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Mounted combat is really cool part of D&D, but sustaining a mount seems like it would be difficult and costly. What are the rules governing the sustainment of a mount and are there ways for low level/poorer characters to do so? Also, are there alternatives to owning and maintaining a steed that will allow you to engage in mounted combat but not have to worry about keeping a horse during the long stretches when you are not traveling or fighting on horseback? For instance, Figurines or Power and Find Steed spells can provide a temporary, "disposable" mount. Are there other methods of doing so, magical or otherwise?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you asking "how can you improve the survivability of a non-magical mount in combat?" \$\endgroup\$ Feb 25, 2021 at 17:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Or ways to get a free mount Like the find steed spell \$\endgroup\$ Feb 25, 2021 at 17:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ So, either, ways to keep your mount alive, or ensure that you can always easily replace it if it dies? \$\endgroup\$
    – divibisan
    Feb 25, 2021 at 18:42

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The best way to to maintain your mount is to keep it alive by taking the Mounted Combatant feat.

Among its benefits is the following from PHB pg 168:

You can force an attack targeted at your mount to target you instead.

If your mount is subjected to an effect that allows it to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, it instead takes no damage if it succeeds on the saving throw, and only half damage if it fails.

Based on RAW, there is no limit to the number of attacks targeted at your mount that you can direct at yourself.

Armor and other protection for your mount could still be useful if there are times when you don't want to sustain the damage yourself.

You can feed a mount for a year for less than 20 GP (5 CP per day). Keeping it alive is more humane than using them as disposable vehicles.

With the feat, you also get advantage on melee attacks when both mounted and attacking unmounted creatures smaller than your mount. Plus your movement becomes double your mount's movement (your mount gets its Movement and an Action that can include Dash - probably 100' with a warhorse allowing for encumbrance, for example). You will ride circles around monks.

It is a feat well worthwhile in any outdoor setting, and depending on the mount could be very worthwhile in an indoor setting, particularly if your character is Small.

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    \$\begingroup\$ RE: small characters with mounts. Halfling rogues on riding dogs are surprisingly effective, since you always get to sneak attack for having an ally within 5 feet of the target. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 25, 2021 at 21:38

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