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sevencardz - CyborgArmGun - KrittaKitty

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About this mod

A complete overhaul for the horses in Skyrim.

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This mod is a shoo-in if I do say so myself. You could say it's a horse of a different color - several even. A complete horse and buggy if you will. A dark horse so to speak. You're getting this straight from the horse's mouth as it were...

Now hold your horses - let's not put the cart before the horse. This is no one-horse town! True, but this mod is no one-trick pony. The good people of the Nexus know not to look a gift horse in the mouth. Why not play the ponies as they say? OK, OK, quit horsing around! No need to beat a dead horse. After all, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink...

Immersive Horses is a lightweight overhaul for the horses in Skyrim built on SKSE and SkyUI. The goal of Immersive Horses is to improve on nearly every aspect of Skyrim's horses while remaining as true as possible to the original game. Immersive Horses adds a range of new commands and related options for horses as well as an integrated ownership and follower system designed specifically for horses.

It is now possible to buy, steal, or adopt just about any horse from vanilla Skyrim. Horses you buy at the stables and unique horses you find in quests can be owned permanently once you claim them. Many horses in the game are temporary encounters which means they can not be owned unless they are made permanent through adoption. Horses from other mods can only be owned temporarily unless special changes are made to those mods to allow permanent compatibility with Immersive Horses. Please note that horses added to the game by other mods may not be adoptable.

Any horse that you acquire permanently on your travels is automatically added to your herd. Horses in your herd can be managed and summoned from almost anywhere in the game, including other worldspaces. If you find or steal a temporary horse and you want to keep it then you must first ride the horse to a suitably different location and then dismount it there to gain ownership. You can not wait, fast travel, or use any other horse options while you are mounted on a stolen horse. Once claimed, use the horse menu or horse ownership power to adopt the horse and make the current location its new home which allows you to keep the horse permanently. Choose wisely as this can only be done once per horse.

Activating a horse you own while you are standing, sneaking, or mounted will display an options menu by default but any of these actions can be changed in the Mod Configuration Menu (MCM), along with optional hotkeys for various horse commands. The MCM also has various options for horses, such as the ability to protect all horses you own from death, allow horses to join you in cities, prevent yourself from gaining ownership of stolen horses, turn off horse related status messages, and more...

Basic commands for all horses:

  • "Ride" or "Dismount" - Normal actions for mounting or dismounting a horse.
  • "Follow Me" or "Wait Here" - Command the horse to follow you or wait where it is.
  • "Talk" - Talk to NPCs (while mounted). Also used to search NPC corpses from horseback.
  • "Show Stats" - Display the horse's statistics: health, stamina, speed, etc.
  • "Adopt" - Adopt the horse and give it a home (only works for horses from the vanilla game).

Commands for horses you own:

  • "Whistle" - Whistle for the horse to appear and follow you.
  • "Open Inventory" - Access the horse's inventory and add/remove items.
  • "Dismiss" - Dismiss the horse to return to its home.
  • "Change Ownership..." - Change who owns the horse or abandon it entirely.
  • "Change Aggression..." - Options: Unaggressive, Aggressive, Very Aggressive, Frenzied.
  • "Change Confidence..." - Options: Cowardly, Cautious, Average, Brave, Foolhardy.
  • "Rename..." - Change the horse's name.
  • "Swap Positions..." - Swap the horse's position with another horse in the list.

Commands for your entire herd:

  • "Herd Follow" - Command all active horses to follow you.
  • "Herd Wait" - Command all active horses to wait for you.
  • "Herd Summon" - Summon all of your horses to follow you.
  • "Herd Dismiss" - Dismiss all of your horses to return to their homes.

Lesser powers related to horses (optional):

  • "Whistle" - Whistle for your last ridden horse to follow you.
  • "Horse Menu" - Display the horse menu to manage any of the horses you own.
  • "Horse Ownership" - Change a horse's owner or adopt it. Also used to give horses to your followers.

If you want a different saddle for your horse then you will need a mod like Craftable Horse Barding. Once installed, various new saddles and armours for your equines can be crafted or purchased from the stable masters around Skyrim. Simply add your newly purchased or crafted item to your horse's inventory and your horse will equip it and wear it just like a follower would.

Horses with different colors or markings are recognized as different breeds and each breen is given distinct strengths and weaknesses. Efforts were made to balance stats evenly and to assign stats to horses that seemed most appropriate. Various stats for each breed or unique horse can be changed in the Immersive Horses.ini file.

When installing Immersive Horses you are given the option to include KrittaKitty's beautiful horse textures from Realistic Primitive Horse Breeds (used with permission). The retexture applies to all of the regular and unique horses from the vanilla game and comes highly recommended.

