How to heal a Horse in Minecraft

We love our Minecraft pets as if they were real. Losing one of theam can really break a player’s heart, but luckily we can heal most of them. Horses are one of them.

There is a lot of misconception and false myths about how to heal a Horse. For example Horses don’t heal over time while you ride them. Even the Minecraft Wiki doesn’t seem to be updated on this topic, so it was necessary to test accurately every single method. Let’s see them all.

minecraft heal horse

Hay Bales

Hay Bales are not just some sort of decoration blocks that you can find in Minecraft Villages, they can also come in handy for healing Horses. In fact, if you leave Horses close to Hay Bales, they will start eating them now and then. Every time that a Horse eats from a Hay Bale, 1 healt (half heart) will be restored.

To craft a Hay Bale, you will need to put 9 Wheats in the Crafting Table.

hay bale crafting recipe

It may be a good idea to place a Hay Bale close to where you leave your Horses between your trips. Horses can eat from a Hay Bale without consuming it, so this will last indefinitely.


The most common way to heal a Horse is giving them food. Many online articles say that Golden Apples and Golden Carrots don’t heal Horses, but it is not true. They are probably old articles that weren’t updated.

To heal Horses, you need to keep one of the following kinds of food in your hand. Then right click on a Horse to feed them:

  • Sugar – restores 1 health
  • Wheat – 2 health
  • Apple – 3 health
  • Golden Carrot – 4 health
  • Golden Apple (enchanted or not) – 10 health
  • Bay Hale – 18 health

Where 1 health is equal to half heart of their health bar. It’s quite interesting to notice that Minecraft Horses don’t eat regular Carrots, despite loving them in the real world.

One thing worth mentionig: while you can use all this food to tame a Horse, you can only use Golden Apples and Golden Carrots for breeding Horses.

Splash Potion of Healing

The last method to heal your Horses is using Potions. You can’t give a Healing Potion to Horses, but you can throw them a Splash Potion of Healing.

If you don’t know how to brew a Healing Potion, go and check this article about Water Breathing Potion. The process is the same, you just need to use Glistening Melon instead of Pufferfish.

To craft Glistening Melon you need 8 Gold Nuggets and 1 slice of Melon.

glistening melon crafting recipe

You can find Melon in Jungle Biomes, Savanna Villages and Desert Villages, or you can find its seeds as loot in Chests. To get Golden Nuggets you just need to put a Gold Ingot in the crafting box:

minecraft golden nugget

After you obtained a Healing Potion you just need to brew it with Gunpowder (as described in the Water Breathing Potion article) to get the Splash Potion of Healing. Now all you have to do is throw it at your Horse to instantly heal them.

How to heal Skeleton Horses

Everything said above works for living Horses only. If you want to heal Skeleton Horses, you will only have one option: the Splash Potion of Harming, which deals instant damage to living creatures and restores health to undead creatures.

Brewing a Splash Potion of Harming is essentially the same process that we saw before, but instead of using Glistening Melon you will need to use one Fermented Spider Eye.

To craft a Fermented Spider Eye you will need 1 Spider Eye, 1 Sugar and 1 Brown Mushroom (related topic: How to get Mushroom blocks in Minecraft?).

fermented spider eye crafting recipe

To know more about Skeleton Horses you can chech this video:


So these are the three ways to heal a Horse in Minecraft. A Hay Bale can be good to keep around your Horses, but if you want to instantly heal them you can use the other two methods. Even if Sugar only heals 1 health, it is also the easiest kind of food to obtain. In fact, Sugarcane is very easy to grow, so you should consider using that.
Anyway, thank you very much for reading the article this far and I hope I’ll see you again around here. See you and take care!