Horse Taming, also known as horse breaking or just breaking, is a method of habituating a wild horse to ridership.
Horse taming becomes available during the mission Wild Horses, Tamed Passions, when Bonnie MacFarlane provides John Marston with a lasso. In order to tame a horse, the player must locate a wild horse and either use the lasso to capture it or get close enough to directly mount the animal. The player will then have to break the horse to tame it for use.
Breaking a horse is done by staying balanced for a certain period of time on top of the horse while it bucks. A wide range of horse breeds can be captured and tamed.
For every type of horse you break, a deed can afterwards be purchased at General Stores. So if you see one you like, break it. And if it's broken or dead, buy the deed, use it from your Satchel to make it your horse, whistle and you get the same one again.
You cannot sell horses, you can only sell horse meat and hides from a dead horse.(This is known as skinning)
At some locations, you can earn money by doing a Horsebreaking job.
- To break a horse, merely move left or right on the left analog stick as needed to center yourself atop the animal. The exercise will conclude after about 40 seconds.
- If Marston is hanging off of one side of the horse, left or right, push the left joystick all the way in the opposite direction. Rinse and repeat, and the horse will be tamed.
- Move the LS/L3 analog stick counter-clockwise at a steady speed until the horse is broken.
- An easy way to break any horse is to repeatedly wiggle the control stick left and right.
- If you ignore the horse's movements, the background, and the top half of John, and just focus on his legs, it becomes rather easy. If his legs are tilting one way, lightly tap the left stick in the opposite direction to balance him out. Once equal just hold it there until the horse is broken.
- Make sure to use the LEFT stick.
- How hard it is to break a horse is determined on the number of stars it has. For example, the American Standardbred will be more difficult to tame then the Painted Quarter Horse.
- In Multiplayer Free Roam there's a glitch that can occur on rare occasions in which when you travel to Beecher's Hope, there will sometimes be a couple of horses roaming around but mounting the wild horse will buck you off right away.
- It is possible to steal a horse through a Horsebreaking job. This method gives no bounty. To do this once you have broken the horse instead of taking it to the stable, take it to a hitching post and hitch it, then a message will appear notifying you that the broken horse is now your trusty steed.
- While breaking horses, both the player and the horse are impervious to fall damage, meaning that if the horse falls off a cliff while trying to buck the player off of its back, both John and the horse will take no damage. However, the player will still die if you slip into deep water.
The breaking of wild horses is associated with the following achievement: