When Minecraft 1.6.1 was released, there were donkeys, mules, and horses added to the game. I have spawned a couple of horses using the spawn egg on creative and tried to ride one but I get thrown off straight away.

I'm guessing that I have to tame it but approaching it with a carrot doesn't seem to cause any reaction. If I try sneaking up behind it the horse just rears up, preventing me from putting the saddle on it.

  • You may have found one while playing multiplayer that someone else has already tamed. If you are not able to mount the horse at all, then this is the case.
    – Timtech
    Sep 25, 2013 at 20:52

1 Answer 1


In short:

  1. Right-click on the horse and you will mount it.
  2. After a short while you will be thrown off
  3. Repeat until the heart animation shows
  4. You have now tamed the horse and can saddle it.

It will usually take 3-4 attempts to tame the horse, but it can take as little as 1. To speed up taming, feed the horse before trying to mount it. The following foods boost the likelihood of taming:

Sugar         | +3% 
Wheat         | +3% 
Apple         | +3% 
Golden Carrot | +5% 
Bread         | +3% 
Golden Apple  | +10%

From the wiki:

Adult normal horses, donkeys, and mules can be tamed; foals, skeleton horses, and undead horses cannot. It is necessary to tame a horse in order to breed it, give it equipment, or ride it for any length of time.

To tame a wild horse, approach it and right click on it with an empty hand. You will climb on top of it, and will likely be thrown off. After a few attempts, it will allow you to remain on it and will give off heart animations. At this point you can dismount it by pressing the sneak key and place a saddle on it, or you can place a saddle without using the sneak key at all by right-clicking on the horse with the saddle in hand. Horses can also be saddled by opening your inventory while mounted and moving the saddle to the appropriate slot in the horse's inventory.

The chance of successful taming on the first try is almost 0%, yet it can be done. Taming on the first attempt is very rare. After the first attempt without taming the horse, the chances increase by about 5%, and usually one can then tame a horse after about 3-4 attempts. Taming can be sped up by feeding the horse any of the approved foods when you are standing next to it - see column "Taming prob." in the table below.

One of the more efficient ways to try and tame a horse is to build walls around it, making the space within no more than 10x10, don't let the horse have too much space. Should you fail to tame the horse, you can always come back later, provided the enclosure contains the horse (i.e. don't put blocks near the edge, etc.). Another tactic is to use water, since it will limit the horses ability to move, allowing you a better chance to tame it.

  • I really don't get the idea with the walls. Just keep getting on the horse as soon as it throws you off. How hard is it? - the horses don't run away, you don't lose health, the horse turns almost in place, can at worst blunder a few steps away. You might want to pull it away from water, lava or cliffs using a lead if the horse is exceptionally close, so that neither of you fall in it, but really, constructing a 10x10 enclosure? What for?
    – SF.
    Jul 3, 2013 at 12:25
  • 1
    @SF. Don't ask me, I didn't write it!
    – fredley
    Jul 3, 2013 at 12:30
  • the walls thing is so far the only way i can tame the horses, or at least most of them. I seem to have a special edition where i need several in-game days to tame a horse with several miles to wander waiting on the horse.
    – user55973
    Sep 25, 2013 at 20:40
  • @SF. We've found that "barns" are useful when you don't have all of a Minecraft day to tame the horse. If night is coming, or you need to deal with something else, you can leave and come back when it's convenient to continue. And, you can use it to store your horse after, since they do tend to wander and an enclosure is more secure than using a lead out in the open. Sep 25, 2013 at 23:46
  • @SevenSidedDie: Agreed but 10x10? An enclosure of 5x5 of 8 2-block towers every other block (possibly less if leaned against pre-existing wall) is perfectly sufficient.
    – SF.
    Sep 26, 2013 at 7:26

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