Sometimes, we tend to expect a little too much of Ranger horses. After all, they are only human.

Halt to Horace in The Icebound Land

Tug horse

Tug, Will's Ranger horse

The Ranger Horses were specially-bred horses, originally bred from Temujai horses. The Ranger Halt stole them from a Temujai army when they refused to sell them to him.


Ranger horses are normally small, often mistaken for ponies. They have incredible endurance and are described as barrel shaped. Ranger horses are very smart and can learn many diverse signals for the purpose of their rider's work. They are extremely loyal and affectionate toward their Rangers.

You must tell a Ranger horse a special password in order ride it. In Tug's case, for example, you have to ask "Do you mind?". If you attempt to ride a Ranger horse without speaking the password, it will buck violently and do anything to get you off. However, once you speak the password, you will have no trouble riding it. The password system exists to make Ranger horses extremely difficult to steal.

Rangers believe that their horses can talk to them, not out loud like a person, but through actions and noises. Ranger horses are often witty and make fun of their riders in a lighthearted way.

After about fifteen years in the service of their Ranger they are retired, their name is changed, and they are taught that riders no longer need a password to ride them. They are cycled into the Ranger horse breeding program, and replaced with a new horse with the same bloodline and name as the previous horse.