Horses act as both companions and a source of transportation in Red Dead Redemption 2, as they did in the first game. They can be found throughout the world as a form of wildlife, with different breeds being more common in certain areas. For example, Hungarian Half-Breeds are commonly found in the Heartlands.
Horses can also be used to carry game while hunting. Smaller animals like birds and small game can be attached to the saddle, while larger animals are put across the horse's rear.
As in the original Red Dead Redemption, new horses can be obtained by capturing and breaking animals encountered in the wild or by stealing tamed animals from other NPCs. In Red Dead Redemption 2, they can also be bought from stables.
Stables are a type of store that the player can use to buy, sell, and store horses. They are also used to buy animal feed, new tack, and tonics that can temporarily improve a horse’s health or stamina. Horses can be customised at stables.
In Red Dead Redemption 2, there are 19 different breeds of horse available, including Appaloosas, Arabians, Shires, and Mustangs, each of which can be determined by their appearance and location.
Horses are highly customisable, with 59 different styles of coat and different mane and tail options available that can be accessed via stables. Players can also customise their tack, including saddles, horns, stirrups, blankets, and spurs, to access boosts to stamina and health.
Over the course of the game, Arthur Morgan can develop a connection with his mount that rewards the player with various perks. You can increase your bond with your horse by doing the following actions: feeding, grooming, riding, and petting. Petting increases your bond with your horse the most. By improving Arthur's bond with his horse, the animal will benefit from improved stamina, speed, health, and handling, as well as becoming less skittish.
Improving Morgan’s relationship with his horse will also unlock specific perks and rewards, such as the ability to rear up while in the saddle or drifting.
Losing Your Horse
It is possible to lose your horse permanently in RDR2. You can't kill it on your own by shooting it, but it is possible to throw it off the cliff and die permanently.
However, if your horse is fatally injured by any other means, you can heal it with a Horse Reviver. If you don't have such item, you need to find one before your horse bleeds out. It can be purchased from any stable for $9.50. If you don't make it on time, your horse dies and is gone permanently.
You can also lose your horse permanently when you leave it too far behind and you don't go back to it in time.
Specific Horse Breeds
Red Chestnut Arabian Horse
The Red Chestnut Arabian Horse is a special horse breed that is available to PlayStation 4 players of Red Dead Redemption 2 30 days earlier than Xbox One players.
The breed is known for its speed and handling, and performs better than wild horses that have been tamed.
Saddles can also be used for storage of weapons, outfits, masks, and hats, as well as for fresh kills while hunting.
Alligator Skin Ranch Cutter Saddle
The Alligator Skin Ranch Cutter Saddle is one of the four DLC items that PlayStation 4 players of Red Dead Redemption 2 have access to 30 days before Xbox One players.
It is an upgraded version of the default saddle players get in Red Dead Online with better health and stamina stats.