Every Horse, Ranked From Worst To Best


  • Red Dead Redemption 1 introduced a greater focus on horses, offering a variety of steeds with different stats and appearances for players to tame and bond with.
  • The game features a range of one-star and two-star horses, with the Infested Ardennais being the worst due to its low stats and the Jaded Tersk being considered overpriced.
  • The top-tier horses in the game, such as the Hungarian Half-bred and American Standardbred, have the best stats and are the fastest, but come with a higher price tag.

Red Dead Redemption 1, released in 2010, marked a new direction for the Red Dead franchise and introduced a number of new and improved mechanics – including a greater focus on horses. The game’s predecessors, Red Dead Revolver and Red Dead Redemption: Gunslingers, included horses and some horse riding, but not to the extent that’s utilized in later games.

There are a variety of steeds that players can tame in Red Dead Redemption 1, with different levels of speed, stamina, and health. The ability to choose colors and breeds while also taming and improving horses makes it easy to bond with whichever horse the player has chosen. As users progress through the game, they receive access to increasingly powerful horses.

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20 Infested Ardennais (Dark Brown)

One-Star Horse

The Infested Ardennais is undoubtedly the worst horse in Red Dead Redemption 1. Cursed with low speed, stamina, and health, the only saving grace of the Infested Ardennais is its incredibly low purchasing price, the cheapest in the game – only $50. It’s the slowest horse available and John Marston will look visibly unhappy while riding it. Moreover, players have to be careful not to overwork the Ardennais, as it is prone to collapse.

19 Lusitano Nag (Light Brown)

One-Star Horse

Red Dead Redemption Lusitano Nag drinking at a trough.

A one-star horse and one of the slowest in the game, the Lusitano Nag is the second mount unlocked in multiplayer mode – after the mule. In the single-player campaign, the Lusitano Nag can be obtained for a fee of $250; however, it’s recommended players trade it as soon as possible. Seth Briars rides this Nag in the single-player game and the sickly appearance of this horse makes it a good match for the malnourished-looking Seth.

The price of horses can change depending on John’s Honor level. Higher Honor can mean lower prices.

18 Jaded Tersk (Gray)

One-Star Horse

A Jaded Tersk from RDR 1 in green grass.

The Jaded Tersk is one of the slowest horses in the game, a stat that makes its $250 price tag too high. A sentiment corroborated by the fact that players can find these horses wandering around Tumbleweed – an early-starting town. Its gray coat and emaciated build ensure that it is not one of the prettiest horses in Red Dead Redemption 1; however, there must be some value to the horse because when John Marston goes down to Mexico, where it is commonly found in the wild, the Jaded Tersk is often found pulling stagecoaches and carts in Mexican towns.

17 Highland Chestnut (Golden)

One-Star Horse

Highland Chestnut from Red Dead Redemption.

Being a two-star horse, the Highland Chestnut is a step up from Red Dead Redemption 1‘s one-star horses, and at a cost of only $250, it is suggested players skip the one-star options and instead purchase the Highland Chestnut steed. It’s a standard mount with normal speed, average health, and decent stamina. Red Dead Redemption 1 says this horse is a palomino, but it is actually a frosted buckskin – this can be seen by its two-toned tail and mane.

16 Tersk (Champagne Or Black)

Two-Star Horse

Tersk Horse in Red Dead Redemption 1.

The Tersk is described by the game as a “blue roan,” which means that the Tersk is a black horse with a “roan” gene, resulting in its blueish-gray appearance. The champagne-colored version of this horse is somewhat rarer than the black. It is average in speed, stamina, and health, and can be found around Critchley’s Ranch, but its deed can also be purchased for $250.

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15 Ardennais (Grulla)

One-Star Horse

Ardennais horse jumping a fence in Red Dead Redemption 1.

Ardennais is an unusual-looking horse that can be found around New Austin. It is considered a “graying bray,” meaning its coat is in the process of changing from brown to gray. It has average health and normal speed and stamina. It can be obtained in the wild or for $250.

14 Cleveland Bay (Brown)

Two-Star Horse

Though he rides other horses earlier, the Cleveland Bay is the first horse John Marston receives in Red Dead Redemption 1. A run-of-the-mill two-star horse with normal stats in its stamina, speed, and health, the Cleveland Bay is a fine horse for the game’s earliest levels. This, the quintessential steed in Red Dead Redemption 1 can be purchased for $250. The Cleveland Bay can also be found all over the West for taming.

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13 Dutch Warmblood (Black/Brown)

Two-Star Horse

Dutch Warmblood Red Dead Redemption

Rockstar took a few liberties while creating the Red Dead series, one being the Dutch Warmblood, a breed that was not actually bred until World War 2, according to AnimalLife. It’s a dappled black or brown horse that can be found around Warthington Ranch. This horse has normal health and stamina, but is a bit slower than most other horses. Despite this, it’s still a strong choice for much of the early game.

12 Lusitano (Rose Grey)

Two-Star Horse

RDR1 Lusitano Rose Grey horse.

The Lusitano is a Portuguese two-star horse that has normal stamina and speed, as well as a pretty much average health stat. It’s traditionally used in bullfighting; however, the Lusitano makes for a good travel horse in Red Dead Redemption 1. The Lusitano can also be unlocked in the multiplayer mode; however, it will have a different appearance from the steed’s typical Rose Gray coat as it appears in Red Dead Redemption 1‘s single-player campaign.

