Many people love horses, but very few actually own one in real life. The majestic and mysterious nature of horses has fueled numerous online and offline games. This has made it possible for horse lovers to enjoy the pleasures of grooming, training caring and competing with a horse.
Horses have become quintessential elements not only in stand-alone games, but also in huge ones such as Skyrim or Assassin’s Creed, where exploring the map is impossible without a faithful four-legged companion. There are horse board games, puzzles, and video games for Xbox 360, tablets, Wii, PS2, PS3, Nintendo, kinect, browsers and more. You will find even more electronic horse games available for PC or Mac. There are horse riding games, horse racing games, horse jumping games, arcade games, and even horse breeding games, but which one is the best?
There is no definitive answer. Some prefer riding games while others enjoy breeding ones. One thing is certain: all horse games also have an educational component. They will teach children about the anatomy, needs and history of different horse breeds. In addition to this, taking care of a horse encourages taking responsibility and kindness.
Here are some of the best PC horse games we could find. Most of them are recommended to girls as they are the ones that mostly play these kinds of games, but it isn’t unusual for boys or adults to enjoy them as well.
1. Championship Horse Trainer
This is an amazing and fun game. You can train your horse in vitality, control, speed and much more. You can enter your horse in races and win money off of it. When you advance in the game you get to go to greater farms for training.
In this game you can own up to 3 horses and you can even get foals that are the breed of your other horses. While the graphics of this game are certainly not top of the line, it’s pretty hard to come by a good horse trainer game and this definitely is one.
2. Let’s Ride! Riding Star
This is a really good game. You get to jump and ride your horses outside and even do a cross country. You can pick your favorite horse out of three available ones: a cross country horse, a show jumping horse and a dressage horse.
Here’s a useful tip: If it’s the first time you play this kind of game, choose the dressage horse first as it is the easiest.
Compared to other horse games, the graphics on this one are pretty good. The show jumping discipline in the game is probably the most fun but it’s not very easy. The cross country is also quite good even though the jumps are somewhat limited and unrealistic. Many people have found that they don’t like the dressage as much as the other ones as it tends to be the most tedious and the movements are hard to perform and very complicated.
3. Champion Dreams: First to Ride
This is a great game that seems to be loved by a lot of people as it is very fun to play. You can groom your horse and you get to practice for competitions for show jumping, dressage and cross country at the end of every week. You can also travel worldwide to train your horse for championships.
It comes recommended by many and it’s quite an awesome game.
4. Imagine Champion Rider
This is another great horse game. You can make friends, tame and ride wild horses, breed foals, purchase tack for all your horses, enter competitions with your horses, ride them and groom them. You can also do quests inside the game and the graphics are pretty cool compared to other horse riding games.
There is also a Wii version of the game but the PC one features a lot more things to do. This game is truly amazing and we recommend it to any horse lovers out there.
5. Saddle Up with Pippa Funnell
We absolutely love this game. The game is pretty straightforward and easy but it does have some tricky parts. You are a girl called Estelle in the game and you can choose a horse from 14 different breeds. Besides choosing which horse you want, you also get to customize your hair and outfits in the game. If you wanted horse games for girls, you just found one of the best ones.
You inherit a horse farm and one horse at the beginning of the game. You train for different competitions (cross country, dressage and jumping) and you can purchase more horses or improvements for your farm.
You take care of your horses by choosing where you stable them (paddock or stable), riding, grooming and feeding them. Sometimes you get money if you help the people inside the town. There is also a villain in the game that doesn’t like it that you have a horse farm and he sabotages your farm and the competitions you attend.
There is also a romance going on between the stable-hand (Davvy) and Estelle but it’s kind of awful and mushy. While the romance part isn’t inappropriate in any way it is quite weird and boring. Many people don’t like that particular part. In spite of this fact, the game is recommended for its other features.
6. My Horse Farm
In this game you have to take care of your horses and make sure you build a good business that breeds champions. You can change the outfit of your riders from head to toe by choosing from numerous hairstyles and accessories. Nevertheless, you will have to spend your money wisely, train your horses hard to make them champions and always make tough decisions if you want to be successful in this game.
While the game isn’t all that impressive graphically, it has received mostly positive ratings online.
7. Saddle Up: Time to Ride
This is a really fun game that has pretty good graphics. The game is about Lucy, a young girl who is sent to a horse farm that isn’t doing all that well. From there, you are taken on a great adventure that has tons of replay value.
You will have to wash your horse, groom it, feed it, and as disgusting as it sounds (trust me, it isn’t), clean his stall. You also get to search for hidden treasure inside the horse farm and pick your horse’s hoofs and clean the dirt off of him every day.
8. My Horse & Me
This game is the first one that came out between Atari’s partnership with FEI and is quite a complex game.
The graphics are amazing and the game is quite challenging. If you’re a fan of horse riding games, you absolutely must play this one.
9. Riding Champion: Legacy of Rosemond Hill
This game has pretty decent graphics.
You inherit a horse which you will have to take care of and ride. You can put it back in the paddock and saddle it. When you’ve finished this part of the game you will also get to enter your horse in competitions. This is a great horse game for anyone who enjoys these games.
Arguably the most complex horse breeding game we played, Howrse is deceiving in its apparent simplicity. In order to play this online browser game you have to create an account. The friendly game-master, “Ow”, will guide you through the basics of the game. Each player has a farm of horses which he can tend for individually. Options such as feed, put to sleep, train etc. pop-up on the screen.
