Minecraft Wiki
"Skeleton Horseman" redirects here. For the mob in Minecraft Dungeons, see MCD:Skeleton Horseman.
Skeleton Horse
Skeleton Horse.pngSaddled Skeleton Horse.png
Baby Skeleton Horse.png
Health points

15♥ × 7.5


Hostile (as a trap)



Hitbox size

Height: 1.6 Blocks
Width: 1.3965 Blocks
Height: 0.8 Blocks
Width: 0.6982 Blocks
In Bedrock Edition:
Height: 1.6 Blocks
Width: 1.4 Blocks
Height: 0.8 Blocks
Width: 0.7 Blocks


Skeleton traps

Usable items

A skeleton horse is an undead variant of the horse. It sometimes spawns when lightning strikes.


A group of skeleton horsemen spawned by a "skeleton trap" horse.

A skeleton horseman consisting of a skeleton and a skeleton horse.

A skeleton horseman is a hostile undead mob consisting of a skeleton and a skeleton horse. Skeleton horsemen spawn only from a "skeleton trap horse".

A skeleton trap horse is a hostile skeleton horse spawned from a fraction of lightning generated naturally by a thunderstorm (0.75–1.5% chance on Easy, 1.5–4% on Normal, and 2.25–6.75% on Hard, depending on regional difficulty). Lightning strikes caused by a Channeling-enchanted trident and lightning strikes on a lightning rod never spawn a skeleton trap horse. The trap horse despawns after 15 minutes if not triggered.

The skeleton trap horse is triggered when a player comes within 10 blocks of it, resulting in a lightning strike that does not start fires or damage nearby entities. When struck, the skeleton trap horse transforms into a skeleton horseman: a skeleton, a stray or a wither skeleton riding a skeleton horse. It also spawns three additional skeleton horsemen in the vicinity. Each skeleton is equipped with an enchanted iron helmet and an enchanted bow, and has damage immunity for 3 seconds after spawning (in Bedrock Edition. Both horse and rider are immune to lightning).

Other notes:

  • The skeleton horses becomes passive and tamed if the player kills the skeleton.
  • The skeleton wears an iron helmet, unless it randomly spawned with some other headgear.
  • The skeleton's bow and helmet are enchanted as if on an enchantment table at level 5–22. The exact level depends on regional difficulty; on Easy it is always a level-5 enchantment.
  • The skeleton trap horse becomes fully grown if it was a baby, and the breeding cooldown is reset.
  • The skeletons do not despawn if PersistenceRequired is set.
  • A trap horse may spawn in areas that a regular horse may not, such as the middle of an ocean.
  • A trap horse can trigger normally in clear weather (and often a player encounters a trap horse after the thunderstorm has cleared).
  • The skeleton drops more experience orbs.
  • If the difficulty is set to Peaceful, the skeleton rider despawns but the horse remains.
  • The skeleton does not shoot any mob that attacks the skeleton horse, whether purposefully or accidently. The skeleton attacks only the player.
  • An explosion is heard, but nothing gets destroyed.

Skeleton horsemen can be spawned in Java Edition using the command /summon skeleton_horse ~ ~ ~ {SkeletonTrap:1}, or in Bedrock Edition using the command /summon skeleton_horse ~ ~ ~ minecraft:set_trap.


Upon death, a skeleton horse drops:

  • 0–2 Bones. The maximum amount is increased by 1 per level of Looting, for a maximum of 0-5 with Looting III.
  • 1–3 when killed by a player or tamed wolf.

If saddled, it drops a saddle.‌[Java Edition only]

Killing a baby skeleton horse yields no items or experience.


Skeleton horses can be used as one of the fastest means of transportation in the game, though they are unable to fit through single block-wide openings. They can also be used to climb hills and jump fences because the skeleton horses can jump up to five block heights, versus the player's maximum of one (without a potion).

They can be ridden in water in any depth. Skeleton horses sink in the water and can be ridden along the ocean or river floor.

