Zelda: Breath of the Wild Horses
Okay, I can’t be the only person excited to have one of the most fun horse games since Barbie Race & Ride for the Playstation.
Sure. Maybe SOME folks play it for the incredible adventure gameplay but I’m not even going to pretend the horses weren’t the main reason I bought the game.
Misconception The First: White On Horses
“The less white the horse has, the better stats it will have.”
False, and not just because one of the highest statted horses is the Royal WHITE stallion.
(Who I named Daisy, which is irrelevant but ADORABLE)
There is a kernel of truth to this one, but the handy mnemonic bandied about on the internet is precisely incorrect.
Championship Horse Bracketing For Beginners
In truth, there are TWO “buckets” into which normal horses can fall.
For the purposes of this discussion, we shall say that the special Giant Horse and Royal White Stallion are excluded, if it pleases the court.
The First Bucket: Variations on Spots
The first and “lesser” bucket contains paints, piebalds, and appaloosas. (These are the spotty ponies, for the equine-challenged among us.) It doesn’t matter if the horse is blue, pink, black, or one of several types of brown, if the BUTT of the horse contains white, it is in this bucket.
(Oddly enough, apparently ALL dun horses are also included in this bucket. Which is surprising, but didn’t affect me personally because although I love dun horses in real life, in the game I am AAAAALL about that gorgeous black.)
Oh. My. Gosh. Becky.
So. If you’re wandering one of the many available grasslands in Breath of the Wild and you come upon a field of magnificent ponies, look first to the hindquarters. If there is any white on the rump, that horse is guaranteed of two things.
1) It will be easier to soothe and tame.
2) It will have lower stats — for example, the stamina is capped out at 3 for these spotted horses.
Exactly which stats a horse has are unknown until you attempt to register them at a stable, but you can always check the stamina by urging your newfound pony into a fast gallop. The number of spurs you see on the bottom of the page tells you how much stamina the horse has. Strength and speed remain a mystery until registration.
The Second Bucket: Variations on Solid
The second and “better” bucket contains all other horses. Black, blue, pink, brown, that odd purple-y color that looks black when it’s raining at night and then you register it only to find that it WASN’T your Dream Horse … you know. All the colors. (Except the one specific brown called “dun”.)
If the butt is a solid color, then it doesn’t matter how much white the horse has … there is a good chance you may have landed one of the higher-statted horses in the game. Face, feet, mane/tail … doesn’t matter if it’s dark or white.
You’re looking for FOUR spurs on your test gallop (the best you can get on a regular horse) and when you register, you’re also looking for FOUR in the strength column … there are a lot of four-spur horses with only a single strength, so be ready for potential disappointment.
As far as I know, Four/Three/Four is the highest stat combo a regular horse can have.
Stats! What is it good for?
Stamina’s meaning is nice and obvious — it controls the number of spurs you can expend goading your mount to greater speeds.
Speed is … well. Speed. How fast can your friend run.
Strength is a fun one. It dictates how much damage you do when you run down enemies and wildlife while on horseback. As someone who prefers to do as much gameplay from the back of a horse as possible, this matters to me.
Wrapping Up This Misconception
The presence or absence of white on the butt of the horse is all that matters when it comes to stats.
Not everyone cares about having the highest statted horse in the game though. If it makes your heart sing, go forth and find that glorious beast of your dreams and say boo to any elitist who says you’re doing it wrong. If you’re having fun, you’re doing it right.
Misconception The Second: Stamina For Taming
“You will need stamina-boosting food or upgraded stamina wheel in order to tame solid horses.”
False, although it’s really easy to tell why folks think this is true.
Every instant you are on the back of a bucking mustang, you are draining your stamina wheel at an alarming rate. (Hey, if it was easy, it wouldn’t be an event at a rodeo, now would it?)
So it is VERY true to say that the more stamina you have, the longer you can stay on the horse’s back.
The misconception part of the equation comes in when you realize you have complete control over how long it takes to tame the horse.
Soothe like the WIND
The SOOTHE button is the key.
If you’re lacksadaisically tapping the soothe button, you will definitely need more time on the back of the horses in order to tame them.
If, however, you turn the controller sideways to get a better grip and HAMMER DOWN ON THAT SUCKER LIKE YOU’RE GETTING HUNDRED DOLLAR BILLS EVERY TIME YOU CLICK IT … well, let’s just say horse taming just got a whooooole lot faster.
My niece was able to tame solid horses with only about a quarter of the stamina wheel spent on them using this method.
If I wasn’t so paranoid, I might even have gotten the Giant or White this way … but I’m not a gambler. I brought food backup. *wink*
Parting Pony Wisdom – Stable Slots
Remember, you only get five stable slots. If two of them go to the “special” horses, that leaves you with THREE you can keep for whenever you change your armor color and need something in a stately gray, perhaps.
Two if you share the game with your horse-crazy niece and she wants to keep her favorite. /wink
If you catch a sixth, you can simply register the new one at a stable as usual … but you’ll be asked to un-register someone else before you can do so. If you read a guide that tells you you’ll have to kill one of your other horses first, they are big lying liars who lie through their lie-holes and you shouldn’t believe them.
Speaking of horse death, they CAN die. I’m not sure what sort of crazy situation I’d have to put them in for it to happen, since enemies seem to ignore them when I’m not mounted and I’ve seen them take a guardian blast to the face with little more than some (well-deserved) bucking and scorching. IF your horse dies, do not despair. There is a special Great Fairy shrine that will let you resurrect your dearly departed friend. I won’t tell you where she is, but it’s comforting to know she’s there if you need her.
Mane Styling Is Literally The Best
Also, I adore the mane styling options. I’m partial to the sticky-uppy crew cut, myself. Makes everyone look like fjord cross. <3
I’m also partial to the floral mane on most horses.
And the purple mane and tail matches the royal tack you get when you register the Royal Stallion … and looks slightly better than the weak butter yellow the base mane and tail are for that horse (I’m sorry, but it’s just … not working for me on an aesthetic level)
Also, there are two types of “feathering” on the hooves. (This is basically whether or not they have furry go-go boots, to my beloved equine-challenged friends). Most horses you’ll encounter have gorgeous fluffy feet.
Some of them … don’t. They’re smooth leg fur all the way down to the hooves.
It doesn’t seem to affect their stats at all, but if you’re looking for a particular visual combination, you might bear that in mind. My niece’s favorite pony, Sassy, is a pink piebald and she has the smooth legs, so I know they exist even though they’re awfully hard to spot in tall grass.
Unique But-Otherwise-Not-Special Black
Additionally, there’s a unique black. Instead of the normal vanilla-tinted white mane and tail, this horse has a blue-tinted white mane and tail. It also has ZERO other options for white — you’ll never find this guy with white face or feet.
Stats don’t seem to be anything special, so it’s just a neat little factoid.
All the Colors of the Wind
Here is a handy art reference to show you the color combinations possible. I, personally, haven’t verified that this is all of the color combos. I feel like I’ve seen more browns than that, and maybe even some solid blues with black mane and tail. But I’m not sure, and this is a superb starting place regardless.
You can also ride deer, bears, and the weird skeleton-horses you’ll whack gobbos off of … but the stable won’t register them for you.
You can’t really blame them, they’re not set up for long-term care of non-equines or dead things.
I recommend giving the deer a go — it’s really neat to see the difference in gait they have.