In Howrse you can take care of different breeds including Thoroughbreds, Arabian horses, Hanoverian, Appaloosas, Akkal-Tekke and more. If you prefer smaller horses you can also specialize in ponies (Fjord, Shetland etc.). The most interesting thing about Howrse is the fact that it also has Divine and Wild horses. Divine horses offer interesting competition and game bonuses, while Wild horses can help you find diamonds that you can use on the black market.
There are so many things you can do on Howrse! In other words each breeder is free to explore infinite career opportunities that the game has to offer: from becoming the top breeder for a certain race, to winning the weekly competition cup or owning the best Equestrian center. You can even breed unicorns. Yes, you’ve heard right. In Howrse you can breed magical unicorns if you meet specific breeding criteria.
Other features include the option of customizing your horse’s appearance with items such as the Golden Apple (which changes the appearance of the horse) or Helios’s Ray (which adds a beautiful background on your horse screen) or improving the genetic score of a certain breed through training and competitions. To win competitions you will have to properly gear up the horse, with a saddle, bridle, stirrups etc. You can even add wings to your horses or transform them into “elemental” ones.
These are only a few of the features that you can enjoy in the game. Howrse is definitely one of the best horse breeding games available at the moment. It is also incredibly addictive.
11. Star Stable
Many reviews say that this is the most amazing online horse game for computer devices. We must agree with them. Star Stable has everything it needs to be considered a premium game: sweet graphics, strong story-line and constant adventures. Before you can start the game you have to get the downloadable content. At the beginning you can choose how you want your character and horse to look like.
Unlike other games, Star Stable is a multi-player game, which means that you can explore the world with your friends. You will spend most of your time on the island of Jorvik, where you will solve mysteries and missions. Every mission completed brings you experience, reputation and money. The more reputation you have, the more equipment you will afford. The only downside to Star Stable is the fact that it is free only up to level 4. After that you will have to become a Star Rider by paying a monthly fee or a lifetime membership.
Honorable Mention: Horse + Pony Magazine
This game is recommended for girls between ages 5 to 11 as it’s really easy to complete. It’s a great game and it’s really cute. It has great graphics and it’s very affordable. It comes recommended by a lot of people and it seems that everyone enjoyed playing this game.
Honorable Mention 2: Red Dead Redemption
This might not be a PC game, but more and more evidence points to the fact that Red Dead Redemption will be coming to computers very soon. That would be excellent news, considering that RDR is one of the most successful horse games ever created. As is the case with most Rockstar games, Red Dead Redemption isn’t about finishing the story-line but about climbing on top of your majestic vehicle, in this case a horse, and exploring the map.
Needless to say the graphics are exceptional for the time of its release, the game-play is really interesting- most of the times you have to break steads and ride them around towns – and the learning curve is easy even for children.
Smart-Phone Horse Games worth Playing
Still can’t get enough of horse games? Neither can we, so we took our research to the smart-phone market. To our surprise there are plenty of amazing horse games one can play on Android and iPhones. Here’s our top 5.
12. Robot Unicorn Attack
Looking for free horse games? Robot Unicorn Attack will take your dreams and turn them into reality. There are two versions of the app available on the market, but you should probably download the second one straight away as it largely improves every aspect of the original game. RUA2 is an endless runner game where you have to jump on platforms, collect stars, dash through giants and rocks, fly and more.
The graphics of the game are absolutely superb: the backgrounds have visual depth and there are even animated wales flying around. The controls are also easy to use: you have to tap the right side of the screen to jump and the left side to dash. Pressing jump multiple times will enable you to make longer leaps. All in all, Robot Unicorn Attack is a great jumping & racing game that everyone will enjoy.
13. My Horse
Just because your parents can’t buy you a horse doesn’t mean you can’t take care of one. My Horse is the perfect game for those who enjoy grooming and caring for horses. Dan the stable-hand will introduce you to your first horse, a chestnut beauty, and tell you all you need to do in order to care for it. In this game you can clean the dust off the horse’s coat, take pictures, mix food and even ride and compete for prizes.
The game also educates kids about the responsibilities of owning a horse that are not necessarily exciting. There is a paddock and stable cleaning game that makes the game seem real even if it’s happening in a virtual medium. The only downside to My Horse is the competition function which will basically make you wait for 20 or more minutes until you can see any results.
14. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
My Little Pony needs no introduction. The game starts off exactly like the series: with the back-story of the show. This pony game feature all the favorite characters from the original series, including Nightmare Moon and Spike. Your objective will be to place your first windmill in Ponyville and complete tasks and missions handed out to you.
In order to do this you must gather coins and gems. My little Pony: Friendship is Magic, is not just a game for kids. Teenagers also enjoy it because it has beautiful graphics and a strong story-line.
15. Derby Days
Another cool and fun game you can try out is Derby Days. If you’ve been dreaming of owning your own little ranch or farm, you can let your imagination run free with this game. What we enjoyed the most about Derby Days was the bright, soft graphics and myriad of sections that can be explored. A helpful scarecrow called Jenny will help you get accustomed to the game, and then it’s up to you.
You have to take care of your first foal, train it and start competing in local races. By winning competitions you will also earn coins that you must use for your farm. You can buy anything from stables and food to more horses. It is also possible to connect with other players and request coverings from their horses. Once the gestation period is over you will receive another cute foal that you can grow and train.
There are so many things to do in Derby Days that you will never get bored. All in all, the game is easy to play and an excellent choice for younger children.
So there you have it. This was our list of 15 great horse games for your kids to play. If you want more games you should check out gaming websites such as www.horse-games.org or www.horse games.com. On horse-games.org you will find all sorts of riding and grooming games that you can play directly from your browser. Horse game downloads can also be made on gaming platforms such as Steam or Origin.