Skeleton horses can be pulled using a lead.


GUI of a skeleton horse.‌[JE only]

Java Edition

Skeleton horses have the following slot available:

  • Saddle Slot: For equipping a saddle.

Saddles can be placed on a skeleton horse by holding it and then right-clicking on the skeleton horse, or by accessing its inventory. A skeleton horse's inventory can be accessed by mounting the skeleton horse and opening the player inventory or by sneaking and then right-clicking on the horse.

Bedrock Edition

A skeleton horse does not have an inventory and cannot be equipped with a saddle or armor. Despite this, the default texture file, like those of normal horses, donkeys and mules, includes a chest.


See also: Transportation

In Bedrock Edition, skeleton horses can be controlled by the player without a saddle. However, in Java Edition, skeleton horses can be equipped with a saddle and then controlled.

The player can control a tamed (and saddled in Java Edition) skeleton horse with standard directional controls, jump, and the mouse. The player dismounts using the dismount control.

In Java Edition, when riding a horse, the hunger bar is replaced by the horse's health in survival or adventure mode. It uses a slightly different heart texture than the player's health bar having a brown appearance. The experience bar is replaced by the horse leaping bar.

A player can use any item while riding a horse, including drinking or throwing potions; activating doors or redstone devices; using chests, crafting tables, and furnaces; breaking and placing blocks; and attacking with melee weapons or bows.

A ridden horse automatically runs up any one block high slope. The horse and rider can safely fit through a space as low as 2.75 blocks high. Lower clearance risks suffocating the rider if the rider's head enters a non-transparent block. The horse itself can enter gaps as low as 1.625 blocks high, but may itself take suffocation damage when clearance is less than 1.75 blocks. Horses cannot fit through a 1-block-wide gap.

It is impossible for a player to use a Nether portal while on a horse. It is possible, however, to enter the portal on the horse and then dismount, sending the horse through the portal on its own, or by using a lead to position the horse, then pushing it through the portal.‌[Bedrock Edition only]

Unlike normal horses, a skeleton horse does not force the player to dismount when it enters water deeper than two blocks; rather, it can be ridden underwater without drowning. The player can still drown underwater without the proper potions or enchantments, even when mounted on the skeleton horse. When underwater, its running speed and jump remain the same although it has a slower rate of descent.


While being ridden by skeleton horseman, the skeleton horse and rider move fast and maneuver like skeletons, strafing when attacking and backing up when the player moves toward them.‌[Java Edition only]

In Bedrock Edition, grown skeleton horses, like most mobs, can ride in minecarts and boats. Otherwise, baby skeleton horses can always ride in minecarts and boats.[verify]

They can also be tamed by the player.

Unlike other passive mobs, skeleton horses slowly regenerate health evident by their health bar while the player rides it. This is the same case for normal horses. However, they cannot be bred or fed.


See also: Tutorials/Horses

All horses have three "equine stats" that vary from horse to horse: health, maximum movement speed, and jump strength. These stats are created once the horse is born or spawned, and are not affected by food.

Spawned values[]

When spawned in any way except breeding – for instance, using commands, spawning naturally, spawning as part of a skeleton trap, or using spawn eggs – horses are assigned their stats within certain ranges, specific according to their horse type.


A skeleton horse's health is always 15. Displayed hearts are health, divided by two, rounded down. A horse with an odd number of health points (15, 17, 19, etc.) does not show the last half-heart. If the horse has lost one health point lower than the inflicted damage and did not regenerate, it has an odd number of health points, otherwise, it has an even number of health points.

Movement speed[]

Skeleton horse's speed is always 0.2; the player's normal walking speed is 0.1. The speed listed does not include any status effect that affects the speed of a horse or a player.

See transportation to compare the speeds of various transportation methods.

Jump strength[]

Jump strength ranges from 0.4–1.0, averaging 0.7.

