|Faction(s)||PreyFaction, Spriggan Prey Faction|
Horses are available as mounts in Skyrim, and improve your movement speed. They are somewhat slower than horses in Cyrodiil but are better at combat and have more endurance. If you fast travel to a city, then an owned horse you are riding will move to the stables outside the city; an unowned horse will return to its starting point. Only an owned horse will stay where you left it when you dismount. Horses you do not own will begin to travel back to their normal locations if you dismount them.
 Finding a Horse
Horses can be purchased from stables, located outside each major city. All horses have the same speed, stamina, and health, varying only in color. The only two exceptions to this are Shadowmere and Frost.
Stealing horses is considered to be a crime. To steal a horse, simply mount it and start riding. Stealing a horse incurs a 50 gold bounty in that Hold which stacks every time a guard notices (or is told about) you mounting a stolen horse (even if you dismount and then mount the same stolen horse). However, stealing a horse while hidden in sneak mode allows you to ride the horse without incurring a bounty. It is still considered a stolen horse, so dismounting and then mounting the horse in plain sight will incur a bounty. Note that most horses you encounter are likely to be owned by someone, even if you find the horse in the middle of the wilderness. When dismounted, owned horses will stay in the spot you left them, but stolen horses will run home.
Several horses can be freely borrowed from their owners once you befriend the stable owners. Although you are free to ride these horses, as soon as you dismount the horse will start to return home (occasionally sliding/moving so quickly that it is impossible to catch up with the horse). They may reappear after you fast travel. Locations include:
- Riften Stables: A horse can be borrowed by winning a brawl with Hofgrir, or by erasing Shadr's debt with Sapphire.
- Katla's Farm (Solitude): Horses can be borrowed by helping Katla harvest her crops.
If the owner of a horse, such as a hunter, dies by a hand other than yours, their horse becomes a free horse and you can use it without it being considered a crime. The horse will still not be owned by you and will not follow you or stay put after dismounting. The same holds true for horses stabled at Forts captured during the civil war quests. There is also a random encounter which consists of a dead bandit on the ground and a horse which is free to ride. Also, most of the military camps have two horses at them; some of those horses are free to ride as well, even if you are on the opposite side from the camp (e.g. if you are a member of the Legion, the horses in the Reach Sons of Skyrim camp are still free to ride). Finally, most of the other unowned horses follow a walking route, with a spawning point and a final destination. When you fast travel, all unowned horses are reset to their original spawning positions; this means that if you fast travel to a location where a horse spawns, you can reliably mount that horse if you do so quickly, before the horse leaves on its route.
 Unique Horses
There are three unique horses available to you:
- Shadowmere has substantially more health and somewhat more stamina than a normal horse, extremely high health regeneration and a unique look. He also returns from the dead at the place where he was first obtained ten days later, if killed. He is obtained during the Dark Brotherhood quest The Cure for Madness. Note that to obtain this horse requires you to participate in the Dark Brotherhood questline—if you destroy them instead, this horse will never be available.
- Frost has more health and stamina than a regular horse, but is otherwise not unique. He can be obtained during the quest Promises to Keep started in Riften.
- ArvakDG is a spectral undead horse added with the Dawnguard plug-in. He can be summoned for 60 seconds, but will remain with you until you dismount even if past the time limit. You must complete the Soul Cairn Horse Quest in order to obtain the Summon Arvak spell.
 Purchasable Horses
|Markarth||Markarth Stables||Cedran (Banning)||Black and White Paint/Piebald||00109e41||0003f351|
|Riften||Riften Stables||Hofgrir Horse-Crusher||Dapple Grey with White Markings||00109e40||000984ab|
|Solitude||Solitude Stables||Geimund (Horm)||Palomino||00109e3e||000ce66f|
|Whiterun||Whiterun Stables||Skulvar Sable-Hilt (Jervar)||Black||00109e3d||00068d74|
|Windhelm||Windhelm Stables||Ulundil (Arivanya)||Bay with White Markings||00109ab1||0009848c|
 Horse Abilities
- When mounted, allows for faster speed, except when fast-traveling.
- Carry weight that is independent of yours, allowing for sprinting and fast travel even when you are overencumbered.
- Can distract and attack enemies during combat.
- Allows for climbing extremely steep slopes such as mountains, and surviving some falls that would normally kill you, but instead kill your horse.
- Will fast travel with you to places if lost.
- Will count as a witness for crimes you commit in its presence.
- Pressing the sprint button while on a horse will allow the horse to run faster for a short time without depleting your stamina— horses have their own stamina pool.
- Mounted combat is enabled as of patch 1.6; you can use melee or ranged attacks on horseback, but not magic.
- The disguised bandits at Nilheim will attack and even kill your horse without provocation. See the place page for details.
- If your follower accidentally hits your horse in combat (or vice versa), they can become aggressive towards each other.
- You can mount a horse that is hostile to you. The horse will stop attacking you entirely while you are riding him and function normally. Once you dismount, though, the horse will go back to being hostile until you mount him again. Fast traveling may cause the horse to become friendly to you.[verification needed — see ]
- A fourth unique horse, Karinda, is available on PC via console, but does not appear in-game.
- A horse you own will wait for you where you dismount. If you leave your mount outside of a dungeon with more than one entrance, it will still be by the exit that you entered the dungeon by if you leave from an alternate exit. Fast-traveling will reunite you and your horse.
- If your horse is killed while you are mounted upon it, you will be thrown to the ground. This results in you being unable to attack or defend until you regain your feet, similar to the effects of being ragdolled by an Unrelenting Force shout.
- If you own multiple horses, then only the horse that you last rode will travel with you. Horses you bought will return to where they were purchased as soon as you mount a different horse, while horses obtained as quest rewards will stay where you leave them.
- If you buy a horse from Katla's Farm and the horse is killed, attempting to purchase a new horse from the same stable results in 1000 gold being deducted, and Geimund stating that your horse is "the one with the saddle". However, the saddled horse may not be available for taking, or may not be present at all. Instead, your new horse spawns at the Riften Stables.
- Upon mounting your horse, your character may simply float in the air while you control the horse and your character will not follow. This may cause a crash to desktop or your console may freeze if you travel too far away from your floating self. When the horse is returned to where your character is, you can dismount as normal. Reloading your last save may fix this; if not, restart your machine.
- When in possession of the cursed Ring of Hircine, you may transform into a werewolf on your horse. If this happens you will be able to move around as a werewolf but the camera will be fixed to the horse until you turn human again and mount your horse.
- When you mount a swimming horse, the horse will move as if it is running on land. This effect lasts until you ride the horse back onto the shore.
- After dismounting, but before the camera refocuses on you, you can still control the horse.
- Dismounting a horse while not moving may cause the horse to suddenly move from its original position while remaining on the same terrain level of the original position. In other words, the horse will fly for a brief moment before crashing down (usually falling off a cliff to its death).
- Since Patch 1.6, any horse you have bought that gets killed will eventually respawn and head back to the stables. A respawned horse can be mounted and ridden, but will start to walk towards its stables as soon as you dismount. You can still buy new horses even though the respawned ones are at the stables. It is possible to have multiple respawned horses at the same stable. This makes it difficult to identify your newest horse that hasn't died yet.
- After installing patch 1.8, mounting a new horse causes your owned horse to stay at its current location and never return to its stables.[verification needed]