Understanding the Red Dead Online best horses is a key part of progressing in the Wild West, knowing which horses will serve you best in gunfights and exploration alike. After all, who wants to spend all their money on fast travel? With so much of Red Dead Online being spent riding on horseback, it's important to know which are the best horses and which are just old nags not worth your time.
That being said, it's important to recognise that the best Red Dead Online horses aren't always the exact same ones. Different stats make different horses better for racing, fighting or long-distance travel, and it can be worth getting a few specialised steeds if you find yourself doing certain activities a lot. That being said, there are some great horses with all-round stats worth pursuing, which we've laid out for you below in our Red Dead Online best horses guide.
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Unlock level: 66
The best horse in Red Dead Online is going to cost you a pretty penny… and every other last dime in your cowboy’s change purse. At $850, this is the second most expensive horse in the game, though it justifies its sky-high price tag with its excellent health, speed, stamina, and acceleration stats. With its elite handling class, it’s also the most agile, manoeuvrable horse around, making it an ideal option when riding through the thick, cluttered forests of Tall Trees. If you’re playing on PS4, you can also claim this magnificent beast for free thanks to Sony’s exclusive content deal with Rockstar.
Missouri Fox Trotter
Unlock level: 58
Red Dead Online’s most expensive horsey comes in two flavours: Silver Dapple Pinto or Amber Champagne. Both will cost you a wallet-ruining $950, but if you have the cash going spare, this horse’s speed and stamina stats are pretty much unbeatable. Of course, seeing as Red Dead Online doesn’t grant you the privilege of buying this mount until you hit rank 58, you’ll most likely have to put up with that wheezing Kentucky Saddler for a few dozen more hours. Also, are we the only ones thinking this horse was named by a SEAL team?
Unlock level: 56
This multi-breed specimen is an excellent option for those who like to take part in Red Dead Online’s race events. Super speedy and with impressive health and stamina, this skinny horse should guarantee you many a pony podium place. The Dark Bay breed is the cheapest version available, and can be yours for $925… providing your online outlaw has hit rank 56. Though its handling is classed as standard, in practice, this is one of the game’s most agile horses.
Unlock level: 36
Not to be confused with a famous Belgian forest, this warhorse is a particularly sturdy customer. If you need to protect a stagecoach or want to clear a gang hideout, this steed’s hefty hide will come in useful. The Ardennes is also one of Red Dead Online’s bravest horses, and even in combat or when faced with a predator, it will rarely buck you off. They’re not particularly fast, but if you’re not that fussed with speed and favour durability instead, the Ardennes really is a tough horse to top.
Unlock level: 21
Though this sturdy workhorse isn’t the fastest horse around, it certainly packs quite the engine. Clearly this breed has been working on its cardio, because these horses’ stamina is absolutely first-class. If you can overlook their below average acceleration, either the Tobino or Overo variants – which both unlock at level 21 – are well worth the $130 for an animal that can ride all day and night without issue.
Unlock level: 24
Although it’s not quite as hardy as the Ardennes, the Hungarian Halfbred is still an excellent warhorse. This breed is also cheaper than the Ardennes and is available to buy 12 levels earlier. Like Red Dead Online’s other warhorses, the Halfbred doesn’t boast great speed or accelaration, but it’s a great option when the bullets start flying. You can buy either the Flaxen Chestnut or Piebald Tobiano at rank 21.
Unlock level: 1
Its stats may pale to other horses on this list, yet the Belgian is one of the most reliable horses you can buy when you’re first starting out in Red Dead Online. The fastest of the Draft breeds, the Belgian can outrace the Shire, while it also boasts good health and stamina. Yes, its heavy handling model means its not ideal when you need to get out of tight spots in a jiffy, but if you’re just setting out into Rockstar’s online Frontier, you could do a lot worse than riding out with the burly Belgian.
How Horse Insurance works
You wouldn’t take to the road in an uninsured car, so don’t hit those dusty dirt trails without first insuring your horse at a stable, like the one found in Valentine. Horse insurance in Red Dead Online covers you for acts of unexpected filly fatality. If your mount gets shot or falls over a cliff, horse insurance gives you a safety net, healing your horse over a short period of time before making it available again. Without it, any horse you own that croaks will be lost forever. Just a word of warning: should you accidentally shoot your pony pal (you utter monster) your horse insurance will charge you a fee to revive it.
Red Dead Online Horse prices and unlock levels
- Kentucky Saddler – $50/rank 1
- Morgan – $55/rank 1
- Tennessee Walker – $60/rank 1
- Belgian – $120/rank 1
- Shire – $120/rank 15
- Suffolk Punch – $120/rank 18
- American Paint – $130/rank 21
- American Standardbred – $130/rank 21
- Appaloosa – $130/rank 21
- Hungarian Halfbred – $130/rank 24
- Mustang – $130/rank 27
- Nokota – $130/rank 30
- Thoroughbred – $130/rank 30
- Andalusian – $150/rank 36
- Ardennes – $150/rank 36
- Dutch Warmblood – $150/rank 36
- Arabian – $850/rank 66
- Turkoman – $925/rank 56
- Missouri Fox Trotter – $950/rank 58
How to redeem free Red Dead Online Horses
If you bought the ultimate edition of Red Dead Redemption 2, you can claim a free Black Chestnut Thoroughbred. Either visit a stable or bring up the Handheld Catalogue by pressing left on the D-pad and search for your gratis steed. If you visit a stable, the Thoroughbred is listed under the ‘Race’ breed section.
PS4 players can also claim an additional free horse. Make your way to a stable and you’ll be rewarded with the Red Chestnut Arabian horse, which can be found under the ‘Superior’ class of breeds. Just make sure you have an open stable slot to store your horse. If you don’t, you can always buy an extra one for $100. Considering the Arabian will set Xbox One players back an eye-watering $850, that’s still quite the saving.
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