Red Dead Redemption 2 Guide: How To Bond With Your Horse

Getting annoyed by your dumb pal? Here's how you can bond with your horse in Red Dead Redemption 2 and make them better.

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Despite you being a member of a pretty large gang, Red Dead Redemption 2 can often feel like a very isolating and lonely game when you’re exploring the wilderness. There’s nobody by your side to talk to as you role-play being a crazed hunter who live in the woods, but you do always have your horse, which is why you should always bond with them if you can.

Horse bonding in Red Dead Redemption 2 has a couple of different purposes. Not only does it increase the stats of your horse to make them faster and fitter, but it also makes them more reliable and less skittish. As a small bonus, Arthur also falls deeply in love with his horse when you reach a maximum level and speaks to them with plenty of adoration. That’s nice.

So, if you want to become best mates with your equine liability and also lifesaver, there are just a few simple Red Dead Redemption 2 horse bonding tips you should follow. The below also applies to Red Dead online for horse bonding.

Spend time with them
Probably the most basic pointer we can give, the longer you are with your horse, the quicker the pair of you will bond. It’s heartwarming to find a horse out in the wild, help them overcome their fears, and then take on the dying West together.

Hitch them whenever possible
If you’re in a town and want to go at it on-foot, try to always find a hitching post for your horse and then hold triangle/Y to secure them. Not only does it help the pair of you to bond, but the horse will also recuperate while it’s hitched.

Feed them
Feeding your horse doesn’t just help their cores and general wellbeing, it also brings the two of you closer together. Make sure you choose a particular thing you want to feed them as the game can just randomly give away valuable herbs which can be used for crafting. Use your selection wheel instead and watch on as the big, lovely idiot munches down on an apple.

Brush them often
If you’ve been out in the wilds for a long time, your horse might be a little muddy. Likewise, if you’ve been making them carry dead goats everywhere, they may be a little bloody. To fix them up sharp and to also help the pair of you bond, be sure to go over them with a brush, which you get from completing the Exit Pursued by a Bruised Ego mission in Chapter 2. You can spam left on the d-pad to keep brushing them over and over again. For Red Dead Online, you can buy the brush from the catalogue almost immediately.

Give them pats
They don’t love them as much as the game’s dogs do, but Red Dead Redemption 2’s horses appreciate bloody good pat all the same. Walk up to your horse, focus on them, and then constantly hit square/X to give repeated pats even though the input is greyed out.

Praise them
Press the left stick in while you’re riding your horse to reassure them and also to help the pair of you bond. This is probably the most abusable method for bonding in the game as you can do it all the time in many situations while you are travelling and it also calms the horse down if they have encountered a predator or have been spooked by gunfire. This doesn’t seem to work as well for Red Dead Online, so bear that in mind.

From our Red Dead Redemption 2 review:

“Despite it having some wrinkles, Red Dead Redemption 2 introduces more than enough innovations to provide one of the most immersive and captivating open world games ever made.”

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