Related: Can a Minotaur wear (and benefit from) Horseshoes of Flame?

Items in Question

Horseshoes of Speed

These iron shoes come in sets of four like ordinary horseshoes. When affixed to an animal’s hooves, they increase the animal’s base land speed by 30 feet; this counts as an enhancement bonus. As with other effects that increase speed, jumping distances increase proportionally. All four shoes must be worn by the same animal for the magic to be effective.

Horseshoes of a Zephyr

These four iron shoes are affixed like normal horseshoes. They allow a horse to travel without actually touching the ground. The horse must still run above (always around 4 inches above) a roughly horizontal surface. This means that nonsolid or unstable surfaces can be crossed, and that movement is possible without leaving tracks on any sort of ground. The horse moves at its normal base land speed. All four shoes must be worn by the same animal for the magic to be effective.

(emphasis: bold)

Creature in Question


Size/Type: Large Monstrous Humanoid



As can be seen above, a centaur is not an animal. The two magic items above only refer to horses and/or animals.

I am thinking it would require Use Magic Device:

Emulate a Race

Some magic items work only for members of certain races, or work better for members of those races. You can use such an item as if you were a race of your choice. You can emulate only one race at a time.


  1. Could a centaur wear (and benefit from) the magical horseshoes?
  2. Would a Use Magic Device skill check be required to utilize them?

2 Answers 2


Yes, a centaur (or any other creature capable of affixing horseshoes) can make use of these items with a DC 25 UMD check by using Emulate a Race. They cannot make use of them without the check.

As a sensible houserule the race requirement could be waived.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You know, for YEARS I have allowed centaur to "go ahead and use them" without blinking an eye. It wasn't until this minotaur issue came up that got me actually thinking about it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ruut
    Commented Dec 5, 2015 at 7:04
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @Ruut Well, I doubt it's a game balance issue. I would probably rule that way too (or allow equally priced centaur-specific otherwise identical magic items), but that's not the RAW (well, the second one kinda is, but it's technically a different item so :P). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 5, 2015 at 7:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ They could also make use of them if they’re an artificer with the magic savant feature \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 1, 2021 at 0:54

A strict reading says No

Horseshoes of speed can only be used by creatures with the type animal. Horseshoes of a Zephyr can only be used by horses (which also have the type animal).

A centaur is a creature with the type humanoid.

The Use Magic Device skill lets you pretend to be another race for the purpose of magic item requirements, not a another type.

Implications of allowing Yes

Allowing it is not going to break the game. Allowing a centaur to run faster is not a problem.

However, if there are magic items that can only be used by undead or outsiders or other types then allowing a character with Use Magic Device to use those items may cause problems.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ While following the RAW indeed can cause problems, the idea that UMD doesn't let you emulate races of types other than whatever you currently are at the time doesn't seem to be present in any of the source material related to this issue. Making such an exotic, surprising, and countertextual claim would go better if it were supported with something; it's not like readers can just Google 'UMD 3.5' here: that will naively lead them to the opposite of your position. I would recommend, thus, that you add some clearer support to your claim. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 24, 2019 at 9:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @the dark wanderer I am the one surprised, surprised at any confusion about the definition of "race". The SRD lists Human, Drawrf, Gnome, et al as race; not aboleth, horse, donkey, zombie, triceratops, elemental, etc. What text are you suggesting that my reading is counter to? \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 26, 2019 at 2:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ One example, of many, would be the "Creatures as Races" section of the rules in the monster manual and also here, which makes it pretty clear 'race' just means kind of creature with an emphasis on kinds of creatures a player might possibly play but an explicit inclusion of "every monster". There's also pretty much the entirety of 'Savage Species' and also the definition of 'racial bonus' in the PHB glossary. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 26, 2019 at 5:23

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