11 Painted Quarter Horse (Chestnut)

Two-Star Horse

Jim Marston riding on the back of a Painted Quarter Horse in Red Dead Redemption.

The Painted Quarter Horse is on the higher end of the low-tier $250 horse options, possessing mostly average attributes. It can be frequently encountered in the Cholla Springs area of New Austin. Despite having mid-range stats, the Painted Quarter mount is one of the most beautiful horses available in Red Dead Redemption 1. It is chestnut with a white “blanket” pattern – a term describing the white streaks and dots along the back of its coat.

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10 Turkmen (Brown)

Two-Star Horse

Turkmen Horse in RDR 1 behind a bail of hay.

A mid-tier steed, the Turkmen horse is the worst in the price range. It can be purchased for a $500 deed – $250 if John Marston has high enough honor. It has average speed but increased health and stamina compared to lower-tier horses in Red Dead Redemption 1. It is a great horse for the beginning sections of the game while other steeds are still expensive; however, in Mexico, better horses can be tamed for free.

9 Welsh Mountain (Chestnut)

Two-Star Horse

Welsh Mountain Red Dead Redemption

The Welsh Mountain horse has normal speed, stamina, and health, which makes it better than many of the other $500 horses. It is chestnut colored with white stockings – a term that refers to the white fur that comes up from the hooves of the horse. In the game’s description, the Welsh Mountain is described as a horse that was bred in Wales for sport racing, as well as traversing the rough Welsh mountains and bogs.

8 Standardbred Pinto (Brown/White)

Two-Star Horse

One of the few pinto horses in Red Dead Redemption 1, the Standardbred Pinto is a mount with average speed and stamina. It’s available for $500, but the price decreases to $250 with high honor – or low honor in Thieves Landing. Pintos are horses with large splotches of white across their bodies, and the Standardbred has a beautiful chestnut coat that complements the white. The Standardbred Pinto is commonly ridden by members of Dutch’s gang.

7 Quarter Horse (Brown)

Two-Star Horse

Quarter Horse Red Dead Redemption

The Quarter Horse is considered a “sorrel” due to the reddish color of its coat; however, it is described as brown in the game. It is one of the fastest steeds among the mid-tier horses and is a great bargain at $250 – or $500 if John has a poor honor level. The breed is one of the most popular horses in America; its speed and beauty make it a favorite among players in the campaign.

6 Painted Standardbred (Brown)

Two-Star Horse

Painted Standardbred Red Dead Redemption

Known as a bay snowflake appaloosa, the Painted Standardbred is a brown horse with a coat studded with white speckles that look like snowflakes. Its deed is $500 and, unfortunately, there is no way to lower the Painted Standardbred’s price. While this is not the first horse the player can own, it’s actually the first one ridden by John Marston in the campaign. He is lent the Painted Standardbred in the game’s very first mission.

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5 Tobiano Pinto (Brown/White)

Two-Star Horse

Tobiano Pinto Red Dead Redemption

The Tobiano Pinto is the second painted horse in Red Dead Redemption 1, and it looks similar to the Standardbred Pinto. But instead of mostly white, the Tobiano is mostly brown. While this horse has the same speed and health as other $500 horses in the mid-tier range, it has much better stamina. It is actually fairly difficult to deplete the stamina bar on this horse, making it an excellent choice for traveling long distances.

4 Dark Horse (Black)

Two-Star Horse

Dark Horse in RDR1 on a dirt road.

If a player reaches the “Road Agent” honor ranking in Red Dead Redemption 1, they will have the opportunity to ride the Dark Horse. To get this steed, a player has to whistle with no horse currently owned – the Dark Horse cannot be bought. It has high health and stamina stats, but only an average speed. The key feature of the Dark Horse is, unlike most mounts, it does not lose speed if it runs off-road. This trait, combined with its black coat, unexplained scars and wounds, and appearance from nowhere, adds a bit of dark mystery to the mount.

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3 Kentucky Saddler (Golden Pearl)

Three-Star Horse

The Kentucky Saddler is one of the top three mounts that is in Red Dead Redemption 1 without DLC. It has high stamina and is very fast, but it does not take a huge amount of damage to take it down. This golden horse can be purchased with a deed for $1,500. This majestic palomino cannot be found in the wild, but players can acquire it for free – at the end of the “Wild Horses, Tamed Passions” mission, Bonnie McFarlane will offer the horse to John Marston if he can break it in, but, he only has one attempt and it is difficult.

2 American Standardbred (Black)

Three-Star Horse

Described as a black horse, the American Standardbred is the fastest, non-DLC horse in the game. It sacrifices the stamina and health of the other top three mounts for its blazing speed. Another expensive horse, this steed, can be purchased for $1,500 or, $750 with high enough honor. Alternatively, to obtain the American Standardbred, the player can break in a wild horse – American Standardbreds can be found in West Elizabeth, and occasionally around New Austin.

1 Hungarian Half-bred (Grey)

Three-Star Horse

Of the top-tier horses in the game, the Hungarian Half-bred has the best stats. It is second-fastest only to the American Standardbred, but it has the highest stamina and health of the trio. The Hungarian Half-bred is a pale horse with a dark mane and tail – it is unquestionably one of the most majestic-looking steeds in the game. Like the other mounts of its tier, it costs $1,500 at most stables, but the price will lower to $750 with high enough honor. If the player can afford this steep price, there is no better option in Red Dead Redemption 1.

Source: AnimalLife, Moist Towelette/YouTube

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