On the left, a black horse with white spots is mating with a white horse with no markings. On the right is a black baby horse with white around its legs.

How to Breed Horses in Minecraft

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Horses are awesome companions to have in Minecraft if you want to travel quickly. To get the ideal steed, you may have to breed some Horses in order to get the fastest mount–here’s how!

Table Of Contents

    What You Need to Breed Horses

    The top half of the image is the player making a golden apple on a crafting table while the bottom half of the image is them making a golden carrot on the crafting table.

    Even though there are 6 items total that you can feed to a Horse, the only 2 that matter for breeding are Golden Apples and Golden Carrots. Both of these foods will allow a Horse to enter Love Mode. Simply use a Golden Apple or a Golden Carrot on a Horse to make it enter Love Mode. You can tell that a Horse has entered Love Mode when you see red hearts appear above its head.

    How to Get Horses to Breed With Each Other

    Horses will need to be close together when in Love Mode in order to breed. The best way to control this is to lead the desired 2 Horses into a closed-off area. You can make Horses follow you by holding a Golden Apple or a Golden Carrot in your hand.

    When the couple is close together, feed them each 1 of the golden foods and they’ll begin to nuzzle while red hearts appear above them. After they’re done mating, a baby Horse will appear nearby after a few seconds.

    Golden Apples vs Golden Carrots: Which Is Better?

    Golden Carrots are way cheaper to make than Golden Apples. While Golden Apples can heal Horses better and make baby ones grow faster than Golden Carrots, they are both equally as efficient when it comes to breeding. Therefore, if you only need items for breeding purposes and nothing else, you should definitely use Golden Carrots to save resources.

    To make a Golden Apple, you will need 8 Gold Ingots, however, to make a Golden Carrot, you only need 8 Gold Nuggets. Since you can turn 1 Gold Ingot into 9 Gold Nuggets on a Crafting Table, you can immediately see how much cheaper Golden Carrots are to make. Put simply: it’s over 8 times cheaper to make a Golden Carrot than it is to make a Golden Apple.

    Breeding Horses With Donkeys

    In Minecraft‘s game engine, Donkeys are considered to be a type of Horse. This means that you can tame, feed, and breed them in the same ways. Their stats are also determined in that same manner. Interestingly, you can breed Donkeys with Horses to get Mules, just like in real life.

    Horses, on average, are much faster than Donkeys. However, Donkeys can carry Chests, making them much better for transporting goods. Mules are like a middle ground between Horses and Donkeys in that they can be pretty fast and also carry Chests.

    While possessing great potential, it should still be mentioned that Mules will never get quite as fast as the fastest Horses. Furthermore, Mules are sterile, meaning that they can’t breed and have babies of their own.

    Breeding Horses Based on Appearance

    On the left is a black horse with white spots and on the right is a totally white horse.

    There are 2 different traits that make up each Horse’s appearance: their color and their markings. When you breed a couple of Horses together, you will be most likely to get a baby Horse that looks like its parents. However, there’s a random element included in the mix.

    The color trait and the markings trait are determined individually. This means that it’s possible for a baby to get the color of one parent and the markings of the other. Although, there is a third set of random variables that are included in each breeding calculation. This random input will grant a low chance of the baby’s appearance being different than either of their parents.

    Let’s break down the probabilities of the different outcomes by using a black Horse with white spots (Horse A) and a white Horse with no markings (Horse B) as an example couple.

    Baby Horse Appearance Probabilities for the Example Couple

    • Baby with Horse A color and Horse A markings = 17.78% (black color and white spots)
    • Baby with Horse A color and Horse B markings = 17.78% (black color and no markings)
    • Baby with Horse A color and Random markings = 8.89% (black color and random markings)
    • Baby with Horse B color and Horse B markings = 17.78% (white color and no markings)
    • Baby with Horse B color and Horse A markings = 17.78% (white color and white spots)
    • Baby with Horse B color and Random markings = 8.89% (white color and random markings)
    • Baby with Random color and Horse A markings = 4.44% (random color and white spots)
    • Baby with Random color and Horse B markings = 4.44% (random color and no markings)
    • Baby with Random color and Random markings = 2.22% (random color and random markings)

    All of the Different Colors and Markings for Horses

    You can find Horses of all colors and markings that spawn randomly. Horses that spawn can have 1 of 7 different colors and 1 of 5 different markings. Donkeys and Mules, however, only come with a single kind of appearance, regardless of how they spawn or are bred.

    Here are all the different colors that Horses can come in:

    • Creamy
    • Chestnut
    • Brown
    • Dark Brown
    • White
    • Gray
    • Black

    And here are all of the kinds of markings that a Horse can have:

    • No Markings
    • White Stockings and Blazes (white around hooves and a white spot on head)
    • White Spots (covered in small white spots all over the body)
    • White Field (covered in big white patches all over the body)
    • Black Spots (covered in small black spots all over the body)

    Breeding Horses Based on Stats

    The player riding on a white horse that is equipped with a saddle.

    Horses have 3 main stats: Health, Speed, and Jump Height. In regards to breeding, calculating what stats you will get in a baby Horse will come with some random results on occasion. As such, even with the best planning, you might still get an unexpected outcome.

    The values of each stat for both parents are combined, along with a random value, and then the sum is divided by 3. For example, if Horse A has 15 Hearts of Health, Horse B has 20 Hearts of Health, and a random value of 25 is included, the baby’s Health stat calculation will look like this:

    • (15 + 20 + 25)/3 = 20 [the baby will have a Health stat of 20 Hearts]

    The Stat Ranges of Horse Health, Speed, and Jump Height

    The above calculation method is used for all 3 stats, however, Health, Speed, and Jump Height all have different ranges. The random value that gets included in the breeding calculations is always within the possible ranges for the specific stat.

    • Horses can have between 15 and 30 Hearts of Health
    • Horses can have any movement Speed value between 4.74 blocks per second and 14.23 blocks per second (for reference, your walking Speed is 4.32 blocks per second)
    • Horses can have a Jump Height value between 0.4 and 1.0 (every increment of 0.1 is a bit over half a block [0.55 of 1 block]–a Jump Height of 1.0 means a Horse can leap over 5.5 blocks)

    How to Check Your Horse’s Stats

    To determine how much Health your Horse has, all that you need to do is mount them and their Hearts will appear above your Hunger Meter. If you want to check your Horse’s Speed and Jump Height, however, you will need to ride them around and gauge them manually.

    For Speed, measure a stretch of flat land spanning 100 blocks and then mark its beginning and end. Then, ride your horse from one point to the other and count the seconds. After that, divide 100 by the time in seconds that it took you to travel the marked distance to get your Horse’s blocks per second Speed.

    To measure your Horse’s Jump Height, build various platforms of increasing block height. Use full blocks and slabs to build these platforms at incremental heights. It’s recommended to increase each platform’s height by half a block for the most accurate results. However, you should make the smallest platform 2 blocks tall, as the minimum Jump Height stat for Horses is 2.2 blocks high. And, accordingly, make the tallest platform 5.5 blocks high, as this is the maximum Jump Height stat for Horses.

    After building this setup, try jumping on each platform to determine your Horse’s Jump Height.