Horse Breeds:

  • Black Fell Pony
  • Grey Fell Pony
  • Haflinger Horse
  • Exmoor Pony
  • Fjord Horse

Stabled Horses:

  • Queen Alfsigr - Black Fell Pony found at Whiterun stables
  • Griselda - Grey Fell Pony found at Riften stables
  • Winnie - Haflinger Horse found at Markarth stables
  • Cinnamon - Exmoor Pony found at Windhelm stables
  • Helena - Fjord Horse found at Solitude stables

Unique Horses:

Frost is descended from supernatural horses and is of the best breeding stock in Skyrim but in vanilla all he gets is a health and stamina boost. Come on now, Bethesda. Frost has been made completely immune to the stuff he's named after and he can now run faster and gallop longer and farther than any other horse in Skyrim. He's also not too bad at defending himself.

  • Frost is the fastest horse in the game.
  • Frost is completely immune to Frost damage.
  • Frost has increased health, stamina, damage, and carry weight.
  • Frost can be stolen again after his quest, regardless of the outcome.
  • Frost's identity papers now contain his mother's name, his date of birth, and his white color.
  • Frost will respawn at the Black Briar Lodge stables if he dies.

Shadowmere is a supernatural horse so he should be a significant upgrade to a regular horse. Shadowmere is now a bit faster and has more stamina than other horses. He's also still quite aggressive and has plenty of health and stamina to tank effectively.

  • Shadowmere is the strongest horse in the game.
  • Shadowmere is faster than most other horses.
  • Shadowmere has increased health, stamina and unarmed damage.
  • Shadowmere will respawn at the dark pool if he dies.

Arvak is an undead horse so it doesn't make much sense for him to get tired. Now he never will. If you have Dawnguard installed, this pile of bones will go full Energizer Bunny and just keep going and going and going and going...

  • Arvak has practically infinite stamina (100000 to be exact so not really infinite, but way more than you can use).
  • Arvak does not persist, so his inventory is not accessible and he is reclaimed each time he is summoned.

Horses are too slow in vanilla and they don't have large stamina reserves like you'd expect a horse to have but they do have ridiculously high stamina regeneration. This limits you to canter and gallop as the only practical gaits to use while riding and the gallop is too slow and doesn't last long enough due to the low stamina. Immersive Horses are able to gallop faster and much farther than vanilla horses but they will also need to rest for a reasonable period of time before they can do it again. Horse speed and gait progression have been meticulously tweaked and balanced to allow for more fluid and natural horse movement (especially with a gamepad/controller). Keyboard users can finally trot with their horses by mapping a hotkey in the MCM which can then be used to toggle between walking/trotting and trotting/cantering.

  • Horses have increased trot speed range.
  • Horses canter a bit faster.
  • Horses gallop much faster.
  • Horse base stamina has been drastically increased.
  • Horse stamina regeneration has been drastically reduced.

Horses are pretty useless in vanilla Skyrim and you're limited to using only one at a time. Vanilla horses are also too weak and they don't have any mounted special attacks. Immersive Horses expands horse abilities significantly and adds in a variety of new equine ways to attack your enemies.

  • Horse base health, stamina, and unarmed damage has been increased and can be customized.
  • Assign hotkeys in the MCM to perform head bash attacks, pivots, and fast dismounts.
  • Jumping and/or landing from a jump on a horse will kick nearby enemies, causing damage and knock-down.
  • Galloping on a horse will trample enemies in your path, causing damage and knock-down.
  • Horses are unaggressive by default and will not flee or attack unless they are attacked first.
  • Horses can be renamed and reassigned to any of your followers.
  • Horses can be configured to follow you into cities but not into interior locations.
  • Horses can join you in new worldspaces from other mods by adding them to Immersive Horses.ini.

Fast dismounts are now possible on the left side, right side, or rear of the horse and they can be assigned to three different hotkeys in the MCM. Executing a fast dismount will make your character jump off the horse immediately and also draw any equipped weapons on the way down, if that option is enabled. The normal dismount also happens significantly faster and the zoom effect was removed.

  • Fast dismount hotkeys can be assigned via MCM to quickly dismount your horse and optionally draw your weapons.
  • Different hotkeys can be assigned for quickly dismounting on the left side, right side, or rear of the horse.
  • The normal animation for dismounting a horse plays significantly faster (but is still realistic).
  • Removed the zoom effect and tweaked the yaw for the horse dismount camera (see Immersive Horses.ini).

Casting spells while mounted is now possible and it works well in many situations but there are certain drawbacks...

