time, and she’s made several appearances in subsequent main titles, with Tears of the Kingdom being no exception.
She has some of the best stats in the game, too, so if you have the means, you’ll definitely want to make getting her a priority. To obtain her, you won’t be following the usual method of taming. Two unorthodox ways exist: either via the application of an Amiibo or through transferring a Breath of the Wild save file.
If you have either the Super Smash Bros. Link Amiibo or the Twilight Princess Link model, you can scan the Amiibo in-game to receive rewards at random, and one of these rewards will be Epona.
If you haven’t done it before, scanning Amiibos is easy in Tears of the Kingdom: simply select the Amiibo pane from the ability wheel in-game and choose where you’d like your rewards to spawn. Then, place your Amiibo either on the center of your Pro Controller or the joystick of your right Joy-Con to activate. Once you have Epona, make sure you take her to a stable to register her.
The second method requires you to have already obtained Epona in Breath of the Wild. If you have saved data on your system, simply speak to the clerk at the desk of any stable, and he’ll inform you that you’re already on their system. From here, Epona will be transferred over like any other horse.
- Strength: 4 Stars
- Speed: 3 Stars
- Stamina: 3 Stars
- Pull: 2 Stars
- Temperament: Gentle
And finally, there’s Spot. Obtaining him will require you to complete a side quest called ‘Spotting Spot‘, which is given to you by Lester, the stable master at Lookout Landing.
Keep in mind that you’ll first need to have completed parts of the Regional Phenomena quest to unlock features of this area, and then also complete the very short and easy ‘The Incomplete Stable’ side quest, also given by Leister, to unlock the quest in question.
Once you’ve started Spotting Spot, Lester will divulge that Spot has gone missing, and naturally, it’s your job to find him. The horse can be found very close to Lookout Landing at the area indicated in the image below.
Having tamed Spot and returned to Lester, make sure you have completed the conversation signifying the end of the quest, and then speak to him again; he’ll offer for you to keep Spot.
Question: Is getting a horse essential?
Answer: Technically not, but if you want to enjoy the game to its fullest, I consider getting a horse a must. Given that Tears of the Kingdom has one of the most flexible open worlds ever, you can certainly find your own way to get around using the tools available to you, but nothing beats a horse for those long stretches.
Question: Will more horse types be added with DLC?
Answer: We don’t know anything about any future DLC right now, but it’s certainly possible. Breath of the Wild’s DLC did offer some ancient horse gear, so it wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility to expect we might get new horse-related content in the future.
Question: Is it worth continually seeking out faster and stronger horses?
Answer: In reality, this is going to depend on your playstyle and individual preferences. Personally, I stuck with a particular horse I specced and kitted out around mid-game. I could’ve potentially sought out a faster one, but I was happy with what I had. The faster and stronger horses provide a benefit, but it’s not a huge one.
Tears of the Kingdom Horses Guide: Conclusion
I hope this guide to horses was useful to you. There’s quite a lot to go through, but you’ll get to grips with riding soon enough! If you’re interested in more tips and tricks for Tears of the Kingdom, I recommend subscribing to the main board on Reddit to see what the community is up to.
If you want to go more in-depth, I encourage you to check out some of our other guides on the game, like our Tears of the Kingdom Depths Guide or our dedicated Tears of the Kingdom Stable Guide. Thank you for reading Legends of Z!