The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom carries the time-honored Zelda tradition of giving Link a horse to ride on, but like Breath of the Wild, you don’t get gifted these majestic steeds to carry your ass across the map, you have to befriend them. And by befriend, I mean you have to sneak onto their backs and pat them until they like you enough to let you stay. If you don’t have an Amiibo (we’ll get to that) or have a Breath of the Wild save file on your Switch in which you had horses already, there are only a few ways to get a horse in Tears of the Kingdom, and as simple as it sounds to sneak up on a horse in the wild, there are a few things worth knowing before you try and tame one.
Where can I find a horse in Tears of the Kingdom?
The first thing you have to do is find a horse, and there are a few reliable places to find them. Horses can be found in large fields like in Central Hyrule, or in the North Tabantha Snowfield (the latter of which is where you’ll find Zelda’s golden horse for a sidequest). Groups of horses will gather here because it’s the perfect place for them to run far away from you if they see you, so be prepared to chase them down and sneak up on them knowing they have plenty of flat field to run across.
How do I get the horses in Hyrule to like me?
Link is not Mick Jagger, so wild horses can drag him away, and they don’t take kindly to the Hero of Hyrule getting on their backs without warning. But that’s what we must do to tame them in Tears of the Kingdom. So you’ll have to sneak up behind them and mount them. A general rule of thumb in this game is that if you have to sneak up on something, take off Link’s pants because you will make less noise as you walk. You can also create elixirs that help you be stealthy, like the Sneaky Elixir made of a Sunset Firefly and any monster part, or buy the Stealth Armor set in Kakariko Village’s armor shop if you have the rupees. Take slow, methodical, crouched steps so you don’t scare away the horse, and then mount it when the prompt appears on the screen.
Then comes the hard part. Because you have rudely interrupted the horse’s grazing, it will thrash about until you fall off its back. The goal here is to try and soothe it before that happens, and it will largely depend on what your stamina wheel looks like. Some will soothe faster than others, but it might take a couple of tries before a horse takes to you. One way to ensure you can get more soothe prompts before you’re ejected off a horse’s back is to, of course, increase your stamina by doing shrines around the map and taking the Lights of Blessing to any of the Goddess Statues you’ll find in most hub towns like Rito Village and Gerudo Town. But if that sounds too time-consuming to you, there’s also another option: stamina elixirs.
How do I make stamina-replenishing elixirs in Tears of the Kingdom?
Stamina Elixirs can be difficult to make on your own because the resources required for them are pretty rare. The base ingredients for these are different animals you’ll find throughout Hyrule, but not the ones you find for meat and meat-based recipes. You’ll know them by their names, which all allude to the general idea of stamina and not tiring out, such as the Tireless Frogs you can find in Hyrule Field and Zora River, or the Energetic Rhino Beetle in Akkala Highlands and West Necluda. Cook these with monster parts you pick up from defeating enemies like Keese Eyeballs or Lizalfos Horns, and you’ll get a stamina elixir. The more stamina-based creatures you throw into the pot, the more stamina you’ll recover when using it. It doesn’t seem to matter what monster parts you choose from, so throw a few Energetic Rhino Beetles in with Bokoblin Horns and Keese Wings and you’ll be set.
Once you have one of these in hand, you can try soothing a horse and quickly drinking one of these when your stamina nears zero. This will give you a second wind and a larger window to befriend your steed-to-be.
All that sounds hard. Where is Epona in Tears of the Kingdom?
If you want to take the easy way out of getting a horse in Tears of the Kingdom, buy an Amiibo. Yes, the quickest way to get a horse in this game is by using the original Link Amiibo from Super Smash Bros. or the Twilight Princess Link Amiibo, both of which will spawn Epona, Link’s iconic horse from games like Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. She is perfect, and I wish I had her instead of Zelda’s golden horse, but I’m not willing to shell out money for a horse when I could simply sneak up behind one in Hyrule Field. But if you want Epona or you just want to circumvent the process entirely, this is the simplest way to get a horse in Tears of the Kingdom.
You’ve got your horse. Now what?
Getting the horse not to throw you off its back is only the first part of making it your forever friend. The next thing you need to do is take it to a stable and register it (and we have maps that show the locations of all of them). This will add it to your collection of horses that you can spawn from any stable throughout Hyrule. Do it as soon as you get a horse to like you, because if you’re separated, you’ll lose it forever and have to do the whole sneak and soothe dance again for a new horse. You’ve already been through so much—no need to lose an entire friendship over something as foolish as not stopping by a stable.
On top of adding a horse to your collection, this will also net you some Pony Points at the stable. You get these points by visiting stables across the map and registering horses to your membership. As you accumulate points, you’ll get horse-related perks like an invaluable Towing Harness that lets you Ultrahand objects to your horse and transport them. So don’t hesitate to take your new equestrian bestie to a stable once you’ve got them on your side.