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Riding horses and Warhorses have a big price difference, so I'm trying to figure out their different abilities, beyond the barding thing.

On the PHB all they say about Animal Handling is :"When there is any question whether you can calm down a domesticated animal, keep a mount from getting spooked, or intuit an animal’s intentions, the DM might call for a Wisdom (Animal Handling) check. You also make a Wisdom (Animal Handling) check to control your mount when you attempt a risky maneuver."

Would it be considered a "risky maneuver" to ask a common Riding Horse to get close to a dangerous creature? And within this rules, would it be too much to ask for a Wisdom (Animal Handling) check to keep control of a mount not trained for combat after it receives damage (it gets spooked)?

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The 5e rules don't specifically speak to this situation, in the Handle Animal rules or the MM entries for the riding horse, draft horse, and warhorse. But they like leaving a lot to the DM's discretion in 5e, so that's not entirely unexpected.

Yes, it's entirely reasonable to require Handle Animal checks with mounts or other animals not trained for war to get them to ride near monsters, I think that fits the definition of "risky maneuver" about as perfectly as one could. The world's full of people who took a spill off a horse when a snake spooked it. In earlier editions you'd find notes like "Horses can be trained for war but otherwise are skittish around battle."

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