As mentioned in my review, I treated Red Dead Redemption II as a horse simulator in the beginning, and still do. I love games where I get to ride horses! Ghost of Tsushima comes to mind, when it comes to having a relationship with your horse, though I admit Red Dead Redemption II does not go quite as far with that.
So, here are my top three horses of Red Dead Redemption II as Arthur.
What Characteristics Are Important In Your Horse?
Being a gunslinger on the run, Arthur needs a capable steed. As you will get into gun fights a lot, traverse alligator-infested swamps and mountains alike, a versatile horse is best. Here are the main characteristics I am looking at:
On the run from the law Arthur needs a horse that can keep up the pace for quite a bit in order to ensure a safe escape. That’s also good when you plan on long rides instead of fast-travelling, especially in the beginning of the game.
Since the law will try to stop Arthur at any cost, his horse will be at peril of being shot. The more health it has, the better. Also, best invest in good saddles that lower the drain rate for health and stamina.
Making a speedy get-away can be a life-saver! Also, a horse with stamina AND speed will be able to easily outrun the law. And win you any NPC race, of course. Which in turn will help your overall horse stats.
While Standard-handling is okay, Elite would be preferable, as those horses react more quickly to what you want them to do. Most of the time… As mentioned in my review, the Red Chestnut Arabian tends to run into trees, despite the Elite handling.
An easily spooked horse may not be the best companion for Arthur on his many adventures. And that is the reason why the most superior horse in the game does not land the top-spot…
Last but not least, good equipment is key to getting the most out of your steed. For example, a custom-made saddle. I am very happy with the Alligator Ranch Cutter Saddle.
Some horses you can purchase, others you can find and tame in the wild and sell for a profit later on. The cardinal rule is: the higher the level of bonding, the higher price the horse will fetch.
Top Three Horse – Perlino Andalusian
The Andalusian is a Spanish war horse with great stamina and health, but average acceleration and speed and Standard handling. This particular, beautiful and unique speciman can be found in the wild, north of Annesburg at the Brandywine Drop. I first encountered this boy when I rode there to finish the Gunslinger Quest and he ran off… Took me a couple of tries to get him to respawn.
The selling price for the fully bonded Perlino Andalusian is a meager 60 dollars. by the way.
Top Two Horse – Black Arabian
The Arabian is a very old breed. Courage, speed and stamina define these intelligent horses. They may not look like much, but they are the Superior class in the game. There are four Arabian Horses you can either find or purchase as Arthur. The Red Chestnut Arabian, the Warped Brindle Arabian, the White Arabian and the Black Arabian.
While the first three can only be found in the wild, the Black Arabian can be either purchased from the stable in St. Denis or found and stolen in the same city. I have maxed out bonding on the Red Chestnut, the White and the Black Arabian – could not find/spawn the Warped Brindle one – and the best of them is, hands down, the Black Arabian. If she compares to the one you can buy in St. Denis I do not know.
I have found her there twice for free and therefore did not bother to spend 1,000 dollars on the stud. She will spawn only at night. I found her once tied up in front of the gun shop and after a robbery gone wrong around the corner from the St. Denis police station.
It is a shame that this fully bonded, superior horse will only fetch 210 dollars while her male counterpart goes for over a 1,000 dollars when bought at the stable.
Top Horse – Gold Turkoman
There are two Turkoman you can get as Arthur. One, black, you can tame during a story mission, whereas the Gold Turkoman can only be purchased at the St. Denis stable. I once got a girl – Golden Girl – and once a boy – Goliath – , so you might want to check before you name your horse right after the purchase.
The Turkoman is also a very old breed. They are a combination of war and race horse and have Standard handling. Their health ist exceptional, as is their stamina. Racing my Gold Turkoman is a joy indeed. He will even race up mountains, no problem!
They have courage and their acceleration more than makes up for their sometimes skittish temperament. My Turkoman also does not enjoy the cold.
Fully bonded, this horse will fetch a pretty price of over 900 dollars at the stable.
Horse Comparison According To Characteristics
The Gold Turkoman and the Perlino Andalusian are a match when it comes to Stamina and Health. But you will certainly feel the difference when it comes to acceleration. You can see the difference in the pictures below. The stamina-icon on the Andalusian (middle) pulses red, the Turkoman’ s (left) does not. The Black Arabian (right) is awesome. She can run and run and run without depleting her stamina at any significant rate. And, boy, is she fast!
When it comes to health, she has slightly less than the other two, a nine out of ten, but she more than makes up for that with speed and stamina.
When it comes to handling, the Perlino Andalusian does feel a little more clunky than the Gold Turkoman. The Black Arabian is well-behaved and reacts perfectly.
As for temperament, the Black Arabian is extremely skittish when encountering large predators. She would buck me off every time I tried to cross to Shady Belle over alligator-invested water. Despite a Level 4 bonding very early in game. Which is the only reason why she does not land in the top spot.
There are a few other, decent horses around and one I really like is the Ardennes. This French war horse has great stamina and good health once you reach Level 4 bonding. They are not fast, but will keep their head in a gunfight and during pretty much any predator-encounter.
The Dutch Warmblood is also a good choice. It can be purchased or found in the wild. Buell, the unique Cremello you can inherit from the Veteran when playing his missions, is also a Dutch Warmblood. They are classified as Work horses, so their acceleration isn’t great, but they have good temperaments. The same goes for the very pretty Appaloosas.
The Missouri Fox Trotter is said to be a great horse in game, but I honestly did not enjoy that horse as much as the Turkoman or the Arabian. I maxed that one out once, but sold it later on.
Have you found your favorite horse in Read Dead Redemption II?
Until then, keep on playing!