How to Breed Horses in Minecraft (and Tame Horses)

May 7, 2021

How to Breed Horses in Minecraft.

Learn how to tame and breed horses in Minecraft. Step-by-step.

In Minecraft, horses are passive mobs, which can be tamed, ridden, used for transportation, and more. They come in a variety of colours and spawn in plains, villages and savannas. Additionally, tamed horses can be made to breed, resulting in a new foal being born. This then allows you to raise a foal from birth to maturity.

Here, we take a more in-depth look at how to tame a horse in Minecraft, how to breed horses in Minecraft, and more.

How to Tame a Horse in Minecraft.

Before breeding horses in Minecraft, you will first need to get to grips with how to tame a horse. This is important, because wild horses in the game are not able to procreate. Therefore, in order to successfully breed horses, you will need to tame the two horses that you would like to mate.

Fortunately, the process for taming horses in Minecraft is relatively quick and simple. Unlike the processes for taming various other animal types in the game, horses can also be tamed without using any items. Wild horses can be most commonly found in plains, but they do also spawn in some other areas too.

How to tame a Horse in Minecraft:

  1. You can tame a horse by making repeated attempts to mount it. At first, the horse will buck the player character off and this process will continue until a sufficient level of trust has been established. The precise number of attempts required to tame a horse will vary from one horse to another.
  2. Once a horse has been successfully tamed, red hearts will appear around it. You can then attempt to ride it again, and if you are not bucked from the horse, you will have confirmation that the horse is now tame.

It is also worth noting that the ‘Saddle Up’ achievement/trophy is unlocked on many platforms by taming a horse.

To tame a Horse in Minecraft, try to mount it, until Hearts appear.

How to Ride a Horse in Minecraft.

To ride a horse in Minecraft, you will need a saddle item in your inventory. These can be obtained from fishing, trading, drops from mobs that have previously been equipped with a saddle, or from treasure chests.

Once you have a saddle and a horse that you have successfully tamed, you will need to attach the saddle and you can do so by pointing towards the horse, opening up the inventory menu and dragging the saddle to the allocated slot. Alternatively, you can climb onto the horse and then open your inventory and select the saddle.

A horse with a saddle on can be controlled, giving you the freedom to ride it in the direction you choose. You can also ride a tamed horse without a saddle, but you will not have the ability to control where it goes.

A saddled horse can be ridden at a much faster speed than you can usually travel on foot, and this is arguably the most beneficial use of horses within the game. The exact speed varies from one horse to another but, on average, a horse moves at roughly twice the speed that the player character is able to travel when moving on foot.

For our full guide on using and finding saddles, and riding horses, please see our ‘How to make a Saddle in Minecraft‘ page.

How to Breed Horses in Minecraft.

Once you have successfully tamed a horse and are able to ride it, you can start to think about breeding horses. This will require you to have two tame horses, as wild horses cannot be bred, and the two tame horses must be in the same location. A good strategy here is to use fences to prevent the horses from moving away from each other.

To activate the ‘love mode’ mechanic, horses will need to be fed golden apples, enchanted golden apples, or a golden carrot. However, the use of enchanted golden apples is not recommended unless you have an abundance of them. Golden apples and golden carrots are less valuable and more plentiful, so try to focus on these instead. They can be found in chests or can be bought from traders. They can also be crafted by combining gold ingots or nuggets with an Apple or a Carrot.

Feed a Golden Apple or Golden Carrot to two tame horses close to eachother. Hearts will appear (Love Mode) and they will breed a whole with similar colors.

Once two tame horses have been fed the right ingredients, love hearts will appear on screen. Assuming they are within eight blocks of one another, they should automatically move closer together and then perform a ‘kiss’. After this action takes place, a foal should be born. The two horses cannot breed again for a period of around five minutes.

You can then use sugar, wheat, carrots, apples and hay bales to help your new foal to gradually grow into an adult horse. Foals will take 20 in-game minutes to mature into a grown horse, but this can be sped up by feeding the foal.

Breeding two horses produces mixed results, as in the speed and jump heights are the combination of the parents’ stats, plus a random value, which are then averaged together. Breeding a horse with good speed and a poor jump with one that has slow speed but a high jump, and you could end with a horse with average speed and jump, or one with good speed + high jump.

Players can also breed a horse with a donkey, producing a mule, which cannot be bred further.

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