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If a mount without a saddle dashes does the rider need a saving throw? Specifically if the mount is a player controlled dire wolf and another character hops on his back. The mounted combat rules are pretty slim and mention that... (PHB 155)

Saddles. A military saddle braces the rider, helping you keep your seat on an active mount in battle. It gives you advantage on any check you make to remain mounted. An exotic saddle is required for riding any aquatic or flying mount.

But what are these conditions that merit checks to remain mounted? Does a dash of 50' in 6 seconds knock a rider off?

I don't think there are very many more rules for 5e mounted combat at the moment, so maybe someone with knowledge of how this might have worked in editions past could answer with some of that info. I'm just looking for some experienced insight into how mounted mechanics might play out.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Might be worth keeping in mind that the shifted character retains their mental stats, notably Wisdom(Insight). Your wolf-shaped druid is likely more aware/considerate of their rider than a regular beast mount would be. The way things are going, you may also want to start thinking about wolf-shaped barding. You know that's on the horizon... \$\endgroup\$ – GoblinTheodicy Nov 1 '14 at 12:29
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There are not rules for riding with a non-military saddle vs riding bareback, though that would be within the rights of the DM to rule as such (the rules are currently silent on the difference, and only provide an explanation that a military saddle provides advantage on checks to stay mounted).

Dash is one of the normal action types for a nonintelligent mount, so I would definitely not make you make a check in that case unless another circumstance arose.

There are effects that would dismount you. The most common is an effect that moves your mount against it's will (DC 10 Dex save).

The rules for mounts are outlined in two places p198 and p155. It would be good to review these two pages to get the full picture on what is and is not codified currently about mounts.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @Besty Looking to house-rule in good/compatible rules from other editions sounds like a good separate question. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Nov 1 '14 at 5:43
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Right now the only rules regarding riding is if a mount is moved against it's will, if you are knocked prone while riding or if your mount is knocked prone, you are required to make a DC 10 Dex check. (Pg. 198)

Moving a mount against it's will could also include the rider doing something like trying to make a mount walk through a wall of fire, or perform an action that it may not be trained for. A dash action would not call for a riding check, as it's a normal standard action.

Regarding the item rule:

Saddles. A military saddle braces the rider, helping you keep your seat on an active mount in battle. It gives you advantage on any check you make to remain mounted. An exotic saddle is required for riding any aquatic or flying mount.

The simplest rule would be in any situation that calls for a check they have advantage as such saddles are designed to keep their rider on no matter what.

Others will probably end up house ruling different saddles grant advantage in different situations. Military saddles are not good for jumping but a riding one is, but that's for another question.

Advanced rules for Riding and Mounted Combat will most likely be in the DMG.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Are there advanced rules in the DMG? \$\endgroup\$ – Tommi Aug 31 '18 at 7:31
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If existing rules don't cover this to your satisfaction (I'm not very familiar with D&D), you could approach it from the perspective how it might work in real life in order create a useful ruling.

I've got 15 years of real riding experience. A spooked mount that suddenly took off at full speed wouldn't unseat me, saddle or not, especially if I were in a situation where I expected chaotic or unusual things to happen such as a combat scenario.

A novice rider seated bareback could easily be unseated because they lack the proper instincts and habits. Thus, if the character's riding skill is low, the GM might call for a roll. If the skill is in the range of "experienced" or better, the character should probably be able to ride through the situation just fine, and only needs to worry about making rolls to deal with their attacker(s).

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