A jump strength of 0.5 is enough to clear 1 916 blocks, while 1.0 is enough to clear 5 14 blocks.

The following derived equation can be used to approximate a horse jump height, with x being its jump strength attribute. This function was fit to the data found in the table below.

The jump strengths required to clear several block heights are:

Jump Strength Blocks
0.967 5.00
0.848 4.00
0.715 3.00
0.564 2.00
0.432 1.25 (player's jump height)


Skeleton horse sounds are the sounds of the regular horse but lower pitched and slowed with reverb.

The following sounds section uses an outdated format and should be redone using {{Sound table}}. 
You can help by converting the contents of this section into a sound table template.
Examples can be seen at Bee#Sounds and Ladder#Sounds.
The wikicode should be laid out neatly as in these examples for improved readability.
Remember to include a foot parameter so the table appears in the correct place. Do NOT convert the table using Visual Editor.
Sound Subtitle Namespaced ID Subtitle ID Source Pitch Volume Attenuation distance
Skeleton Horse cries entity.skeleton_horse.ambient subtitles.entity.skeleton_horse.ambient ? ? ? 16
Skeleton Horse cries entity.skeleton_horse.ambient_water subtitles.entity.skeleton_horse.ambient ? ? ? 16
Skeleton Horse dies entity.skeleton_horse.death subtitles.entity.skeleton_horse.death ? ? ? 16
Horse gallops entity.skeleton_horse.gallop_water subtitles.entity.horse.gallop ? ? 0.45 16
Skeleton Horse hurts entity.skeleton_horse.hurt subtitles.entity.skeleton_horse.hurt ? ? ? 16
Horse hops entity.skeleton_horse.jump_water (Presumably when jumping underwater) ? ? 0.8 16
Horse walks entity.skeleton_horse.step_water (Presumably when walking underwater) ? ? 0.6 16
Skeleton Horse swims entity.skeleton_horse.swim subtitles.entity.skeleton_horse.swim ? ? 9, 10, 11, 12 = 0.4; 14, 15, 16, 17 = 0.6 16

Data values[]


Java Edition:

NameIdentifierTranslation key
Skeleton Horseskeleton_horseentity.minecraft.skeleton_horse

Bedrock Edition:

NameIdentifierNumeric ID Translation key
Skeleton Horseskeleton_horse26entity.skeleton_horse.name

Entity data[]

Skeleton horses have entity data associated with them that contain various properties.

Java Edition:

Main article: Entity format
  • Entity data
    • Additional fields for mobs that can breed
    • Tags common to all entities
    • Tags common to all mobs
    • Tags common to all horses
    •  SkeletonTrap: 1 or 0 (true/false) - true if the horse is a trapped skeleton horse. Does not affect horse type.
    •  SkeletonTrapTime: Incremented each tick when SkeletonTrap is set to 1. The horse automatically despawns when it reaches 18000 (15 minutes).

Bedrock Edition:

See Bedrock Edition level format/Entity format.


