While other members of the van der Linde gang may be your family in Red Dead Redemption 2, your horse is your best friend. You go almost everywhere together, and while you'll gradually upgrade to the Red Dead Redemption 2 best horse, all previous horses will hold a special place in Arthur Morgan's heart. You can master the art of the horse with the Red Dead Redemption 2 Horseman Challenges, which I'd recommend doing as soon as you're able to explore the open world of the Wild West.
Completing these challenges isn't just to tick boxes off a checklist either. Each one has some decent rewards and they're required as part of the Red Dead Redemption 2 100% completion guide, so we've got a detailed list of all the challenges below and the best ways to complete them.
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Horseman 1 - Kill 5 rabbits from horseback
Rabbits are abundant across almost the entire map of Red Dead Redemption 2, and you can kill them from horseback by either shooting using the target lock system or even running them over with the horse itself. Kill five in this way, and the challenge will be complete.
Horseman 2 - Jump over 3 obstacles in 15 seconds
This one’s fairly easy, as your horse can jump over boulders, fences, small cliff faces, and other environmental objects simply by riding them in its direction. Find three in a nearby vicinity, and quickly ascend in succession to complete the challenge.
Horseman 3 - Ride from Valentine to Rhodes in less than five minutes
Rhodes is a town located a few miles southeast of Valentine, but getting there in under five minutes flat on horseback won’t be easy. Ideally, your steed will need to be in the race horse category, and you’ll need to bond with it to upgrade its stamina first. When attempting the time trial, be sure to bring some stamina shots to inject your horse with during the journey, should they begin to tire out too quickly.
Horseman 4 - While mounted, drag a victim for 3300 feet using your lasso
You can lasso someone from your horse by equipping it from the weapon wheel and aiming at any target within range. Arthur will then maintain his grip until you say so, allowing to drag the victim along the ground just by riding your horse for 3300 feet, preferably along flat ground to avoid the lasso coming loose. Spoilers: the victim will definitely die.
Horseman 5 - Trample 5 animals while on horseback
This is exactly what it sounds like. Find an animal, aim your horse in its unfortunate direction, and charge. Target small game like rabbits for this challenge, as your steed is less likely to get hurt or stressed upon the impact, and they're easy to tail from horseback, especially when the critters are so abundant across the open world.
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Horseman 6 - Ride from Strawberry to Saint Denis in less than 9 minutes without touching any water
If you've seen the Red Dead Redemption 2 map, then you know this challenge won't be an easy one. Arthur will have to cross two rivers to get to Strawberry from Rhodes, but to avoid water he'll have to take the bridges rather than wading through any low streams. Meanwhile, to get there in under nine minutes, your horse's energy will need to be constantly charged with stamina shots and food, so stock up on plenty of those before even thinking about making the journey.
Horseman 7 - Kill 7 enemies from horseback without dismounting
Killing enemies from horseback is a painless process with the autolock system and Dead Eye, but the tricky part here is downing seven without them knocking you off your horse first. Stay mobile, try to keep your horse calm (to prevent it rearing in terror), and target bandit camps so you won't be left riding around the West looking for more enemies to kill before you can dismount.
Horseman 8 - Kill 9 predators from horseback
The easiest predator to kill from horseback is probably the alligator, found in the swamps of Lemoyne to the South East. Unlike the bear or the cougar, they're not too speedy, so are less likely to stress your horse out by catching up with you. A decent rifle will have them dead in two shots or less, as well, so finding and killing nine of them won't take forever, especially when they're located all in the same vicinity.
Horseman 9 - Ride from Van Horn to Blackwater in less than 17 minutes without touching any water
Riding from Rhodes to Strawberry in under nine minutes is one thing. Riding from one side of the map to the other in less than 17, again without touching any water, is something else entirely. Your horse will undoubtedly need to be at level 4 bonding with Arthur, and hopefully a fast-paced breed like a race horse that can withstand a journey as long as this one at running pace. As for the water criteria, you'll need to plan your route beforehand to, as was the case with the Horseman 6 Challenge, use bridges to cross any rivers without getting wet.
Horseman 10 - Break every wild horse breed
To "break" a horse breed means to find and tame one from the wild. This requires slowly walking up to the animal and trying to calm it down, before mounting it and staying on using the analog stick to prevent being bucked off until your new steed accepts its fate. There are dozens of horse breeds found around the world, making this pursuit a rather lengthy one but, when finished, you can pat yourself on the back for completing the entire set of Horseman Challenges.
For more Red Dead Redemption 2 tips, check out all the things we wish we knew before playing.