Following the recent update in Red Dead Online, many players are convinced something is wrong with their horses. Horses are ignoring players, crashing into objects more often, and even flying. It’s funny, but also annoying.
While playing Red Dead Online last night I was off in the woods, studying animals as part of the new Naturalist update. I whistled for my horse, which usually comes running. But that didn’t happen last night: I whistled and whistled, but no horse. I could see the horse on the map, but it didn’t move an inch. I figured it was a random bug, so I left the server and restarted my game, but my horse still wouldn’t come when I whistled.
On Reddit, I found other players reporting the same problem, as well as other issues with their horses. Players have reported horses not fast traveling with them, disappearing randomly and then reappearing, or glitching into the air. These issues are obvious—when you see a horse shake and shoot up into the sky, you know something ain’t right—but players are also reporting less provable issues.
Some players think their horses seem to be dumber and more cowardly after the update. “Is it just me or are horses even dumber than usual since the update?” asked one player on Reddit. Players are sharing stories that horses who once rode fine are now crashing into things and falling off cliffs constantly. My own horse is not only ignoring my calls, but I’ve fallen off of it more than ever due to it running into trees or small rocks that before it would avoid or handle easily. Many of the players reporting issues have, like myself, fully bonded horses that they have owned and ridden for weeks or even months. So it doesn’t seem to be an issue with trust, which affects how well a horse handles terrain and obstacles.
Other examples of horse stupidity and cowardice include horses spawning in and then not moving, horses running away from one gunshot or just running away for no reason, going the wrong way when steered, or just acting paranoid. “My horses are noticeably more shit since the update,” wrote Reddit user fusi9n. I have to agree.
While it’s very likely that these broken horses are unintended, there are some conspiracy theories floating around that Rockstar broke the horses in the game so it can introduce new items to improve horses and force players to grind for gold to buy those items. Such theories have flown around before, notably when GTA Online NPCs started behaving strangely after an update. As is often the case when there’s weird behavior in Rockstar’s online games, some players are quick to blame greed.
Kotaku has reached out to Rockstar about the current horse situation.
In a game that still suffers from server issues and other bugs, horses’ loss of IQ is minor but still annoying. In some cases it’s funny, but it’s still a pain in the ass. Guess it’s time to send my horse to college.