You’ll be doing a lot of traveling as you quest your way through Skyrim, so why not do it on the back of the best horse? There are many horses you can ride, whether you purchase, steal, or acquire them through quests. Naturally, some are more useful than others.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the most special and unique mounts in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – from ordinary horses, to summoned Daedric creatures, and even a Dwarven automation!
Stats of the Best Horses in Skyrim
|Shadowmere||1637||198||Respawns in 10 days|
|Arvak||289||106||Can be re-summoned|
|The Daedric Horse||1637||198||Can be re-summoned|
|The Dwarven Horse||1637||198||Yes, and invulnerable|
The Best Horses in Skyrim | Ranked Good to Amazing
We’ll be working our way to our number one pick, explaining our reasons and how to get them. Just note that some of these entries either requires you to be playing the Anniversary edition of Skyrim or to buy a DLC pack from Bethesda’s official Creation Club.
Each major city in Skyrim has a stable where you can buy a horse. Queen Alfsigr, or Allie for short, is the only one of these horses who comes with a name. She’s also the first horse that most players will acquire since she is purchased from Whiterun, which is the most central city in Skyrim. She is a standard horse with a black coat and mane.
Queen Alfsigr can be bought from the Whiterun Stables for 1000 gold. There is no discount available through Speech skill. Thankfully, there are no other requirements to purchase her – it’s just a matter of having the gold!
If you want to ride around on a regular horse instead of something a little more unusual, Frost is your best bet. He has more health and stamina than any other standard horse. He’s one of the few named horses in the game, and also has lineage papers that detail his ancestry. He is a palamino horse with a gold coat and white main and tail.
Frost can be obtained by completing the quest Promises to Keep. To start the quest, visit the Bee and Barb in Riften. There you will come across a Breton named Louis Letrush who will recruit you to help him get the horse, which he already paid for. To do this, you’ll have to steal both Frost and his lineage papers from the Black Briar Lodge. When you bring the horse to Louis, you’ll have three options:
- Give Louis the horse and receive your payment (you don’t get to keep Frost)
- Persuade Louis to give you both the horse and payment by threatening to rat him out
- Threaten him and he will attack you, and then you can take both the horse and payment
If you prefer something a little more supernatural, and maybe a little sinister, Shadowmere fits the bill. He is widely considered the best horse in Skyrim. He has the most health of any horse in the base game, and he also regenerates health very quickly. If he dies, he will respawn within 10 days. He looks like a standard black horse except for his glowing red eyes.
Shadowmere is the horse of Astrid, the leader of the Dark Brotherhood, and acquiring him will require joining them. During the quest The Cure for Madness, she will gift him to the player. The next time you exit The Whispering Door, he will rise out of the pool in front of the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary.
Shadowmere also appeared in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion as the horse of Lucien Lachance. If the player has summoned Lucien with the Summon Spectral Assassin ability, he will greet his former horse with, “Shadowmere, my old and dear friend.”
Although obviously not a horse, no list of Skyrim mounts would be complete without the reindeer. It is the only mount in the game that isn’t a horse-adjacent, although it still rides and functions the same as any other mount. The reindeer is also one of the few mounts that can’t be killed.
To obtain the reindeer, you will either need to have the Anniversary Edition of the game, or you will need to download the Saturalia Holiday Pack from the Creation Club. With either of these installed, you will be able to find a Breton merchant named Agrane Peryval at a camp near the city of Dawnstar. He offers a Bill of Sale for 500 gold, which is half the price the horses that can be purchased from city stables.
If you want to ride around on a magical creature, but not something that looks downright demonic, there’s the unicorn mount. The unicorn is a unique horse that can’t be killed. It looks like a standard horse except for its signature horn. Its coat is a dappled gray and white.
To get the unicorn, you’ll either need to have Skyrim Anniversary Edition or the Wild Horses pack from the Creation Club. With either of these installed, you’ll automatically receive the Creature of Legend quest when you load the game. It will direct you to the Arcanaeum in the College of Winterhold to read Soran’s Journal. This journal will explain the presence of the unicorn in Skyrim, and send you to a clearing near Riften, where you can find and tame this legendary creature.
If you don’t have Skyrim Anniversary Edition or any Creation Club content, Arvak is the most useful horse in the game. Because this mount is summoned via a spell, you don’t have to worry about him being killed or lost. You can just cast the spell again and summon him wherever you are. He’s a very distinctive mount, though – depending on the kind of character you’re playing, you might feel a bit strange running around Skyrim on a glowing skeletal horse. Not that the NPCs ever seem to notice!
The quest to obtain Arvak is found in the Soul Cairn, which you will visit as part of the Dawnguard storyline. You will find Arvak’s Skull to the east of the Boneyard. After picking it up, Arvak’s former owner will appear and teach you the spell Summon Arvak.
The Daedric Horse
Similar to Arvak, the Daedric Horse is particularly useful because it can be summoned. Also like Arvak, this horse stands out like a sore thumb, with its bright red and black runed pattern and its Daedric armoring. What makes this horse a tad more useful than Arvak is its stats – it has significantly more health, meaning it can take a few more hits before you have to summon it back, and its higher stamina will allow you to sprint for longer periods.
Before you can acquire the Daedric Horse, you will need to have either Skyrim Anniversary Edition or The Consequences from the Creation Club installed in your game. Then you will need to reach level 46 on your character. When you do, a courior will deliver a letter that will start the quest The Cause.
Later on, a follow-up quest, The Consequences, will take you into the Daedric realm known as the Deadlands, where you should immediately encounter the horse and its owner, Valkyn Gatanas, who are both hostile. Once they have been defeated, you can find a spell tome in a nearby container that will teach you the spell Summon Daedric Horse.
The Dwarven Horse
Although Arvak and the Daedric Horse can both be summoned, the Dwarven Horse is the only mount that is completely invulnerable to damage. That means that when you are mounted on it, you don’t take any damage either! But wait, there’s more: it can sprint indefinitely, which makes it extremely useful for the primary purpose of a mount – crossing vast distances quickly. The Dwarven Horse has a distinct look as a Dwarven automation, but it functions like any other horse in Skyrim for all intents and purposes.
To get this mount, you will either need to have Skyrim Anniversary Edition or the Forgotten Seasons pack from the Creation Club. When you load the game, Runoff Caverns will be marked on your map in the Reach. Travel there and you will find a Broken Dwarven Horse near the entrance. This object will give you the quest The Dwarven Horse, which will task you with finding and reassembling its parts.
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