1. Keeping a horse As in real life, owning a horse is quite expensive. Not the food - horses used to eat bread, wheat and other stuff to regenerate health, but since 1.8 update they need no food and regenerate their health automatically (we will mention this later). There is other stuff to have and know if you decide to own a horse. Horses are born to roam so their nature is pretty restless and the first thing you need (even before you own a horse) is a place to keep it. A horse tied up to fencepost with a lead breaks free and walks away as soon as you look away. Just forget about leads and prepare more fenceposts so you can build a fence around some place where you want to keep the horse. But it still isnt the safest place, as the horse can be shot by skeletons or hurt by creepers. A proper, fully enclosed and dedicated stable is much safer. 2. Stables So we know that we need a good safe stable first. My usual layout looks like this: Remember that horses need 2 blocks wide gap to walk through, and you need 2.5 blocks tall gap to ride through without suffocating. So the main doorway uses: - a pair of regular doors to create a 2x2 doorway so horses can walk through if open and no skeletons can shoot through if closed - a pair of upside-down stairs to add that 0.5 block height you need to ride through (the narrow part of stairs doesnt suffocate you) - a pair of fence gates outside to keep zombies away from bashing on regular doors - a pair of pressure plates in between doors and fence gates to keep the door closed automatically. By pushing door as close to the edge of the pressure plate the space between doors and fence gates is just 1.5 blocks long, so spiders cannot climb over the fence gate to switch pressure plates. - some torches are useful too Interior is divided into stalls - each of my stalls offers a 3x3 blocks place, enough to keep 2-4 horses. Build it bigger if you need more horses in one stall. Stalls are separated from eachother and from the main corridor by fences. One fence gate is enough to let you walk into the stall and also enough to prevent horses from leaving the stall - you need to ride them and jump over the fence, so remember to have at least 3 blocks of air above the fence. 3. Taming So we have a good safe stable. Time to tame a horse. Most people know that you just need to keep riding a horse until it stops whipping you off, but going out into wilderness with no preparation is a miserable underestimating of the topic. So what do you need to have and know: - a saddle, a lead, and an armor. Saddle is obvious, the rest will be explained later. - a stack of sugar. Sugar makes taming easier and it helps to grow babies into adults. It is cheap, so feed one horse the whole stack (no worries, this horse doesnt get diabetes). Then use the empty hand to mount and tame it. - a knowledge of where and how horses spawn. They are quite rare compared to pigs and other animals, but you can help your luck: Go to Plains or Savanna. Stay there for a while, have fun fighting mobs if you like, build a shelter, farm some potatoes or read forums while afk. Stay there during minecraft night. This keeps chunks around you active = loaded into server's memory. When the morning comes, active chunks have more chance of spawning anything, including horses. Even more chance is if the Main World server has just restarted and you came back from Hub World at around 4am minecraft time with nobody else online. 4. Riding Tamed a horse? Great. Now the main goal, to ride the horse. What do you need: - a saddle (duh) - a lead. They tend to break and get lost in many peculiar ways, so have more of them ready. - an armor. That can make a difference between one horse and no horse if a creeper explodes next to it. Ever attended a horse riding lessons? Take this minecraft one: - Ride carefuly. There isn't worse feeling than losing full inventory of expensive stuff and your best horse in a lava pit. I saw thick-skinned adults cry when it happened to them. - If you meet mobs, dont stop to fight them and keep riding. They are too slow and clumsy to hunt you down. - If you cannot keep riding, dismount a horse and run away from it to fight mobs. A horse alone is more safe than a horse with a rider. - NEVER, AT ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, RIDE BACKWARDS !! A death for you and your horse is guaranteed. - If you need to safely/slowly descend a steep hill, ride sideways. - If your horse falls into a pit, flying players can pull it up on a lead - remember to drop them into few blocks deep water to prevent fall damage. - If your horse gets stuck underwater, use the lead to pull it up/away. Horses can swim and they will always try to swim up to the surface to breathe, but sometimes they get stuck under the block or lily pad (remember that horses need 2x2 blocks area) and even worse, sometimes they get stuck in water running down into a hole in a riverbed - such water acts like waterfall and horses cannot swim up fast enough, the lead is the quickest help - pull them up. (Fiver, was this your issue?) - you can ride the horse in 1 block deep water without risking drowning it - you can ride the horse in 2 blocks deep water but you risk drowning it. Usually its breath lasts long enough to let you cross the river, but you shouldnt cross wide lakes this way. - 3 or more blocks deep water makes the horse whip you off and swim. - Since 1.8 update, it is much faster to swim with a horse on a lead than to ride through water. 5. Alchemy You can use splash potions on a horse: - Swiftness potion to make it run faster - Fire resistance potion to make it safe against lava/fire - Water breathing potion to give it some more time underwater until you find the way to save it - Regeneration or Instant Health potion to restore its health 6. Trading Horses are born with various color, speed, health and jump skill. Thanks to @btarb24 we have horse protection/info/trading possible: - only you can mount your horse, hurt it or open its inventory. Not your friends, not your alt accounts, only you. This way nobody can steal your saddle or armor and only mobs can kill the horse. - you can assign the ownership of your horse to anyone else at no cost if they are from the same town or for 250 Dei if they are from elsewhere. - mount a horse and type /horse info to see its stats: - health is mostly around 10, sometimes up to 15 hearts. Even for 15 hearts, the armor is very recommended. - jump is 1.5 to 5+ blocks. A good horse should be able to jump 3 blocks. - speed generally varies from as low as 4 to almost 12 blocks per second, making the speed 8-9 average, 10 decent, 11 fast and anything over 11 is very fast, very rare and very expensive. Speaking about pricing, better check the horsemarket or /horse list - average speed is worth very little (100 Dei is minimum price), but fast horse can cost over 1000 Dei and a fast one with rare color that you desperately want is worth even more. Double that price to add diamond armor, a saddle, few leads and a supply of potions (not speaking about a good bow which is much more useful than a sword while riding), and you see why owning a horse is quite expensive. Now go explain that to your younger townies who just want to have a horse.