  • Mounted casting uses your normal left or right hand attacks so separate hotkeys are not required.
  • Mounted casting consumes magicka. Not having enough magicka will trigger the failure sound and message.
  • Spells require their normal charge times in order to be cast successfully but the charging animation is not shown.
  • Animations/sounds are not triggered when casting on horseback but animations/sounds for the effects still occur.
  • Projectile spells are always cast in the direction the horse is facing and they shoot out of the player's face.
  • Concentration spells work but you can only use one at a time and they also shoot out of the player's face.
  • Dual cast and ritual spells can also be cast on horseback... apparently.

Various tweaks and fixes to horses have also been made. All relevant changes from the Unofficial Patches are included.

  • Attack range while mounted on a horse has been increased: 135 -> 170 (see Immersive Horses.ini).
  • Horses no longer have the 'greet corpse' behaviour in their AI packages.
  • Horses from imperial holds now wear Imperial Saddles; Cicero's horse now wears a Dark Brotherhood Saddle.
  • Stable masters now receive the appropriate amount of gold in their inventory when you purchase a horse.
  • Horses purchased at stables are now female to match the in-game dialog.
  • Fixed vanilla bug where the Whiterun stables horse was based on EncHorseSaddledBlack, not WhiterunPlayerHorse.
  • Fixed vanilla bug where stabled horses were set to respawn using EncHorse variants, not PlayerHorse variants.
  • Fixed the odd looking fences and backwards opening gates at the Whiterun stables.
  • Cicero's horse near Loreius Farm crashes the game if stolen and the player leaves the area - USLEEP Bug #15242.
  • Dead player horses now respawn correctly at the various stables - USLEEP Bug #19877.
  • The horse at Katla's Farm now respawns in the correct place - USLEEP UESP.

Your followers can ride any horses you give them ownership of but only if you have a follower mod installed that supports the feature. Immersive Horses intentionally limits itself to only managing horses and horse ownership in order to maintain maximum compatibility with the various follower mods. The direct management of non-horse followers is out of scope for this mod.

The following mods are known to add the ability for followers to ride horses:

Extensible Follower Framework by Expired
Follower Live Package by oldc
Simple Follower Mount by disi

For compatibility with Amazing Follower Tweaks, see Immersive Amazing Follower Tweaks by chinagreenelvis.

Immersive Horses requires the following:

How to install Immersive Horses:

1.Run the installer using Mod Organizer or NMM.
2.Use LOOT to sort your load order. LOOT is built into Mod Organizer.
3.Use TES5Edit to find and resolve direct conflicts.

How to smoke test Immersive Horses with your load order:

1.Launch Skyrim with Immersive Horses installed.
2.At the main menu, open the console (~) and enter these commands:
player.additem f 10000
coc whiterunstables
3.The game should load you in as the default nord character in the house at Whiterun stables.
4.Exit the house and buy the black horse from Skulvar at the stables.
5.Mount the horse to gain ownership.
6.Test that the horse will follow/wait/dismiss on command.
7.Ride the horse North and find the skooma bandit hideout behind Dragonsreach.
8.Dismount and steal the black horse.
9.Ride the stolen horse to a nearby farm and dismount it to gain ownership.
10.Use the horse menu or horse ownership power to adopt the stolen horse.
11.Summon both horses and change/remove their saddles and change the items in their inventories.
12.Fast travel to another major hold and summon both horses.
13.Verify the horses have the same saddles and retain the same items in their inventories.
14.Kill the horse you bought and then return to Whiterun and verify that you can buy a new horse.

NOTE: If you have Craftable Horse Barding installed you can open the Immersive Horses.ini and add CheatMode=1 under the [General] section to gain access to all saddles and barding at game start. This option is only meant to be used for testing.

How to uninstall Immersive Horses:

Remove all of the mod's files and start a new game. Skyrim save games store plugin and script related data long after the mod has been removed and although there are tools available for 'cleaning' saves, it can be quite tedious and may not be completely effective, which can then cause even more issues. Always be prepared to start a new game, revert to a previous save, or finish the game with the mods you have when installing or uninstalling any type of complex and/or scripted mod.

  • Immersive Horses doesn't play nice with other horse overhauls like Convenient Horses, Better Horses, etc.
  • Special installation is necessary for compatibility with Amazing Follower Tweaks.
  • Camera flips 90 degrees to the left or right when mounting (vanilla bug). Fixed by Enhanced Camera!
  • Rear left hip distortion issue while trotting (vanilla animation/rigging bug). Fixed by Horses Revamped!
  • Dead Body Collision Fix causes an issue where the player floats around in the air briefly if the horse dies while it is mounted.

Q: My horse won't follow or wait for me or just walks away. What's the problem?

A: Most likely, you have another mod or quest overriding the AI packages for that horse in your game. For example, you might have another horse mod that adds horses to the game which have their own AI packages so changes may need to be made to that mod for full compatibility with Immersive Horses. Also be sure to test horses on a brand new save game to make sure the issues you are facing are not being caused by your current save game.

