By now you probably heard that horses have come to Minecraft. They’re part of the aptly named “Horse Update” from Mojang as part of version 1.6.1. The takeaway? There’s horses in it.

For the horse parts, I’ll quote from Kyt Dotson’s article on the subject “Minecraft 1.6: Horses—Need I Say More?” from SiliconANGLE:

As for horses, they’re a new mob that spawns in the surface world. They can be tamed—by jumping on their backs and trying to ride them a few times until they give up and let it happen—and ridden (with the addition of a saddle after being tamed) and even bred like other mobs in the game. Horses can also take damage, so various types of horse armor have been added.

Since horses can wander, a lead has been added to permit players to leash them to themselves or to posts. I imagine an Old West saloon or two popping up in Minecraft meme images with horses tied out front.

Donkeys and mules, on the other hand, while not quite-for-riding essentially add an extra backpack for adventurers or miners striking out into the untamed wilds, spelunking into dank caverns, or exploring abandoned mineshafts and dungeons. Probably a nice thing for people like me who tend to take our entire exploring party out across the wilderness for thousands of blocks and then set everyone down to rebuild civilization.

Oh, there’s also skeleton and zombie horses in the code. You don’t get to ride or tame those—they’re not implemented yet either so maybe a mod will make use of the code.

Other things that have changed about the game:

* A brand new launcher that includes the ability to load separate installs (or mod bases);
* Texture packs have become resource packs that include sounds and skinning;
* An attribute system added to enable better RPG-like support;
* Carpets for interior decorating—making for better home and mineshafts;
* Hardened clay that can be stained (or dyed) similar to wool adding more colorful blocks;
* Name tags for naming mobs (example: We have “Bob the Chicken” chicken in town);
* Blocks of coal added for…if you need to store 9 coal in a block.

Oh yeah, there’s also zombie and skeleton horses in the code (but they won’t appear in the game unless a mod uses them.) You know, because I couldn’t neglect to add more horses to the list of additions that 1.6.1 brings to the game.

There’s a lot more interesting changes that you might be interested in for the full run-down there’s always the changelog and version history but the article linked above might be a bit more readable.