When riding a horse and fighting with a longsword, can you use a longsword with two hands or do you have to use a longsword with one hand because you have to control the horse with the other? And does this rule have an exception?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Only Exception I cna think of is how you can treat Lance as a 1-handed weapon while riding, but this is mostly so you can use a shield in the other. \$\endgroup\$
    – ChibiNya
    Mar 28, 2017 at 21:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Suggest that, the next time you go on vacation, you ride a horse. Knees and feet are also involved in horsemanship. (Plus, horses are cool animals). \$\endgroup\$ Mar 29, 2017 at 1:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does the lack of stirrups change this? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 29, 2017 at 1:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Earlier versions of DnD had the "Ride" skill, its "guide with knees" use case was exactly for the situation you are asking about. In 5e Ride was merged into Handle Animal, its uses are mostly on DM's discretion. If your DM focuses on mounted combat, they might use additional checks. \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Mar 29, 2017 at 7:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GreenstoneWalker Interesting question about stirrups. I'm not sure how important they are, given that most of the civilisations of antiquity, up to and including the Romans, did not use stirrups. Then again, there is the Great Stirrup Controversy (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Stirrup_Controversy). Sorry if I'm teaching granny to suck eggs. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 31, 2017 at 8:14

1 Answer 1



No rule in the Mounted Combat rules requires that you use a hand to control a mount. Mounts could likely then be controlled by commands or through other bodily cues, such as a light kick.

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    \$\begingroup\$ fwiw: most mounted knights had shields (and implicitly a weapon in the other hand) and so hand no free hands. Same for Mongol mounted archers, mounted riflemen, etc. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 28, 2017 at 22:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ This answer will surprise exactly 0 people who have ever ridden a horse. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 28, 2017 at 22:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DerekStucki Granted, it is more complicated in a fantasy setting, where mounts can include giant lizards, wolves, giant eagles, and more. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 28, 2017 at 22:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DerekStucki I've ridden a horse a couple of times and it surprises me. While I believe that a very good horseman with a very well trained horse could be able to fully guide the horse with their knees/legs/body, it seems as though your average rider tends to use reins and a bridle. Even with mounted knights who used a shield they would usually be seen holding the reins in their shield hand s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/81/9a/1b/… . My guess would be that guiding your mount purely through body cues would bring a penalty to riding check. \$\endgroup\$
    – DRF
    Mar 29, 2017 at 4:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @THiebert absolutely, but there is no "ride check" for basic circumstances, as opposed to 3.5e, where the term comes from. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 29, 2017 at 16:50

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