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If I have a tamed mount who I am actively controlling (not allowing it to be treated as a independent creature), could I actively choose to use its attack instead of my own?

Ex:I am riding a tamed dragon, could I choose to use the dragon's breath weapon instead of my attack?
If I am riding a war horse could I use its hoof attack?

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No

With some stipulations.

First, the PHB on page 198 gives good insight into mounted combat. There are two sections I'd like to call attention to:

While you're mounted, you have two options. You can either control the mount or allow it to act independently. Intelligent creatures, such as dragons, act independently.

For domesticated mounts, which covers most use cases:

[A controlled mount] has only three action options: Dash, Disengage, and Dodge.


The same section gives rules for Independent mounts. This addresses the Dragon example:

An independent mount retains its place in the initiative order. Bearing a rider puts no restrictions on the actions the mount can take, and it moves and acts as it wishes. It might flee from combat, rush to attack and devour a badly injured foe, or otherwise act against your wishes.

(emphasis mine)

Thus, yes, a dragon being used as a mount can use its breath attack.
However, the PHB implies that the dragon, being explicitly listed as intelligent, would not be under the player's control for its turn -- it would be controlled by the DM.
Although the dragon may be open to taking suggestions (as dragons rarely take orders), and may very well agree that a breath attack would be a good idea, the player does not have final say in what the dragon does or does not do on its turn.

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    \$\begingroup\$ A point of clarification that I think would greatly improve your answer: just because an intelligent creature acts independently does not mean that it can't obey the wishes of it's rider, only that it doesn't always obey it's rider as a tamed mount might and cannot be directly controlled. A dragon might follow your orders if they align with its own goals, and I imagine that if you've mounted a friendly dragon, they do. The only restriction is that the player cannot control the intelligent mount directly. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Sep 8 '16 at 16:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LegendaryDude that's actually a great point, i should probably ask a related question about how to determine what a mount would do if acting independently/if its trained a certain way or something. \$\endgroup\$ – ArtaSoral Sep 8 '16 at 16:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is the right answer, and Legendary Dude's comment is also a nice addition. There are two other edge cases. First, Ranger's Beast Companion can be up to size medium. If the character is small (or tiny), the Ranger could use the companion as a mount. The mount would be intelligent, but would obey you. The other is an extremely unlikely combo of circumstances -- a Warlock's Pact of Chain familiar that was tiny (either naturally or through spell/effect) with small familiar. \$\endgroup\$ – J. A. Streich Sep 8 '16 at 16:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ And the Find Steed spell for the Paladin. I asume it would be very "easy" to make it do what the Pala wants. Even telepathicaly \$\endgroup\$ – Kelhendros Nov 3 '16 at 18:56

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