Q: How can I customize stats for a unique horse or breed?

A: Certain stats for each of the horse breeds can be customized by editing the actor values for the breed profiles in the Immersive Horses.ini file.

Q: How script intensive is this mod?

A: Immersive Horses is designed to be as light and efficient as the Papyrus scripting language will allow and no intensive tasks are involved in its operation. Animation event listeners are used only when necessary and scripts are applied to horses at the race level, rather than running a constant update loop on the player via a cloaked magic effect or similar solution. Basic game engine functionality was utilized wherever possible.

Q: Why do these files conflict? Is it OK for them to overwrite?

A: These are resource files shared between mods which come packaged with Immersive Horses for your convenience. There is no problem here and allowing this mod or any other mod to overwrite them in your current installation will not cause issues because the files should be identical.

How to make unique horses from other mods compatible:

1. First, open or create a new horse actor in TES5Edit or the Creation Kit. The simplest method is to copy an existing horse actor and reuse one of the existing horse breeds for your horse, so choose one of the vanilla actor templates (EncHorseSaddledBlack, EncHorseSaddledBrown, etc.) as the template for your horse and tick the 'Use Traits' box in the 'Template Data' section. This step allows Immersive Horses to magically (BY THE POWER OF SKSE) retrieve the form name of the template from Immersive Horses.esp (Fell Pony, Haflinger Horse, etc.) and then load the breed stats from the Immersive Horses.ini file based on that name.

2. Next, add the horse to the 'PotentialFollowerFaction' and be sure to UNCHECK 'Respawn' and CHECK 'Unique' on the horse actor. This step will make it safe for Immersive Horses to give the player access to the horse's inventory and for the player to claim the horse. While you're there, check 'does not effect stealth meter' as well so the horse won't spot you when you're sneaking.

3. Duplicate and rename the AI packages from Immersive Horses into your mod to avoid needing to add Immersive Horses.esp as a master. Remove the 'IHO' prefix and replace it with a prefix for your mod and simply add these AI packages to your horse, then UNCHECK 'Use AI Packages' in the 'Template Data' section. This step gives the player the ability to command the horse to follow, wait, dismiss, etc.

4. If the horse is NOT marked essential and you want it to respawn when it dies, then add a custom death respawn script to the horse similar to IHOActorDeathRespawnScript (copy, paste, rename). Alternatively, if the horse has a stables quest (so it can be purchased) then add the PlayerHorseScript to the alias for the horse in the stables quest which effectively does the same thing. Remove any AI packages from the horse alias in the stables quest so the AI packages on the horse will prevail. This step is necessary because checking the 'Respawn' box will respawn the horse even if it isn't dead, which will annoyingly clear its inventory, actor values, factions, etc., whenever it unloads from a cell.

5. If you want your horse to use one of the vanilla saddles, then simply choose one of the vanilla horse outfits for your horse. Immersive Horses automatically changes these outfits so the saddles can be added or removed from horse inventory. If you want to use a custom saddle armor item then make sure it is marked as 'playable', give it some reasonable stats, and use the inventory model Actors\Horse\HorseHide.nif if you don't have one. Additionally, you will need to add HorseRace or CartHorseRace as an alternative race to your custom saddle so it can be worn by horses. See the following tutorial for details on making armor items playable/craftable: Making an item craftable for Skyrim.

USLEEP by the Unofficial Patch Project Team.
Skyrim Startup Memory Editor by Queue.
Enhanced Camera by LogicDragon
Horse Stamina Widget by just
Better Jumping by meh321
Horses Revamped by DServant
Improved Horse Step Sounds by Crystan
Better Horse Pain Sounds by Yuatari
Touring Carriages by DayDreamer
Immersive Stables by FatalxSyn
Horses of Skyrim by ElioraArin
Blaze of Eventide by Alek
Arvak Rewritten by Oriius

KrittaKitty for the horse textures from Realistic Primitive Horse Breeds.
CyborgArmGun for additional edits to KrittaKitty's horse textures.
moirai for the faster horse dismount animation from Faster Horse Dismounting.
JZBai for the horse kick concept from Horse Kick.
KahjiitRaj for the horse behavioural changes from Oblivious Horses.
mitchalek for the fast dismount concept from Convenient Horses.
Mike Koenig for the Whistle Get Attention sound used under the Attribution 3.0 licence.
Ben Boncan for the Hey You whistle sound used under the Attribution 3.0 licence.
Jaxonz for providing Jaxonz Console Plugin.
The SKSE team for providing more functionality to mod Skyrim with.
The SkyUI team for providing the MCM framework and SkyUILib.
The Nexus for hosting the mod and supporting the community.
The Nexus community for testing the mod and suggesting interesting ideas.
Bethesda Game Studios for creating Skyrim.