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What Do Horses Eat in Minecraft


Minecraft is a widely popular sandbox video game that allows players to explore, create, and survive in an open-world environment. Among the many aspects of the game, taming and caring for animals is a significant part of the Minecraft experience. Horses, in particular, are essential companions for players, as they offer fast transportation, increased mobility, and a sense of camaraderie. So, let's begin our journey into the world of Minecraft horses and their dietary preferences.

The Basics: What Horses Eat in Minecraft

In Minecraft, horses primarily consume three types of food: apples, golden apples, and hay bales. These foods serve different purposes and can be obtained through various means within the game.

Apples are the most basic food for horses and can be found by breaking oak and dark oak leaves or by looting village chests. These fruits restore a small amount of health to horses when fed to them. However, apples are relatively rare, so it's essential to gather them wisely and use them sparingly.

Golden apples are a more valuable food item for horses. They are crafted by surrounding an apple with eight gold ingots, making them more challenging to obtain. Golden apples provide a larger health boost for your horse, as well as a temporary boost to its speed. Additionally, golden apples play a crucial role in taming horses, which we will discuss in the next subheading.

Hay bales are the primary food source for horses when it comes to healing and maintaining their health. Hay bales can be crafted using nine pieces of wheat, which can be farmed from crops within the game. When fed to a horse, hay bales significantly restore its health, making them a vital resource for players who want to keep their horses in top shape.

A Minecraft horse wearing enchanted armor with the Frost Walker enchantment.

Taming and Breeding Horses: The Role of Food

Taming horses in Minecraft is essential for players who want to make the most of their equine companions. To tame a horse, you must approach it empty-handed and right-click or tap on it to mount it. The horse may throw you off a few times, but eventually, it will allow you to stay on, indicating that it has been tamed.

Golden apples are crucial in the taming process, as they increase the likelihood of a successful taming attempt. By feeding the horse a golden apple before mounting, you can significantly reduce the number of attempts needed to tame the horse, saving time and resources.

Once tamed, horses can be bred to produce offspring with various traits and abilities. To breed horses, players need to feed them golden apples or golden carrots. After consuming the food, the horses will enter "love mode," and, when brought close to each other, they will breed and produce a foal. The resulting offspring will inherit traits from its parents, such as color, pattern, and, in some cases, health and speed.

A player crafting a hay bale for their Minecraft horse.

Feeding Your Horse for Health and Speed

In Minecraft, maintaining your horse's health and improving its speed is essential to make your adventures more enjoyable and efficient. Different types of food have varying effects on your horse's health and speed, so it's crucial to understand their benefits and uses.

As mentioned earlier, apples and hay bales are the primary sources of food for restoring your horse's health. While apples provide a small health boost, hay bales offer a more significant recovery. It's important to have these food items on hand to ensure your horse's health remains in top condition, especially during battles or long journeys.

Golden apples not only help in the taming process, but they also temporarily boost your horse's speed. This speed boost can be advantageous during races, escapes, or traversing long distances quickly. However, golden apples are a valuable resource, so use them wisely and only when needed.

Other than these primary food sources, you can also use potions to enhance your horse's abilities. For instance, a Potion of Swiftness increases your horse's speed for a limited time, while a Potion of Healing instantly restores its health. These potions can be brewed at a brewing stand using various ingredients found in the game.

A player feeding an apple to a horse in Minecraft.

Different Foods for Different Horse Varieties

Minecraft features several horse varieties, each with unique traits and characteristics. While most horses share similar dietary preferences, some horse types require specific food items for taming or breeding.

Skeleton horses and zombie horses are rare and unique varieties that players may come across in their Minecraft adventures. These undead horses cannot be fed with regular food items like apples, golden apples, or hay bales. Instead, they can only be healed using splash potions or lingering potions of Healing or Regeneration.

When it comes to breeding horses, most varieties can be bred using golden apples or golden carrots. However, for donkeys and mules, players must use golden carrots to initiate the breeding process. It's essential to pay attention to these subtle differences in dietary preferences to ensure successful breeding and optimal care for your horse companions.

Exploring Alternative Food Options for Your Minecraft Horse

While apples, golden apples, and hay bales are the primary food sources for horses in Minecraft, players may be curious about alternative food options for their equine companions. Currently, there are no other food items that horses can consume in the game. However, players can rely on potions and enchantments to provide additional support and enhancement to their horses.

For example, potions like Potion of Healing, Regeneration, and Swiftness can offer temporary boosts to your horse's health and speed. Additionally, enchantments such as Frost Walker can be applied to horse armor, allowing horses to walk on water by turning it into ice temporarily.

By exploring various potions, enchantments, and game mechanics, players can find alternative ways to support and enhance their horses' abilities, making their Minecraft experience more enjoyable and versatile.


Feeding and caring for your Minecraft horses is an essential aspect of the game that every player should understand. By learning about the different food items, their effects, and their uses, you can ensure that your horse companions remain healthy, fast, and ready for any adventure. As you explore the world of Minecraft with your trusty steed by your side, remember to pay close attention to their dietary needs and preferences, as this will play a significant role in your success and enjoyment of the game.

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