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RDR2’s Most Iconic Horses, Explained


Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 features many creatures throughout its massive open-world, from the smallest robin to the largest grizzly bear. While hunting and fishing can be some of the most time-consuming activities throughout the game, however, there are few animals that players will find themselves spending more time with than their horses. As players progress throughout Red Dead Redemption 2’s story campaign, side quests, and free-roaming, they will find that Arthur Morgan and John Marston are rarely far from one of these beasts of burden.

The main form of transportation across the vast open-world of Red Dead Redemption 2 is a horse, which can be acquired through taming the creatures in the wild, purchasing them from stables, or stealing them from an unsuspecting civilian. Some horses are better than others, whether through personal statistics, looks, or even their backstory.

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While there are dozens of different breeds of horses to collect throughout the duration of RDR2’s story, there are only a few that become iconic beacons of storytelling and Western Culture in Red Dead Redemption 2.

RDR2: Dutch Van Der Linde’s Arabian, The Count

RDR2: What Each Van der Linde Gang Member's Horse Says About Them Head Art Dutch

One creature that most players will recognize is the albino Arabian horse that resides within the Van der Linde gang’s camp throughout RDR2‘s main story. His name is the Count, and he is the chosen mount of Dutch Van der Linde, the leader of the gang. Not only is The Count an extremely speedy horse, but it is one of the most expensive breeds available, costing between $1,250 and $1,050 depending on where Arthur Morgan or John Marston purchase it.

While it is unknown how Dutch acquired his albino Arabian, it wouldn’t be totally out of character for him to abuse camp funds for his own lavish lifestyle and false status symbols. The Count’s pure white appearance represents the dream for total freedom that Dutch holds in his mind, as it is completely unblemished by the rough reality or logic that is present throughout the rest of the camp (and their horses). The Count is much more skittish than other horses within Red Dead Redemption 2’s Van der Linde gang, perhaps speaking to Dutch’s shorter temper that only becomes more apparent as the game progresses.

RDR2: Hamish Sinclair’s Dutch Warmblood, Buell

Buell RDR2

Buell is a horse in Red Dead Redemption 2 that is available to players only as a reward for finishing The Veteran Stranger Mission questline. He is a Dutch Warmblood with a pale and white pattern, and has a stubborn, fiery, and unpredictable temper that can give both the player and Buell’s original owner, Hamish Sinclair, a run for their money and patience.

Related: RDR2: How Old Each Van der Linde Gang Member Was When They Died

Buell can be obtained by either Arthur Morgan during the course of Chapter VI or with John Marston over the course of the Epilogue. Buell is one of the only horses that players can obtain with an actual backstory, and the horse is actually listed as a minor character within Red Dead Redemption 2. Buell has great stats compared to other mounts, and handles well over even the roughest of terrain. Hamish Sinclair’s dying wish is for the player to take care of Buell, so bonding with this horse and adventuring throughout the West with him can be one of the most rewarding experiences in the game.

RDR2: Hosea Matthews’ Gifted Shire Horse

Black Shire Horse RDR2

One of the most iconic (but overlooked) horses within Red Dead Redemption 2 is the black Shire horse that is gifted to Arthur Morgan by Hosea Matthews at the beginning of the “Exit Pursued By a Bruised Ego” mission. While most players will likely trade the lumbering black beast in as soon as they reach Valentine, keeping the gifted creature from one of Arthur Morgan’s father figures can help forge quite the sentimental bond.

The Shire horse has no given name unless named by players at one of RDR2‘s stables. The Shire horse and the Legendary Animal map are the two gifts that players can receive from Hosea Matthews from this mission, and they both help players immensely as they travel through the American wilderness. Widely regarded as Red Dead Redemption 2’s wisest character, Hosea Matthews’ gifted Shire horse offers strength and security over speed and promises to keep its rider safe against the dangers of the Wild West.

Red Dead Redemption 2’s Herds Of Wild Mustang

There are few horses as symbolic of the Wild West than the wild herds of Mustang that can be found racing freely across Red Dead Redemption 2’s open world. Once there were hundreds of herds of wild horses across the American wilderness, though a systematic destruction of their natural habitat, western expansionism, and the development of once-wild lands has thinned their populations greatly. Red Dead Redemption 2 recaptures some of the magic of wild Mustangs herds and other breeds of horses that linger in the wilds.

Related: Can Arthur Morgan Be Cured In Red Dead Redemption 2?

For players looking to have a more natural (and less expensive) method of collecting new mounts in-game, taming one of RDR2‘s wild and beautiful Mustangs can reward them with one of the most cowboy-like moments the game offers. While their stats are not nearly as high as horses of more superior or rare breeds in RDR2, there’s something to be said about riding an authentically Western horse in one of the greatest cowboy games ever made. These Mustangs are available in a variety of colors, making each encounter feel new and exciting.

RDR2: Uncle’s Nell III and Nell IV

RDR2: What Each Van der Linde Gang Member's Horse Says About Them Uncle

Uncle is one of the most well-known members of the Van der Linde gang, having appeared in both RDR1 and Red Dead Redemption 2. His chosen mount is also one of the most iconic horses out of the gang, given the fact that Uncle always names his horse the same thing: Nell. Nell has come in several different forms, and between the ending of Chapter VI and Uncle’s reappearance in the Epilogue, is killed or passes away and is replaced with a mustached Appaloosa.

Given the amount of loss that the Van der Linde gang experiences throughout the course of RDR2, it’s a charming reassurance that so long as Uncle is alive he will have another Nell to carry him to his next adventures. Aside from the emotional significance, Nell IV’s mustached appearance is seemingly the only horse in Red Dead Redemption 2 with such iconic facial hair, increasing its unique style.

Red Dead Redemption 2’s Racing Nokota With Abusive Owner

Red Dead Redemption 2 Nokota Horse

Players can randomly experience one of Red Dead Redemption 2’s Stranger missions when riding through the American wilderness, where a rider may challenge them to a race. Upon defeating the Stranger, the opposing rider will dismount and strike his horse in the face. For those that kill or restrain the rider, freeing the Nokota from its abusive owner and giving it the loving treatment it deserves can be a rewarding experience.

Related: RDR2 Player Overhears John Marston Repeat an Iconic Line

The Nokota is one of the most skittish horses in Red Dead Redemption 2, bucking and tossing its mane no matter how many times players pet its neck. It is a bit harder to gain this creature’s trust, but it is most certainly worth it in the end. Despite defeating the Nokota in a race, the creature is actually quite swift compared to other horses, and can be further improved with a higher bond and loving treatment within one of RDR2’s many stables.

While Red Dead Redemption 2 has many different horses, there are only a few iconic beasts of burden that wander throughout the open world of the American Wild West. The game is full of strange encounters and hidden missions, with more being discovered each day by the community. Despite this, no matter which horse is discovered, or how, Red Dead Redemption 2 is able to ensure a lovely experience of bonding the player with their chosen mount.

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Benvenisti Eyal

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