Java Edition
4 April 2013Jeb hinted at adding horses when Minecraft hit 10,000,000 sales.
1.6.113w16aSkeleton Horse Revision 1.png Baby Skeleton Horse Revision 1.png Added skeleton horses.
The addition of skeleton horses, along with other horses, has been assisted by DrZhark (John Olarte), creator of the Mo' Creatures mod, whose horses are a baseline for Minecraft's horse models.[1]
Skeleton horses are not available yet without the use of third party commands.
13w21aAdded new GUI for horses, including skeleton horses; to control saddles, armor and inventories.
13w22aAdded new sound effects for skeleton horses.
1.7.213w36aSkeleton horses are now available without third-party tools, with the introduction of the /summon command.
1.915w38aSkeleton Trap Revision 1.png Added "skeleton trap" horses.
There is a chance (depending on regional difficulty) that a lightning strike spawns a "skeleton trap" skeleton horse.
15w43a44bThe drops of skeleton horses have been changed several times. The end result is that skeleton horses now always drop one bone, not affected by Looting.
1.1016w20aAdded spawn eggs for skeleton horses.
pre2The spawn eggs for skeleton horses have been removed.
1.1116w32aHorses now have separate IDs and the ID for skeleton horses has been changed to skeleton_horse.
The spawn egg for skeleton horses has been re-added.
Skeleton trap horses' chance to spawn during lightning strikes has been reduced to 15 of what it was.
16w38aSkeleton horses now drop 0–2 of bones or rotten flesh, affected by Looting.
1.1317w45aSkeleton Horse 17w45a.png Baby Skeleton Horse 17w45a.png The models of skeleton horses have been changed.
17w46aSkeleton Horse 17w46a.png Baby Skeleton Horse 17w46a.png The new models for skeleton horses have been slightly tweaked.
18w03aSkeleton Horse Revision 2.png Baby Skeleton Horse Revision 2.png The models of skeleton horses have been updated again and the textures have been slightly altered.
18w19aSkeleton horses now sink in water, due to being an undead mob. Zombie horses, curiously, do not.[2]
The player can now ride skeleton horses when underwater.
pre2The model of skeleton horses has been updated to fix serious Z-fighting, which has changed the model from Skeleton Horse 1.13 Z-fighting.png to Skeleton Horse 1.13 pre2 Z-fighting fixed.png.[3]
1.1419w08aSkeleton Horse.png Baby Skeleton Horse.png The textures of skeleton horses have been changed.
Skeleton Trap.png The textures of "skeleton trap" horses have been changed.
1.1620w09aSkeleton horses can now be leashed.[4]
Pocket Edition Alpha
v0.15.0build 1Skeleton Trap Revision 1.png Added "skeleton trap" horses.
Pocket Edition
1.1.0alpha entity ID for skeleton horse has been changed from skeletonhorse to skeleton_horse.
Bedrock Edition
1.2.6beta Horse 17w45a.png Baby Skeleton Horse 17w45a.png The models of skeleton horses have been changed to Java Edition 17w45a's skeleton horse models.
1.5.0beta horses can now be ridden underwater.
1.8.0beta horse foals now have a chance of being spawned using a spawn egg.
1.10.0beta Horse.png Baby Skeleton Horse.png The textures of skeleton horses have been changed.
Skeleton Trap.png The textures of "skeleton trap" horses have been changed.
Legacy Console Edition
TU46CU36 1.38 Patch 15Skeleton Trap Revision 1.png Added "skeleton trap" horses.
TU54CU44 1.52 Patch 241.0.4Skeleton Horse Revision 1.png Baby Skeleton Horse Revision 1.png Skeleton horses are now able to be spawned with a spawn egg found in the creative inventory.
TU57CU49 1.56 Patch 271.0.7Skeleton horses can now be tamed and leashed.
TU60CU51 1.64 Patch 30Skeleton Horse 17w45a.png Baby Skeleton Horse 17w45a.png The models of skeleton horses have been changed to Java Edition 17w45a's skeleton horse models.
PlayStation 4 Edition
1.90Skeleton Horse.png Baby Skeleton Horse.png The textures of skeleton horses have been changed.
Skeleton Trap.png The textures of "skeleton trap" horses have been changed.
New Nintendo 3DS Edition
0.1.0Skeleton Trap Revision 1.png Added "skeleton trap" horses.


Issues relating to "Skeleton horse" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.


  • Dr. Zhark appears in the credits after the End Poem as the creator of the horses, including skeleton horses.
  • In Bedrock Edition, skeleton horses can be transported in a boat by riding the skeleton horse and jumping into the boat then dismounting (leaving the horse behind in the boat) and activating the boat from underneath/underwater. Attempting to activate the boat in order to pilot it from above results in the player being mounted on the horse again rather than being placed inside the boat to pilot it.



In other media[]

See also[]